Beef Empanada Recipe

IMAGE Patrick Martires

What Are Beef Empanadas?

Beef empanadas are turnovers made with pastry dough and stuffed with a beef filling. These emapanadas can be baked or fried, and while this easy empanada recipe features beef, it can also be filled with other meats or vegetables.

Empanada is from the Spanish word empanar, meaning "to coat with bread." They are assembled by adding filling to a piece of flattened pastry dough, and then folding the dough over itself. These quick beef empanadas are usually sealed by pleating the edges. If you're new to making empanadas and want an easier way to assemble these savory turnovers, you can also use an empanada press.

In this beef empanada recipe, an easy beef filling is stuffed into's tried-and-tested and equally easy empanada dough recipe. This versatile recipe is a great make-ahead merienda snack that will leave you full and satisfied.

Here Are Tips To Make Beef Empanada:

1 Make the empanada dough ahead of time.

Empanada dough can normally be used after it has been chilled for at least 30 minutes, but it can be left to rest overnight (or, if you're making a super advanced batch, it can be frozen for up to 3 weeks)! Rested empanada dough will be much easier to handle since it will roll out more easily and be more pliable.


2 Cook it quickly by keeping the ingredients small.

This beef empanada filling recipe cooks fast because we used ground beef and frozen mixed veggies, which are small, and of relatively uniform size. Dicing the veggies doesn't only let them cook through faster; it will also make it easier for you to wrap them in the empanada dough later on.

3 Don't be afraid to add or substitute your favorite veggies.

Even though we used frozen mixed veggies for this beef empanada recipe, you can definitely switch them out or add your preferred vegetables! We suggest potatoes cut into small chunks or even just kernels of corn to amp up the sweetness of the savory filling.

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4 Add a fun flavor twist with your favorite seasonings or toppings.

You can also turn this simple beef filling into a more flavorful filling! You can add mozzarella or cheddar chunks to make it cheesy or, if you're feeling more adventurous, add tomato paste, cumin powder, and chili powder to make it taste like chili con carne.


5 It's important to let the filling chill before wrapping.

Not only will this save you from burning yourself but letting the filling cool before stuffing it in the empanada dough will ensure that you get a flaky empanada crust. The fat (aka the margarine or butter) in the empanada dough is what gives it that signature flaky texture, and it only works if it melts while frying or baking. If it melts while the empanadas are still just being wrapped, you'll end up with a soggy, or worse, disintegrated empanada crust.

Prep Time
40 mins 
Cooking Time
15 mins 
Ready In
55 mins 
Asian, Spanish
Cooking Method
Pan fry

Beef Empanada Ingredients

How to make Beef Empanada

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