How to Make Perfect Spiced Beef Empanadas

Empanadas are commonly eaten all over South America, but Argentina was first in line in the Baking World Tour and that is why we are doing it for Argentina.

These little dough pockets are not only beautiful, but they are absolutely delicious and super easy to make. The best part is that you can customize them with your favourite fillings, and you can choose whether you want to bake or fry them.

I fried mine to get a little change from all the baking I have been doing lately. And I filled them with beef as Argentina is famous for beef.

You can certainly use some veggies instead or add some cheese into the mix.

The fillings are basic, and the dough is basic too, but together they make something special.

This recipe makes 6 decently sized empanadas which would be enough for two very hungry people. Have a bit of salad on the side and that is dinner sorted! If you would like to make more simply multiply the amount of ingredients in the recipe.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

200g (7.1oz) white flour

1 egg, around 50g (1.75oz)

4g (0.14oz) salt

5g (0.17oz) vinegar

5g (0.17oz) baking powder

20g (0.7oz) soft butter

50g (1.75oz) water


For the filling –

250g (8.8oz) minced beef

50g (1.75oz) onion, finely diced

10g (0.35oz) garlic, finely diced

100g (3.5oz) red pepper, finely diced

30g (1oz) tomato paste

5g (0.17oz) salt

1g (0.03oz) black pepper

2g (0.07oz) ground cumin

3g (0.1oz) paprika

0.5g (0.017oz) oregano.

1g (0.03oz) cayenne pepper

*You can adjust the amount of spices to your liking.


Oil for frying. I used rapeseed oil, but you can use any oil you like.


  1. Make the filling. In a pan on high heat cook the beef in a bit of oil for around 1 minute or until it starts getting some nice colour on it. Do not stir the beef to begin with to prevent the pot from cooling down.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and diced pepper. Mix well and keep cooking on high heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and the spices. Pour in 100ml water. Turn the heat down to medium and keep cooking for another 10 minutes or until the water has almost evaporated leaving just a little to keep the filling nice and moist.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool down completely.
  5. Make the dough. In a large bowl combine the water, salt, baking powder, and egg. Mix well. Add the butter and the flour. Mix to a dough.
  6. Tip the dough out on your table and knead it for no more than 3 minutes. We do not need a lot of gluten for this recipe.
  7. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieced. Shape it into round balls.
  8. Place on a tray or on a plate, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  9. Roll the dough ball out to a flat disc. It should have a diameter equal to the length between your wrist and your fingertips.
  10. Add 1/6th of the filling. Pull the dough and fold it over making a half-moon shape. Press it together in the middle. Now work your way from the middle to the edge pressing the dough together. Do that on both sides.
  11. Crimp the edge by holding it with the index finger of one hand and folding it over using the index finger and thumb of the other hand. If none of this made sense, then just watch the video, and follow my hands. It is pretty simple to crimp the edge.
  12. Fry the empanadas in hot oil at 180C (360F) for around 5 minutes in total. Filip them every minute. Once they are golden brown all over drain the off on some kitchen paper or on a rack.


Enjoy your empanadas whilst they are warm and fresh!

Watch the video here

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