You are currently viewing Beef Empanadas Recipe | A Family Tradition

Beef Empanadas Recipe | A Family Tradition

Sharing is caring!

This recipe descends from my childhood as I spent many years alongside my Grandmother rolling and stuffing beef empanadas. 

Truth be told, my Grandma seldom invited her granddaughters to cook with her since the kitchen was not her happy place. Second, she raised very overly opinionated and strong-willed girls who always wanted to change her recipes.  

Nonetheless, beef empanadas were our common ground, one which she held so close to her heart she kept an extra mini apron and roller pin for those rare occasions. 

My assignment was to roll the dough, cut out circles, and stuff each beef empanada. After each inspection, I could then proceed to folding and sealing each pocket with a fork.

Here’s the thing, once my Grandmother passed, I kept her roller pin instead of mine. However, it’s a bit too emotional to make dough from scratch without her by my side these days. Besides, Goya makes pre-made empanadas dough, which works for me. Of course, I have kept her tradition alive with lots of modifications to her original recipe. And I look forward to the time of having her approval.

This recipe is 100% from my heart.

Table of Contents

This page may contain affiliate links, but this is at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure for more info.

What Is A Beef Empanada?

Beef empanadas are savory dough filled pockets of happiness. They are great appetizers, side dish, or a meal all by themselves.

Please note you’ll need to cook this recipe in a heavy pot or dutch oven.

Homemade beef empanadas
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Beef empanadas

Beef Empanadas

Beef empanadas are savory pies that give a feeling of happiness from the very first bite. Although they make a wonderful side dish, my family serves them for dinner since we feel they deserve to be the main course.
The recipe below cooks up a large batch which freezes well.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 1 hr 8 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Latin
Servings 25 Empanadas


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 small Yellow onion
  • 1/4 Green Pepper
  • 6-8 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 small Potatoe, finely diced
  • 3 lb Lean ground beef
  • 2 pkgs Sazon Goya, sin achoiote (without pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tspn Adobe without pepper
  • 1/2 cup Green spanish olives
  • 1 bunch Cilantro
  • 12 oz Roasted garlic & herb sauce tomatoe sauce Homemade or store bought, such as Prego or Ragu


  • Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Begin by adding onion, finely diced potatoes, and green pepper; cook for a few minutes until lightly brown. The finely diced potatoes in my beef empanada recipe helps add to the flavor. Potatoes are like flavor sponges.
  • Then add garlic and remaining ingredient MINUS the sauce. Cook for 20 minutes with the lid partly open to help evaporate liquid and stir often.
  • Add sauce and cook for an additional 10 minutes. The sauce will help keep the meat from becoming dry, which is a common problem in many recipes. Always give it a few good stirs at the end and taste your beef filling. Adjust salt and pepper if needed.
  • Dab your fingers in water to moisten the edges of each empanada to ensure a good seal. Place about two tablespoons of meat filling in each circle and fold the dough to form the empanada.
  • You can use your fingers to pinch little pleats; however, to follow tradition I use a fork for crimping. Lastly, use your fork to create vents on the top. This will help avoid the empanada from cooking unevenly while frying or baking.


Homemade Beef Empanadas Tips and Tricks

  • When sealing the empanadas, make sure you are on a hard surface and firmly press down. This will ensure your filling stays in place during the cooking process.
  • If you plan on freezing your empanadas, place them in the refrigerator on parchment-lined paper for 15 minutes first.
  • To cut out calories, use a dough intended for baking. When doing so, seal your empanadas with an egg wash and brush the outside once filled. Only a little egg wash is needed to give them a beautiful golden-brown crust.
Keyword Appetizers, Beef, Empanadas
Bean salad pico de gallo

What Are Beef Empanadas Serve With?

Empanadas are a type of savory pastry that can be filled with a variety of different ingredients, such as beef, chicken, or vegetables. They are typically served as an appetizer or main dish, and they can be accompanied by a variety of side dishes.

Some popular side dishes that pair well with empanadas include:

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Salad
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

In our household, empanadas always take center stage as a stand-alone dish. As a compliment, I make a Bean Salad Pico De Gallo.

However, when cooking for a crowd, I serve them as a side dish along with roasted chicken, rice, and beans.

In Conclusion

If you have any questions on this recipe or would enjoy more Latin style dishes, please leave me a comment below.

Lastly, for home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company. 

In the meantime, you may enjoy the following recipes, My Starbucks Copycat Recipes That Saves Our Wallets.

Easy Beef Empanadas

Sharing is caring!


Die-hard DIYer, home enthusiast and sometimes I cook :-)

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Myla

    I’m not a fan of packaged taco seasoning, but I LOVE the meat when we eat out at Mexican restaurants.

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating