Go Back Email Link
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