Empanada Recipe

Deep fried baby pies from South America? We’ll take six dozen. Here’s the recipe.

Beef empanada close-up
Beef empanada close-up


Empanada Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup lard or shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock

Empanada Filling:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Oil, for frying


  1. For the empanada dough: Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the stock. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and knead until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the empanada filling: In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and garlic salt and cook until the beef is cooked completely. Drain the grease and set the beef aside.
  4. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, chilli powder, oregano, seasoned salt, garlic, bell peppers and onions. Cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beef and let them love each other with fire over low heat for about 5 more minutes. The mixture should be moist but not dripping wet. Now you are ready to fill the empanadas.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/2cm thick. Cut out 15cm rounds, depending on how large you prefer. Add some meat filling to each empanada and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.
  6. Heat the oil. Deep fry the empanadas until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from the Food Network.


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