Make these beef empanadas, then check out our spring onion and prawn empanadas, spinach, chorizo and cheese empanadas and more of our easy party food recipes.

How to make Beef empanadas...step-by-step video

Beef empanadas recipe


  • 500g plain flour
  • 200g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 1 egg


  • STEP 1

    Make the pastry by putting the flour in the bowl of a food processor, adding the cold butter and a big pinch of salt, and pulsing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until it forms a rough ball of dough. Add a splash of cold water if it looks a little dry. Gather up the dough, wrap and chill while you make the filling.

  • STEP 2

    Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and add the mince. Use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces, frying for 5 mins until the liquid evaporates and it starts to caramelise. Use a slotted spoon to remove it to a bowl.

  • STEP 3

    Turn the heat to low-medium and add the remaining tbsp of oil. Tip in the onion and pepper with a pinch of salt, and cook gently for 6-7 mins or until the onion has softened. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper and tomato purée and cook for 2 mins. Pour in the beef stock, add the mince back to the pan and simmer for 15 mins until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick. Season, cool, then chill for 1 hour.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line two large baking trays. Divide the pastry into 10 equal pieces and roll each out into a 18cm x 18cm square, then use a small knife to cut into rough 14cm-diameter circles. Spoon 2-3 tbsp of the mince mixture onto one half of a circle, leaving a 2cm border around the edge, then brush this with a little cold water. Fold one half of the pastry over, then, using a fork, press down all the way around the pastry edge, until you have a fully sealed empanada. Move onto the lined baking trays. Repeat the process with the remaining filling and dough.

  • STEP 5

    Brush all of empanadas with the beaten egg then transfer to the oven for 25-30 mins or until deeply golden. Cool on the trays and eat while still warm.

Try more empanada recipes here:

Ecuadorian empanadas

Check out these impressive pork Ecuadorian empanadas with punchy aji sauce. This moreish recipe may take a bit of time to make but are a perfect summer time snack.

Ecuadorian Empanadas with Aji Sauce

Argentinian cheese and onion empanadas

These golden empanadas have a British twist with an aged cheddar cheese and slow-cooked onion filling. This recipe comes from Soho restaurant, Sucre.

A white plate topped with two empanadas with crimped pastry

Spring onion and prawn empanadas

The spring onions for this should be a decent size – if they look a bit weedy use 1½ bunches. Empanadas are dough turnovers which originated in Portugal and are now also popular in many Latin American countries.

Prawn Empanadas Recipe with Spring Onions

Spinach, chorizo and cheese empanadas

Impress your guests with these simple but impressive spinach, chorizo and cheese empanadas for a hearty snack or starter to share.



Adam Bush Chef Portrait
Adam BushDeputy food editor

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