Beef Empanadas | Empanadas de Res


Empanadas are as close as it gets to the perfect food. They can be prepared as an appetizer, entrée, and yes, even as dessert. Guava paste with cream cheese is my favorite sweet flavor combo, but  the options for fillings are really limited only by your imagination! This beef empanada recipe combines both sweet and savory ingredients.


My Russian friend, Ana, shared her recipe with me, which she perfected alongside her Argentine husband (Argentinos are known for their empanadas!). They dream of opening a small empanada shop and selling their tasty creations one day. Until then, you can try your hand at this recipe and be inspired to develop new flavor combinations.


2 tablespoons oil
½ medium onion diced
1 pound ground beef
¼ cup green olives sliced
¼ cup raisins
3 canned tomatoes (or 3 small fresh tomatoes) diced
¼ cup sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 12-pack pre-made empanada shells* para hornear (for baking)
1 egg beaten for egg wash


  1. Prepare pan with oil on medium flame. When hot, add onion and sauté until translucent, moving occasionally to avoid burning.
  2. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Break up meat into small pieces while frying.
  3. Add olives, raisins, tomatoes, and sugar once meat is well browned. Mix well.
  4. Lower, cover, and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Allow meat to cool before stuffing.
  7. Spoon one to two tablespoons of meat stuffing onto each empanada shell. Fold in half and seal empanadas by pressing firmly closed with a small amount of water on fingertips. Be sure to leave enough room to fold in half without meat coming out of the sides. Arrange on cookie sheet prepared with cooking spray.
  8. Brush egg wash over each empanada.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes (or until golden brown).

Note: Meat can be prepared the night before, which allows flavors to more fully develop.

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Categories: Small Plates and Snacks

5 Comments on “Beef Empanadas | Empanadas de Res”

  1. January 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Your empanadas look so cute! I love the braided/curled edge. So cool that you got a recipe from an Argentine. I’m going to have to share this one with my 5th grade Spanish students during our food unit. I give them different recipes and they experiment at home making foods from all over the Spanish-speaking world. Thanks so much!

    • January 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

      Nicole: Thank you! That’s how my friend Ana showed me to make them. The easy alternative is to press the edges with a fork. Your food unit sounds awesome! I wish one of my teachers incorporated food into our lessons. It’s a great medium to teach and learn about other cultures.

  2. Linda
    January 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

    Where can I find the empanda shells.

    • January 7, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

      Hi Linda: Most Latin grocery stores carry them. You may also find them at a regular supermarket that carries Latin products. They’re in the frozen section. Sometimes I have to ask where they are at certain stores too. If all else fails, you can make them from scratch. Homemade empanada shells are good, but add extra prep time!


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