Empanada recipe: traditional method from Buenos Aires, Argentina

by on 11th April, 2014

Empanada recipe

Our Alan shares two decades of South America living and empanada making with this delicious empanada recipe.

Try it at home or travel to Argentina, Chile or Patagonia and eat them in situ. As a great person once said: “Nam nam!”

Alan writes:

“Empanadas – pasties or turnovers –  are a delicacy all over South America and each country has their own variety with different shapes and fillings.

In Buenos Aires I had a go at making an Argentine Meat empanada and it was delicious.

Below please find a recipe and I challenge you to make a tasty empanada, or two.”

Ingredients for the pastry:

1/2 kg plain flour

1 table spoon lard

1 heaped table spoon butter

2 cups water

2  teaspoons salt

Ingredients for filling:

1 kg minced beef

1 large onion

4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

4 or 5 black olives, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tea spoon ground cumin – heaped to taste

pinch of chilli powder

pinch of paprika

sunflower oil


Preparing the pastry:

Place the flour in a bowl and add the melted lard and butter.

Mix with your fingers until lard and butter are well incorporated with the flour.

Dissolve the salt into the warm water and add to the mixture.

Mix well until a smooth non sticky dough is formed.

Allow the dough to rest covered with a cloth.

Preparing filling:

Heat the oil in a pan.

Dice the onion and fry in the oil until the onion is translucent.

Add the minced beef. Mix well and add the salt , pepper, cumin, paprika and chilli. Cook on medium to low heat.

Allow to cool.

Preparing the empanadas:

Roll the dough so that it is about 2-3 mm thick.

Cut into circles 10-12 cm in diameter.

Place two heaped tea spoons of the beef mix into the middle of the pastry circle.

Add a little chopped egg and chopped olive.

Wet the edges of the pastry with a little water, fold the non-filled half of the pastry over the filled half, and crimp the edges together to seal or use a fork to mark the edges. Repeat with the remaining pastry circles.


1.     FRYING: Heat vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the empanadas in batches until golden and cooked through. Add more oil between batches to prevent the empanadas from sticking to the pan.

2.     OVEN: Glaze the empanadas with egg yolk and bake in a hot oven until golden brown.

During my stay in Buenos Aires I had a brilliant evening at The Argentine Experience. It was a fun-filled evening with great food, wine and insights into Argentine life. Part of the fun was empanada making. Before you fold your own, see how to crimp empanadas in this demonstration at The Argentine Experience.

¡Buen Provecho!

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