Empanadas-Beef Turnovers: A Delightful Taste of Latin America 2024

Empanadas-Beef Turnovers: Empanadas, or beef turnovers, are a beloved dish in many Latin American countries. These delightful pastries, filled with savory beef and spices, offer a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Empanadas are enjoyed as a snack, appetizer, or even a main course. Let’s explore how to make these tasty treats at home, step by step.

Empanadas-Beef Turnovers
Empanadas-Beef Turnovers

Empanadas-Beef Turnovers: Ingredients

Main Ingredients:

  • For the Dough:
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (chilled and diced)
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup cold water
    • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Filling:
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup green olives, chopped
    • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Optional Ingredients for Variations:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Diced potatoes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Fresh cilantro

Empanadas-Beef Turnovers: Preparation Steps

Making the Dough:

  1. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.
  2. Add Butter: Add the diced butter to the flour mixture and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and cold water together.
  4. Form the Dough: Gradually add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until a dough forms. Knead the dough briefly until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preparing the Filling:

  1. Cook the Beef: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Add Vegetables: Add the chopped onion, garlic, and bell pepper to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Season: Stir in the cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add the chopped olives, raisins (if using), and hard-boiled eggs. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Empanadas-Beef Turnovers: Assembling the Empanadas

Rolling Out the Dough:

  1. Prepare Work Surface: Lightly flour a clean work surface.
  2. Roll the dough. Divide the dough into equal portions. Roll each portion into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.

Filling and Sealing the Empanadas:

  1. Add Filling: Place a spoonful of the beef filling in the center of each dough circle.
  2. Seal the Edges: Fold the dough over the filling to form a half-moon shape. Press the edges together and crimp with a fork to seal.

Cooking Methods

Baking the Empanadas:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Prepare the baking sheet: Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake: Brush the tops with a beaten egg for a golden finish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Frying the Empanadas:

  1. Heat Oil: Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet or fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Fry: Carefully add the empanadas and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Serving Suggestions

Traditional Accompaniments:

  • Chimichurri Sauce: A zesty green sauce made with parsley, garlic, vinegar, and oil.
  • Salsa: fresh tomato salsa or salsa verde for a spicy kick.
  • Lemon Wedges: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice enhances the flavors.

Presentation Tips:

  • Arrange the empanadas on a platter lined with fresh herbs.
  • Serve with small bowls of dipping sauces for a colorful display.

Tips for Perfect Empanadas

  • Choose Quality Ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality beef and vegetables for the best flavor.
  • Sealing Techniques: Ensure the edges are well-sealed to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking.
  • Cooking Tips: Whether baking or frying, make sure the empanadas are cooked until golden brown for the perfect texture.


Empanadas are a versatile and delicious dish that can be enjoyed in many ways. With a bit of preparation and attention to detail, you can create these delightful beef turnovers at home. Give this recipe a try and experience the rich flavors and textures that make empanadas a favorite around the world.


1. How do I store leftover empanadas? Store any leftover empanadas in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

2. How do I reheat empanadas? Reheat empanadas in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through, about 10–15 minutes.

3. Can I freeze empanadas? Yes, you can freeze uncooked empanadas. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

4. What other fillings can I use? Empanadas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including chicken, cheese, spinach, or sweet fillings like apple or pumpkin.

5. Can I make the dough ahead of time? Yes, you can make the dough a day in advance and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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