Beef Empanadas

4 Apr

The first time I ever had empanadas, my brother-in-law, Justin, whipped them up. He learned how to make them while living in Argentina serving a two-year mission for our church. I greedily ate them up, one after the other, until I felt quite full and a little sick. But good sick. Trust me. I had them not long after Justin and my sister were married, and so naturally I assumed that he should make them for me every time I saw him. I didn’t realize at the time all the work he put into them. All I knew was that they were the best snack/dinner/anything and everything meat pockets I’d had up to that point.

Even years later, I still like when he makes them for us. Last Easter I visited my sister’s family in California and convinced him to make these. He made them the night before Easter, and we all gorged. Then on Easter Sunday, he was away from the house for a few hours, and my sister and I (against Justin’s strict orders) may or may not have snuck a few before Easter dinner. We’ll never know the truth. And now, he has passed the recipe onto me, and I can whip them up and greedily eat them all by myself.

Makes 10- 12 empanadas


1 T. oil
2 onions, chopped
1-1 ¼ lbs. ground beef
1/3 c. raisins
1/8 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 ½ T. cumin
1 t. paprika
½ t. paprika
½ t. oregano
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
empanada pastry disks, homemade or frozen (I used Smitten Kitchen’s empanada dough)
1 egg, beaten with 2 T. water


Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and ground beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until beef is browned. Add raisins, flour, sugar, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until flavors are blended. Mix in eggs and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thinly roll out empanada disks onto lightly floured surface. They should measure about 6 inches across. Add about ¼ c. beef mixture to the center of the disk. Wet the edges of the disk with a finger dipped in water to help the sides stick together. Fold one half of the disk over the other into a half-moon shape, press together, and crimp the edges with a fork. Lightly spread some egg wash on the top of each empanada. Bake on a cookie sheet about 20-25 minutes, until golden, rotating the sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking time.

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5 Responses to “Beef Empanadas”

  1. Tess April 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    I’m THRILLED to have this recipe. They really are so good! I love your stories connected to your recipes. You tell a good tale. 🙂

  2. Adrianne April 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Good! You should make them and tell me how they turn out.

  3. Juliana C. April 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I can’t wait to try this new recipe.
    I love Empanadas and I have no idea how to make them, until now. 🙂

    • Adrianne April 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      Yay, Juliana! Great to hear from you! Glad I could help out with the recipe.

  4. Zach Robertson May 3, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    These look great! I need to figure out where I can get the dough, but they look like a fun post-graduation treat for me!

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