Easy Beef Empanadas

These Argentinian Easy Beef Empanadas are made for buffets and get-togethers. Fruity with a hint of spice, these delicious bites are easy to make and are a good one for making ahead of time. Why not have a taste of Argentina at your next party? A double-batch is recommended!

Easy Beef Empanadas

These Argentinian empanadas were made for parties! Traditionally they are served during festival times but also make an appearance during most gatherings. An empanada made with a fish filing is popular during lent. 

Empanadas originally come from Spain in a place called Galicia in the North West. A fish filling is also popular there! Here at Jess Eats, we love a good old Cornish pasty and empanadas very much resemble one due to the crimping running down the side.

A crimping tutorial has been linked below if you get stuck on how to do it.

These easy beef empanadas are also brilliant because you can make them ahead and warm in an oven when needing to serve (ensuring they are piping hot). They are also very versatile and lend themselves well for playing around with flavours etc. We went the traditional route and added raisins, onion and a mix of spices, however you could change it up as much as you like!

What will you add in yours? (See below for a list of alternative ingredients) 

Why should I make beef empanadas?

  • You’ll learn a recipe from a new culture (Argentina)
  • Easy beef empanadas make perfect snack material! 
  • Also could be served as a lunch with a side salad, or great for lunch boxes
  • You’ll learn how to crimp (a potential new skill)
  • Very moor-ish – you’ll be glad you made them
  • The effort is more than worth it!


Rapeseed oil (or any vegetable-based oil)

Puff pastry block 

Beef mince 


Garlic clove

Ground cumin

Smoked paprika 

Red pepper 

Cayenne pepper

Beef stock 


Tin of chopped tomatoes 

Egg for glazing


A chefs knife for chopping

Frying pan

Measuring spoon

Measuring jug

Rolling pin

Pastry brush

Baking tray

Greaseproof paper


STEP 1: Fry the onions and peppers.

STEP 2: Crush the garlic and add spices – fry for one minute.

STEP 3: Add the mince and fry until brown. Add two heaped spoonfuls of chopped tomatoes, a handful of raisins, the beef stock and some seasoning. Give a good stir and leave to cook until evaporated. Leave aside to cool.

STEP 4: Separate the pastry block into 18 pieces.

STEP 5: Shape each piece into a ball and roll into a rough circle.

STEP 6: Fill each circle with 2 tsp of filling. Glaze the edges with beaten egg and fold over to meet the other side and seal.

STEP 7: Crimp along the edge, glaze the top and bake in the oven at 190 (170 fan) for 25 minutes.

Ingredient alternatives 

Can I use shortcrust pastry instead of puff?

Yes you can use shortcrust pastry but it will be less flaky and more like a pie crust. This won’t affect the flavour. You may need to reduce the bake time though. The best thing to do is keep an eye on them and take them out to test when they appear golden brown. 

Is it ok to change the spices?

Absolutely. The spices used in this recipe are more traditional however you could experiment and try a curry powder for an Indian twist. It’s not something to worry about if you don’t have the exact spice. It’ll still taste great!

I don’t have any beef stock, what’s the next best thing?

Beef stock is rich in flavour so it maybe a chicken stock cube would be a good alternative. If you have a French onion stock cube (Not as common but you never know what’s lurking in your larder) then that would be a good second-best. 

What can I use instead of raisins?

Currants, chopped up dried apricot, dried cherries… go wild. 

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of tinned chopped tomatoes?

Yes! Your mix may not be as juicy so adding a drop of water to compensate would be a good idea. 

I don’t have any eggs for a glaze. What else can I use?

Milk is the best alternative. We’ve never used oats milk etc as a glaze here at Jess Eats but there’s not reason why It shouldn’t work.

Frequently asked questions

Are empanadas suitable for vegetarians?

This recipe contains beef mince, so no. Why not use quorn mince as an alternative?

Are empanadas suitable for vegans?

No as they contain beef mince as well as puff pastry full of butter. You could easily replace with quorn mince and a vegan pastry. 

Are empanadas gluten-free?

No as the pastry would contain gluten. You would need to use a gluten-free pastry to make them gluten-free. 

Can I re-heat my empanadas?

Of course. The best way to reheat your empanadas would be in the oven for around 25 minutes until piping hot. The Food Standards Agency have guidelines on how to reheat safely. Never reheat more than once.

Can I freeze my empanadas?

Freezing empanadas is a good idea if you would like to prepare some ahead for a buffet. It’s recommended to lay them separately on a baking sheet, freeze and them store them together in a reusable ziplock bag. Keep no longer than two months in the freezer.

How long can I keep the empanadas in the fridge?

You shouldn’t keep an empanadas for longer than 2-3 days. Never keep after reheating unless you intend to eat it cold. 

How do I eat an empanada?

An empanada is intended to be eaten with your hands. It’s the perfect finger food!


Use ready-made puff pastry for time-saving purposes. 

Make ahead and freeze a batch so you always have something to pull out for any last minute parties. 

Unsure on how to crimp your pastry? Watch a couple of YouTube tutorials so you can get the idea. This video from Frankie Kimm is a good start.

The Recipe

Easy Beef Empanadas

  • Serves: 8 medium sized empanadas
  • Difficulty: Medium

A spiced beef filling encased in crispy puff pastry. The perfect party food!

What you will need

  • 1 tbsp of any veg-based oil (we used rapeseed)
  • 1 Puff pastry block (500g)
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 100ml Beef stock
  • A handful of raisins
  • 2 heaped spoonfuls of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing


  • 11. Finely chop your onion and slice your pepper into strips. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry until soft.
  • 22. Crush your garlic clove into the pan and add the spices. Fry for 1 min.
  • 33. Add the mince and fry until brown.
  • 44. Add two heaped spoonfuls of chopped tomatoes, a handful of raisins, the beef stock and some seasoning. Give a good stir and leave to cook until evaporated. Leave aside to cool.
  • 55. Meanwhile, cut the pastry into 18 pieces roughly the same size and roll into balls. Flatten each ball and roll each into flat circles.
  • 66. Once the filling has cooled, fill the middle of each circle with a couple of tsps of the filling and brush the edges with the beaten egg. Fold the pastry over to meet the other side.
  • 77. Crimp your pastry (see video tutorial which I have linked).
  • 88. Glaze all over with egg and bake on a tray covered with greaseproof paper for 25 mins on 190 (170 degrees fan) or until golden brown.


Battered bubble and squeak 

Sweet potato chilli fries

Algerian semolina bread

Roasted peri-peri sweet potato wedges

No-bake M&M cheesecake

Don’t forget to tag me in your all your bakes over on instagram and twitter! And pin this on Pinterest if you found it useful. 

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