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My husband loves empanadas – they are his comfort food.  They are fun food packets bursting with flavor that are great for snacks, appetizers or a simple meal.  I like the mix of olives, raisins, beef and spices that give them their traditional taste.  I found this recipe that is similar to the ones they make in Argentina.  I use dough circles (usually Goya brand) that I can find in the hispanic freezer section of my grocery store so that I don’t have to make the dough from scratch.  I also prefer to bake my empanadas rather than frying them so they have less oil.

This recipe is based on one I discovered at epicurious.com:


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 oz pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 10-12 empanada dough circles
  • 2 Tbsp canola or olive oil


I browned the ground beef in a skillet and then drained any excess fat off.  In another skillet I heated 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium to medium-high heat and added the onion.  I cooked until the onion started to brown and then added the garlic.  I cooked the mixture for another minute or so.  Then I added the remaining 2 Tbsp oil and the rest of the ingredients (except the dough circles) and carefully mixed it.  I let the mixture cool slightly before stuffing the empanadas.

To stuff the empanadas, I put a few Tablespoons of mixture on half of one dough circle.  Then I wet the edges of the circle and folded the dough over to make a half moon shape and pressed the edges to seal them well.  At this point I fold the edges up, empanada style.  I’m not all that great at this and it’s difficult to explain, so you may want to find a video on youtube like this one to show you how to do it.

After all of the empanadas are done, I place them on a cooking sheet sprayed with oil.  I then brush the tops with a bit of oil so they will brown.  (Or, you could brush them with egg wash)  I bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until they start to brown.

I like to serve them with sauce.  You can purchase chimichurri sauce or make your own sauce.  The sauce I used in this recipe was:

  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 minced clove garlic
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Just mix up the ingredients and serve with your empanadas.  Yum!