An empanada is a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling. This delicious pastry originates from northwest Spain and has got its different versions from around the world. These are really heartwarming tasty treats that can be eaten hot or cold. They can be eaten alone as an appetiser served with a chipotle sauce or an onion and tomato salsa or as a full meal with a salad on the side. This recipe uses a beef filling but you can always switch it with chicken or fish.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Makes: 12


2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter

1 egg

1/3 cup ice water

1 tbsp whit vinegar

For the filling:

1/4 kg ground beef

1 finely chopped onion

3 pods minced garlic

1 chopped tomato

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 diced bell pepper

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp pepper powder

2 tsp oregano

Salt to taste

1 egg


Make the puff pastry dough:

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  2. Add the butter and rub the flour and butter between your fingers till you get a crumbly texture.

  3. In another bowl whisk the egg, ice water, and vinegar together.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix with a spatula till it all combines together.

  5. Knead it into a soft ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 230°C

  2. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the onions and garlic till it becomes soft

  3. Add the tomatoes and cook till it becomes soft.

  4. Add the beef, tomato puree, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin powder, oregano, pepper, and salt. Cook for about 20 minutes till the beef is cooked.

Assembling the Empanada:

  1. Roll out the dough onto a floured surface to a thickness of 2 mm.

  2. Use a 4.5" cookie cutter to cut out circles from the dough, you should get about 12 circles.

  3. Whisk the egg in a bowl and brush the outer edge of the cut circles.

  4. Place a heaped spoonful of the filling in the center.

  5. Sprinkle some cheese on top and fold over the puff pastry to create a semi-circle.

  6. Use a fork to seal the edges of the empanada and brush it with egg wash on top.

  7. Place the empanadas on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 - 30 minutes.


  • You can use store-bought puff pastry but I prefer making it myself.

  • I used mozzarella cheese but if you want it to be more cheesy you can add cheddar also.

  • If you can get a hold of some jalapenos for the filling it will add a great kick to the dish.

  • I went for the healthier option of baking them but you can also deep fry the empanadas.

  • Some other vegetables you can add are corn, potatoes, carrot, etc.

If you have any comments or suggestions please do leave them in the comments section down below or DM me on social media. All my social media links are given below. I would love to hear your feedback.

If you tried this recipe please do share it and tag me on social media. Simply Rachel!

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