Recipes

Argentine Empanadas

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 25 min

| Cook Time: 35 mins

| Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Empanadas are savory turnovers (pastry) originally from Spain that were brought to the New World colonies by Spanish immigrants. Throughout Spanish-speaking South America, empanadas are common snacks sold at bakeries as grab-n-go lunches for busy people during the work week, but are just as often cooked at home as comfort food, too. But few have embraced these lovely meat pies as much as Argentines.

Argentine empanadas are commonly filled with a spiced mince-meat, onions, olives or raisins, and hard-boiled eggs. But there are endless variations for fillings, including vegetarian options (see below for ideas). While this recipe takes a little longer than most of our recipes, it makes a fantastic Saturday afternoon treat or a perfect tray to bring to a party. You can save time by buying pre-made pie crust to use as the dough. If you're cooking for one or two, freeze half the pre-cooked batch to pop in the oven another time. Our Argentine Pampas blend is perfect for spicing the filling. It provides a hint of smokiness, a very subtle warmth, and a lovely savory herb profile. Use any leftover Chimichurri as a dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 box Pillsbury Pie Crusts (use 1 crust) - (see below for recipe links to make your own)

  • 1/2 lb of lean ground beef (turkey, chicken, or

  • salt & pepper to taste (optional)

  • 2 tbsp Piquant Post Argentine Pampas spice

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 egg, hard boiled, chopped

  • 2 green onions, diced

Notes

Using a pre-made pie crust greatly simplifies this recipe. We found that the Pillsbury pie crusts in a box that you can at any supermarket works really well and delivers a perfectly flaky crust for empanadas.  

One important thing to note is that you should be rolling the pie dough to thin it out. Store bought pie crusts are sized (thickness and diameter) for a 9" pie dish. Rolling the dough to approximately 12-14" diameter will allow you to get a very nice, thin crust shell on your empanadas. 

Use wax or parchment paper, or use plastic wrap on top and bottom of the dough for easy cleanup and to prevent sticking. You can also sprinkle flour on the flat surface before rolling to prevent sticking. Here are more tips on rolling pie dough.

If you don't have a rolling pin, you can use a pint glass or even full can of beans (or other canned good). Also, if you don't have cookie cutter rounds of the appropriate size you can use a standard pint glass or similar diameter glass to cut the empanada rounds.

Be sure not to overstuff the empanadas with the filling ingredients. Use a spoon to measure the first one and make sure that you can wrap the dough fully around the filling, then have enough overlapping dough to crimp edges with your fingers or a fork to seal in the filling without breaking the dough.

To achieve the golden, shiny crust you see in our pictures, brush an egg wash onto the top of the crust before baking. Crack then whisk an egg with a couple tbsp of water in a bowl and brush some egg onto each empanada.

Lastly, optional ingredients add a little character and flavor but don’t sweat it if you don’t have them.

Instructions

Remove 1 pie crust from freezer and warm to room temp. Next, boil 1 egg covered with water for 6 mins (set timer). Then, drain and fill with cool water and a few ice cubes to stop cooking.

Line a large flat cutting board with parchment or wax paper (while egg is boiling). Carefully unroll the dough on paper and place more paper on top. Then, use a rolling pin (or a pint glass) to roll dough flat until ~50% larger (or ~12" in diameter). Don't roll too thin. Using a 4 inch cookie cutter (or round pint glass lip), cut and set aside ~12 dough rounds.

Heat a large skillet on Med-High. Swirl oil into pan then add onions. Cook for ~5 mins. Add ground beef and cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add in Pampas spice and stir to coat. Remove from heat. Dice green onions. Peel the hard-boiled egg and chop.

Pre heat oven to 400. Transfer dough rounds on parchment paper to a sheet pan. Place ~1 tbsp of meat, green onions and egg pieces on each dough round. Carefully fold the round like a taco then pinch the dough edges to close, not spilling the filling (if the empanada won't close, use less filling next round). Use a fork to gently crimp the edges. Bake the empanadas for 20-22 mins until golden and crisp. Serve with chimichurri or your favorite dipping sauce.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • This recipe for Argentine Empanadas is easy to customize no matter your tastes.

  • You really can use just about any ground meat for the filling. Consider ground turkey, pork, or lamb in place of the beef.

  • Chopped dried fruit and nuts such as raisins, dates, cranberries, apricots, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews make delicious additions to the filling. 

  • If you'd like to make your own dough, check out this simple recipe for empanada dough.

  • For our vegan friends, you may want to make your own vegan dough. Here's a second vegan dough recipe using coconut oil.

  • Vegetarians / Vegans can use a wide a range of substitutes for the filling. Pre-cook your choices before filling to ensure they are soft. Some ideas to get your wheels spinning: butternut squash and black beans; portobello mushrooms, celery, and onion; or sweet potatoes and chickpeas.

  • Don't forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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