Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanadas

I loved these growing up, my mum makes the best ones. It was a good day when I got to bring these for school lunches. Empanadas are little Spanish savoury pies with nice flaky pastry. You can use premade pastry if you are short for time. 

Makes: 10-12 empanadas

Serves: 5


  • Canola oil
  • 750 g beef/pork/chicken mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ cup mixed veggies
  • Salt and pepper to season


  • 4 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of butter, diced and at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Combine the dry ingredients for the pastry and stir. Rub  the butter through the flour mixture using your hands until the butter is in small crumb pieces. 
  2. Add the water bit by bit and mix the flour together until just combined. It can be bit lumpy. Put inside the fridge to chill for at least 30 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, on medium heat in a medium pot, heat the oil for the mince. When the oil is hot enough add the mince and cook until browned. 
  4. Add the onions and garlic and cook until slightly softened. Stir in the tomato paste and soy sauce. Add the mixed veggies and cook for a further 5 mins or until cooked. The mixture should be juicy and not too dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Take pot off heat and cool down before forming empanadas. 
  5. To form empanadas, divide pastry and roll on a floured surface into circles about 13-15cm (you can make them smaller too). Put 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into the middle, leaving 1.5 cm as a margin from the edge of the circle. Brush a small amount of egg wash on the margin of one half and fold one half over the other. 
  6. Press the pastry together using a fork. There is a special folding technique you can look up on Youtube (I can’t explain it in writing). Repeat until mixture is finished.
  7. Preheat oven to 2000C. Place formed empanadas on a lined baking tray. Brush beaten egg over each one.
  8. Bake for 15-20 mins until pastry is browned.
  9. These can be frozen for up to 3 months and baked from frozen.
This article first appeared in Issue 24, 2016.
Posted 1:08pm Saturday 24th September 2016 by Kirsten Garcia.