Beef Empanadas: Easy Latin Street Food

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A popular street food in Central and South America, these Beef Empanadas are easy to make at home, bringing the flavors of Latin America to your table.

Side view of beef empanadas on a slate board
Homemade Stuffed Chicken Empanadas on a Background

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Empanadas are a savory pastry filled traditionally with beef, chicken or veggies. Incredibly delicious. And while they may all look the same, each region has their own distinctive twist, featuring the foods of their country. If you’re interested in the differences, Wikipedia has a quick overview.

Beef Empanadas: An Easy Latin Street Food to Make at Home | 31Daily.com

Perfect for snacks, appetizers, game food, and parties. Friday nights? Absolutely!

Empanadas traditionally have a distinctive rope edge. And while it may look difficult, it’s easier than you think. Watch this video for a quick demonstration.

YouTube video

Beef Empanada Ingredients

Exact measurements are in the recipe card below, but here’s what you need to make these easy appetizers:

  • Ready made refrigerated pie crusts
  • Olive oil
  • Lean ground beef: or substitute with ground chicken or even pork
  • Red bell pepper
  • Scallions (or green onions) white and green parts
  • Corn kernels: canned, frozen, or fresh off the cob
  • Seasoning: Ground cumin, Spanish hot paprika if you have it or whichever paprika you have on hand, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper to taste.

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Side view of beef empanadas on a slate board

Beef Empanadas: An Easy Latin Street Food to Make at Home

These Beef Empanadas are popular street food in Central and South America and are super easy to make at home in about 30 minutes. Bringing the flavors of Latin America to your table, any night of the week.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Stephanie Wilson


  • 2 store-bought refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 medium red bell pepper cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions white and green parts
  • 1 cup corn kernels canned, frozen, or fresh off the cob
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Spanish hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg beaten
  • tablespoon of water


  • Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Dough: roll out the dough rounds into large circles, about 1/4-inch thick. Use the mouth of a glass or cup to cut out circles 3-5-inches in diameter. I can get about 3 per pastry sheet.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season ground beef with salt; cook until browned. Drain excess fat and transfer beef to a bowl; set aside. Add bell pepper, scallions, and corn to the skillet; cook until softened. Then add cumin, paprika, and chili flakes; cook until fragrant. Finally, stir in the cooked beef.
  • Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Fold the dough in half over the filling, forming a half-circle. With fingers, gently press and seal the edges of the dough or seal with the tines of a fork.
  • To make the traditional “rope” edge, dog-ear one corner of the half-circle. Move along the curved edge and pinch a thumb size of dough, about 1/2-inch next to the dog-ear, stretching it toward you, before folding it back so it overlaps the dog-eared edge. Continue to pinch and fold the dough until you reach the opposite corner.
  • Place empanadas on a prepared baking sheet; brush with egg wash, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of your empanadas.


Calories: 318kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 794IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Argentine
Keyword: Beef Empanadas, Empanadas

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