Beef Empanadas

Prep Time: 60 min Cook Time: 25 min
Servings: 8 Skill Level: medium

Green olives add briny flavor to this Latin-American savory pastry enveloped in flaky crust. If you’re short on time, you can make these using premade piecrust dough. These are perfect for packing into lunches, bringing to potlucks, or enjoying at a picnic.



  • 6 tablespoons ice-cold water (more as needed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed



  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (preferably 85% lean)
  • ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup sliced Pearls Simply Green Olives
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup stock or water
  • 1 egg

Cooking Instructions


  1. Whisk the egg and ice water together in a measuring pitcher.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cubed butter and put the lid on the food processor with the chute open.
  3. Pulse the food processor while pouring the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow and steady stream. Continue to pulse until the butter is broken down into small, pea-sized bits and the dough holds together when squeezed. If it’s still too dry, add another tablespoon or two of ice water, pulsing until it holds together.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disc, wrap well, and chill until cold, at least one hour and up to 1 day.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a large 1/8-inch thick round. Use a 4-inch biscuit cutter to cut out rounds of dough close together, stacking the dough rounds on a plate. Press the dough scraps together and repeat the chilling / rolling / cutting process until you have about 20 dough rounds.
  6. Cover and chill the dough rounds until needed.



  1. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is partially cooked. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook until the meat is brown and the vegetables are tender, 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the olives, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and stock or water. Cook until the liquid has reduced, 3-5 more minutes. Let the mixture cool until ready to use, or chill for up to 1 day.


Make the empanadas

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make an egg wash by whisking together the egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.
  3. Working with a few dough rounds at a time, place the dough rounds on a lightly floured surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture in the center of the dough round. Moisten the edges of the dough with a little of the egg wash. Fold over the dough to make a half moon shape and crimp with the tines of a fork to form a seal.
  4. Place the empanadas on the baking sheets. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough rounds; you may have a little filling left over.
  5. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash and bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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