Paso A Paso: Authentic Argentine Beef Empanadas That Will Make You Babear!

One of our most popular after-school activities in every location is our clases de cocina – cooking classes! Students learn to make and sample a wide variety of traditional South American fare, complete with socialization and a glass of wine or pisco!

Unfortunately, we can’t come to your home for a hands-on tutorial, so we’re sharing the next best thing – a photo guide to Argentine empanadas.

We borrowed the YouTube tutorial from Mallory from totalNOMS and have included a step-by-step photo guide (below) as well as a link to the full recipe. This recipe comes from Mallory’s grandmother, Martha, who was born and raised in Argentina. Abuela Martha breaks down the steps to make the picadillo (the meaty empanada filling) and how to wrap the filling in the disco of empanada dough.

On to the recipe, paso a paso – step by step

Step 1: Grab your grandmother! (Especially if she’s from South America or many of the other countries that make their own version of this pastry.) This recipe will make the filling for about 60 empanadas.


Step 2: Wash the onions (1.5 pounds) and scallions (1.5 pounds). Peel the onions, and separate the white part of the scallion from the green part. Put the white ends of the scallions together with the onions for chopping.


Step 3: Finely chop the scallion greens. Set aside.


Step 4: Finely chop the white onions and white scallion pieces.


Step 5: Heat 3/4 C of canola oil in your large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and the sliced white parts of the scallions and sautee for a few minutes. When the onions begin to soften, stir in the paprika (1 Tablespoon).


Step 6: Allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the onions are completely softened.


Step 7: Add the sliced greens of the scallions and continue to cook, adding more oil if necessary.


Step 8: Crumble in the ground beef and cook just until the meat is no longer pink. Abuela Martha used 85%/15% ground beef for this recipe.


Step 9: Season the mixture with cumin (1 Tablespoon), ground pepper (to taste), salt (to taste), and crushed red pepper flakes (to taste).


Step 10: Stir it all in very gently! Then remove pan from heat.


Step 11: Cut up your 6 hard-boiled eggs into small pieces.


Step 12: Add the hard-boiled eggs to the meat mixture.


Step 13: Place your meat mixture, el picadillo, in the fridge to cool, either for a few hours or overnight.

empanadas9d (or just later on…)

Step 14: Preheat oven to 375º F. Remove empanada discos from packaging and bring to room temperature. Scoop roughly 1/4 C of the picadillo (meat mixture) into the center of each disco.


Step 15: If desired, add one Spanish olive and as many raisins as you’d like to each empanada. Line the circumference of each disco with water (using your finger).


Step 16: Carefully pinch the disco together to form a semicircle around the picadillo.


Step 17: Use Abuela Martha’s hand-crimping technique (see her skills below in the video below at 8:15), use a repulgue (rolled edge decorator), or simply press a fork’s tines into the seam to close it securely.


Step 18: Brush the tops of the closed empanadas with whisked egg mixture, and (OPTIONAL!) sprinkle with sugar.


Step 19: Bake for 30-35 minutes, until tops are golden brown.


Step 20: Allow to cool slightly, then ¡buen provecho!


Get the recipe to print here.

You can see the full YouTube video here:

A big ¡GRACIAS! to totalNOMS, Mallory, and her Abuela Martha! 

What does la clase de cocina look like at Ecela Buenos Aires? Take a look!