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Argentinian empanadas filled with beef picadillo

Empanadas mendocinas {Argentine beef empanadas}

Recipe for empanadas mendocinas, traditional Argentine meat empanadas, filled with beef, onions, paprika, hot pepper powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg and olives.
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Argentina, Latin
Keyword Argentinean Empanadas, Beef empanadas, Empanadas
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 20 medium empanadas or ~30 small empanadas
Author Layla Pujol


Dough for empanadas mendocinas – makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ cup of grasa - lard or butter or mix of both
  • ¾ to 1 cup of warm milk
  • ½ tsp salt

Beef picadillo filling

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 white onions diced, about 3 cups
  • 1/2 cup lard or butter
  • 2 tbs smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder or any ground hot pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ tbs ground cumin
  • 1 bunch green onions finely chopped
  • 3 hard boiled eggs sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced green olives
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg white and yolk separated and lightly whisked


Empanada dough

  • Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.
  • Add the lard or butter, blend well.
  • Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.
  • Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
  • Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly:

  • Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.
  • Melt the lard in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.
  • Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.
  • To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive.
  • Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.
  • Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.
  • Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.
  • Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden on top.
  • Serve warm with chimichurri sauce or other dipping sauces.


Serving: 1g