How to make empanadas

Dough for 'clasico' empanada. From: <I>Argentinian Street Food</I>, by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher.
Dough for 'clasico' empanada. From: Argentinian Street Food, by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher. Photo: Murdoch Books

The authors of new book Argentinian Street Food Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher run three Clasico Argentino restaurants in Paris and a food truck, or carrito. Here, they share their recipe for the staple stuffed pastry snack, casas de empanadas. This recipe is one of the eight varieties of empanada they make at Clasico Argentino.

Baked meat empanadas (Clasico Argentino)

Preparation time (not including dough): 40 minutes
Resting time (optional): 24 hours
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Makes: 20 empanadas

Make the dough (allow 30 minutes preparation and 2 hours resting time)

1. Cut 325g unsalted butter into small cubes. Sift 1kg of plain (all-purpose) flour into a large bowl. Add 25g of salt and the cubes of butter.

2. Rub the butter into the flour and salt with your hands until you have a sandy texture with no lumps.

3. Add 350ml of water and combine with the flour mixture using your hands. Add a little more water if necessary. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for 10–15 minutes.

<I>Argentinian Street Food</I>, by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher. Available March 2014. RRP $29.99
Argentinian Street Food, by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher. Available March 2014. RRP $29.99 Photo: Murdoch Books

4. Form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Ingredients for empanada filling

2 onions, sliced


1 red capsicum, sliced

sunflower oil

salt, black pepper

Your finished 'clasico' empanadas should look something like this.
Your finished 'clasico' empanadas should look something like this. Photo: Murdoch Books

500g minced beef

1 tbsp aji molido* or 2 tsp chilli flakes

1½ tbsp ground cumin

3 tsp paprika

3 tsp ground cinnamon

6 spring onions, green part only, chopped

* A very common condiment in Argentinian cuisine, made from dried capsicum flakes. It can be found in Argentinian grocery stores.

For glaze

3 egg yolks, beaten


For filling

1. Saute the onion and capsicum in a saucepan with a little oil over low heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the vegetables from the saucepan and set aside.

2. To the same saucepan, add a little more oil and saute the meat over high heat. Once the meat has browned, reduce heat to low and add the onion and capsicum. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Stir in the aji molido, if using, cumin, paprika and cinnamon and mix well.

3. Let the filling rest for 24 hours in the refrigerator, if possible, for a more intense flavour.

4. Stir the spring onion into the mixture before assembling the empanadas.


1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Sprinkle a little flour on the work surface.

2. Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm, and cut out circles with a 14cm cutter. Using a 60ml (1/4 cup) ice-cream scoop or measuring cup, form small balls of filling and place one on each round of dough.

3. Lightly moisten the edge of the dough with a little water and fold over into a half-moon shape. Seal the edges and give them the "carne" decoration (see photo sequence below) or an edging of your choice (see photo gallery). Set aside in the refrigerator if not cooking immediately.



Arrange the empanadas on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush with egg yolk and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked. Allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Recipes and images from Argentinian Street Food, by Enrique Zanoni and Gaston Stivelmaher, published by Murdoch Books, RRP $29.99, photographed by Akiko Ida.