This authentic Argentinian empanadas recipe is for an iconic Argentina food of pure deliciousness wrapped up in a pocket of dough. Filled with a mixture of ground beef, green olives, hard boiled eggs and spices, simply bake until golden brown.
What is an Empanada?
Argentinian empanadas have an international reputation and Argentines have made it one of the crown jewels of their cuisine.
History and Origins of Empanadas
Even though they go by different names, they are mostly the same – a stuffed delicious little pastry.
This technique is called repulgue and comes in handy for distinguishing the various types.
The most common is “carne” or beef empanadas mixed with onions, vegetables, and in some cases eggs or potatoes. The types of empanadas you’d find in Buenos Aires are not exactly the same as the ones in the rest of the country.
Baked versus fried Argentina empanadas – Argentine empanadas are either baked or fried. We preferred the baked empanadas which are absolutely delicious. And, this Argentininian empanadas recipe is for baked empanadas.
Empanadas Mendocinas or Mendoza-style Empanadas – Empanadas Mendocinas are baked rather than fried. And, the typical filling is seasoned ground beef with a slice of green olive and a slice of hard-boiled egg.
Empanadas Arabes are very distinctive with their triangular shape.
These empanadas have a unique triangular shape. The ground beef filling is cooked with lemon, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, olives with salt and pepper. These are absolutely delightful with Middleastern flavors.
Empanadas from Salta or Empanadas Salteñas – These empanadas are small in size and incredibly flavorful. The empanada filling consists of beef with green onions, potatoes, boiled eggs and red pepper. A spicy picante red sauce accompanies these empanadas.
Empanadas from Tucuman – The famed empanadas from Tucuman do not have potatoes. The beef is diced by hand and cooked in a broth with green onions, cumin, paprika, garlic and red and white pepper. Raisins are often added to the empanadas.
Sweet Empanadas – While the vast majority of Argentinian empanadas are savory, there are some sweet or sugary ones. While in Salta, we had the opportunity to try a local sweet empanada filled with dulce de cayote or sweet squash. The empanadas had a glazed sugar coating and the coyote filling was very sweet. We much preferred the savory ones.
- First you don’t use a knife and fork. It is a “sacrilege”. An empanada is to be eaten with your hands to appreciate it to its best.
- Second, when you bite your empanada, you don’t want to let anything fall on your plate. You want to show that you really enjoy the empanada which means nothing is to be omitted. However, that presents a dilemma. The baked empanadas from the clay oven are served hot and you are likely to burn yourself.
- Third, you want to get your empanada cooked in the horno de barro or clay oven. These are said to be the best. To be sure the empanadas were cooked in a horno de barro, you’ll notice that the dough on the empanada “bubbles” up at the surface. This is the signature of a “real” empanada.
You don’t really need a sauce with Argentine empanadas as they are moist and flavorful on their own.
However, some people, including Argentines, do like a dipping sauce with their empanadas, most use the quintessential Chimichurri sauce.
Wines For Empanadas Argentina
Empanadas mendocinas pair very well with the signature Malbec wines from the Mendoza wine region in Argentina.
How to Seal Empanadas – “Repulge”
The presentation of empanadas is key and is part of the experience. You want to seal the empanadas using a little egg white or water. And, then roll the edges to give a spiral pattern.
Any leftover empanadas can be refrigerated overnight. If you would like to keep them for a longer time, empanadas can be frozen for 2 weeks. Once you’re ready to eat your empanadas, bake the frozen empanadas in the oven at 350°F or 175°C for about 20-25 minutes.