Fried Beef Empanadas

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Small hot pockets of delicious mouth-popping flavor!

Prep Time:
1 hr
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 50 mins
30 empanadas


  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning (such as Goya®)

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 3 large hard-cooked eggs, chopped

  • 20 small pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, or as needed

  • 3 (14 ounce) packages frozen empanada shells (such as Goya® discos), thawed

  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat; add onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir, 3 to 4 minutes. Add beef, garlic, and adobo; continue to cook and stir until meat is browned, crumbly, and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain mixture in a colander to remove most of the liquid and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

  2. Transfer cooled mixture to a mixing bowl with raisins, tomato paste, eggs, olives, and vinegar. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and lay out empanada discs on top. Place a spoonful of stuffing on the bottom half of a disc and moisten the edges with water. Fold disc in half over the stuffing and press with a fork to seal the edges. Dust with flour and transfer to a plate. Repeat to form remaining empanadas, stacking on the plate between layers of waxed paper.

  4. Heat vegetable oil (3/4 inch deep) in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place empanadas in the hot oil, working in batches, and fry until browned and crisp, 2 to 4 minutes; flip. Continue frying on opposite side until browned, 3 to 5 minutes more.

Cook's Notes:

You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, and golden raisins instead of regular.

The stuffing can be stored in the refrigerator for a day or so if you want to prepare in advance.

Make sure that the empanada discs are a little bit thawed, but still firm.

You can also use a deep fryer. Just make sure the empanadas are not floating on top of each other.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

211 Calories
9g Fat
27g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 30
Calories 211
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 287mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 168mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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