Fried Beef Empanadas with Olives and Sofrito


Quick, easy, and yummy beef empanada recipe. Perfect as a meal served with my rice and beans recipe or as appetizers at a party.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
20 empanadas


  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped

  • 1 cup diced bell pepper

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup seeded, finely chopped tomatoes

  • ¼ cup sofrito (such as Goya®)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped raisins

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • ½ cup tomato sauce

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • ¼ cup chopped Spanish olives

  • 2 (1.41 ounce) packages sazon seasoning (such as Goya®)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 (14 ounce) packages frozen empanada shells (such as Goya® discos), thawed

  • 1 cup oil for frying, or as needed


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir ground beef in the hot skillet until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard grease; remove beef to a plate and set aside.

  2. Cook onions, bell pepper, and garlic in the same pan over medium heat until peppers are soft and onions are translucent, making sure not to brown or burn garlic, about 5 minutes. Add beef back into the pan and stir to combine. Add tomatoes, sofrito, and raisins; cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in chicken stock, tomato sauce, cilantro, olives, sazon, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let mixture cool slightly, 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Combine beaten egg and water in a small bowl. Spoon filling mixture evenly into the middles of the thawed empanada discs. Brush edges with egg and water mixture, fold in half, and seal the edges with a fork.

  5. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  6. Fry empanadas in the hot oil, working in batches if needed, until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes, turning halfway through.

Cook's Notes:

Place uncooked empanadas in waxed paper and tin foil and in a freezer bag for later use. As you prepare each empanada (if not immediately cooking) after sealing, place on waxed paper and separate with waxed paper or disco plastic to prevent sticking. Cover immediately to prevent from drying out.

Goya(R) discos and Goya(R) sofrito are sold in frozen section. Let both defrost. Sofrito is hard to spoon if you do not defrost a little.

You can use a food processor to chop onions and peppers, but chop other ingredients by hand.

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)

374 Calories
14g Fat
47g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 374
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 50mg 17%
Sodium 1851mg 80%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 309mg 7%

* 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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