Empanadas Salteñas

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These are truly traditional beef empanadas from Salta, one of the Northern Provinces in Argentina. Made with ground beef, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and a fluffy homemade empanada pastry, these are just to die for!


  • 6 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, or as needed
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • ⅔ pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped


Combine water and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm through, stirring until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Combine sifted flour and melted margarine in the bowl of a food processor; pulse until crumbly. Add salt water gradually to the food processor and pulse until a soft dough ball forms that easily separates from the edge of the bowl. Add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, only if needed. Press dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add cubed potatoes and cook until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onions and green onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add red peppers and cook for 5 more minutes. Add ground beef and stir with a wooden spoon until fully browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, and paprika. Remove from heat.

Drain potatoes and add to the filling. Toss in chopped eggs and let filling cool down for a few minutes.

Remove pastry from the fridge and knead gently on a floured surface. Divide dough in half and roll out each piece to 1/8-inch thickness.

Cut out 3-inch circles with a pastry cutter or sharp knife and wet the edges lightly with water. Add 1 large tablespoon of filling in the center of each disc. Fold the pastry over, press edges together, and seal with a fork. Transfer empanadas to the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool just a little before serving.

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 1 hr 40 mins
Servings: 12 – Yield: 12 empanadas



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