Some people will say that empanadas are meat pies but they are not. There is no gravy inside the pastry, but nor is it dry. The pastry can be bought, but the secret is how to make the filling to be authentically Argentinian. Here, Norberto Spagnolo, from Adelaide's Buenos Aires Brasserie, teaches us how. Serve warm from the oven as appetisers or cold as part of a picnic spread.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (143 votes)


  • 50 g olive oil 
  • 50 g butter
  • 3 onions, finely chopped 
  • 1½ kg pork mince 
  • 1½ kg beef mince 
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin  
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika 
  • chilli powder, to taste 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 kg puff pastry 
  • 1 cup sultanas, marinated with marsala wine 
  • 3 eggs, boiled 
  • Green olives, cut into pieces

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time: 1 hour

Chilling time: 1 hour

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions until light golden. 

Add the meat, cumin, paprika, chilli, salt, pepper and the tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Cut the pastry into 15cm diameter circles. Egg wash around each circle with a brush.

Place 1½ tablespoons of the mince filling in the middle of each disc of pastry.

On top of the mince, add some sultanas, olives and a slice of boiled egg. Fold over to make a semi-circle, then seal the edges. Place the empanadas on a tray and leave them in the fridge for at least 1 hour before cooking. 

Bake at 250°C for 6-7 minutes or until golden.