Delicious Empanada Recipes: Beef vs. Ham & Cheese – Which One Will Win Your Taste Buds Over?


Hi, I’m Cami from Resto Experience! I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. And one of the things I’ve asked myself many times with friends is: what’s up with countries where empanadas haven’t been made since forever? It’s like with dulce de leche, it’s hard for us to conceive that such a treat is not on the regular menu.

Naturally, it was only a matter of time (and globalization) before empanadas captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts around the world. These delicious things filled with savory delicacies are available in several flavors, but two classics stand out worldwide: beef and ham and cheese. There’s no doubt about it, wherever you are. 

I bring to you an appetizing journey through the world of empanadas, exploring the different flavors and textures that make these icons of Latin American cuisine so irresistible and so indispensable.  

Exploring the Mouthwatering World of Empanadas

Empanadas hold a special place in Latin American cuisine, where they are cherished as a culinary staple. The great thing about this food is that it offers countless variations. Sky –or the infinite taste buds that inhabit this planet– is the limit. 

But, coming down to earth, there are two types of empanadas that are the ultimate classics. Those are beef empanadas and ham and cheese empanadas, both with delicious fillings that make any meal memorable.

So, for a no-fail dinner, let’s wander into these traditional empanadas recipes.

Empanadas de Carne in Atlanta GA
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The Perfect Recipe for Beef Empanada

For those who crave a savory and robust filling, beef empanadas are the ideal choice. And when it comes to traditional Argentine empanadas, the combination of a savory beef filling and a flaky homemade dough creates a tantalizing taste experience. 

To prepare these mouthwatering delights, gather the following ingredients and follow the instructions below. Believe me, if you want to kill it at a dinner party, this is the way.


  • Ground beef
  • Onion 
  • Garlic
  • Bell peppers 
  • Tomatoes
  • Cumin 
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt
  • Dough (could be either homemade dough or store-bought, your mood dictates)


  1. tIn a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing them until fragrant and translucent. 
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook until the beef is browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add bell peppers, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, salt, and any other desired spices. Here is the time to bring out your creative side, just spicy it up. As I said, sky (flown by your taste buds) is the limit. 
  4. ​​Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the vegetables to soften.
  5. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it into small circles or crescent shapes, depending on your preference.
  6. Fill each portion of dough with a generous amount of your beef filling.
  7. Close the edges tightly so that the delicious filling remains intact during the baking process.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy golden brown.
  9. Enjoy the tantalizing aroma and the flavorful bite of these traditional Argentine beef empanadas. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving. 

And there you have it: a traditional beef empanada recipe. Just follow these instructions to get a traditional beef empanada out of the oven. 

Ham & Cheese Empanadas: A Heavenly Combination of Flavors

For those seeking a combination of salty and cheesy indulgence, ham and cheese empanadas are the way to go. Get ready to indulge in a heavenly combination of flavors:


  1. Cooked ham slices
  2. Mozzarella or cheddar cheese 
  3. Dough (either homemade or store-bought, luckily this is the same for every empanada in the world. They are just spectacular either way)


  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut it into small circles or crescent shapes. One little bonus: if you use pastry dough, it’s a plus. That flaky feeling is really something unique. 
  2. Place the ham slices and a generous amount of cheese (the more cheese, always the better) onto each piece of dough.
  3. Fold the dough over to enclose the filling and seal the edges tightly, ensuring all that cheese remains melty and irresistible. For an added touch, you can brush the empanadas with an egg wash before baking to achieve a golden and glossy crust.
  4. Bake the empanadas in the preheated oven until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is melted to perfection. Trust me, that melted perfection? You’ll hear it.

This is all you need to craft those delectable pieces of heaven, your ultimate ham and cheese empanada recipe, the one that will be passed down from generation to generation. 

Conclusion: Indulge in Both Beef and Ham & Cheese for Ultimate Flavor Satisfaction

These ham & cheese empanada and beef empanadas are both a delightful combination of flavors that will leave you craving for more. 

Whether you prefer the savory and spicy richness of beef or the cheesy indulgence of ham & cheese, empanadas offer a versatile and delicious treat for all taste buds. Prepare both varieties and embark on a flavorful adventure that will transport you to the heart of Latin American cuisine. 

And don’t worry, no one will judge you if you make many more empanadas than necessary… A small but fervent farewell recommendation: leave the leftovers in the freezer for when the craving comes back (because it will come back, and it will come back soon). 



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