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Venezuelan empanadas spread on a board. Garnish with coriander and Guasacaca in a bowl.

Venezuelan Empanadas Recipe

Empanadas are a typical South-American dish. This recipe will teach you how to make delicious Venezuelan empanadas with a tasty beef filling. The beef filling has a surprise ingredient that enhances its flavor and adds a flair of mystery to it.
Course Breakfast, Lunch
Cuisine Latin-American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 pieces


  • Plastic Wrap or Wax Paper
  • Paper Towels



  • 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • ¾ lbs. (325 gr) ground beef
  • 1 small green bell pepper diced
  • ¼ cup loose packed (50 gr) cilantro/coriander chopped
  • 2 tbsp. scallions chopped
  • ½ cube beef stock
  • ½ tsp paprika powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅓ cup (28 gr) raisins
  • 1 tsp habanero chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. guava jam


  • 2 cups (325 gr) P.A.N. Pre-cooked Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • sunflower oil (see note 1)


  • Heat the 3 tbsp of sunflower oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the ground beef and paprika and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, scallion, beef stock, paprika powder, cumin powder, garlic powder, raisins, habanero, and stir. Cook for a few more minutes until the ground beef is browned. Lower the heat, add the bay leaves, and guava jam. Let it simmer for 5 minutes more until all liquid is absorbed but not dry. Put aside when done.
  • In a medium bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well. Gradually add water while kneading. Keep kneading and adding water until the dough is soft, firm, and not sticky anymore.
  • Place a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper on the countertop and grease it with a bit of oil. Create dough balls of 0.2 lbs/70 gr (size of a tennis ball). Press it on the wrap to form a disk of about 1 inch (2½ cm). Use your fingers to smooth the edges. Add 1 tbsp. of filling to one half of the circle. Fold the opposite side over it using the wrap. Use the sides of your index finger to press the edges down.
  • In a deep pan, add plenty of oil to cover at least ¾ of the empanadas. Heat the oil on medium-high and add the empanadas when the oil is very hot. Use a spoon to splash some oil on the top side. Turn them as soon as the empanada gets a nice crust (about 3 minutes). They're done when both side have a nice crust.
  • Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the grease.


  1. How much oil you need depends on the size of your pan. The wider the pan, the more oil you need. Just make sure to have enough to cover 3/4 of the patties and for greasing.