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Culture Kitchen: Argentina

Hi everyone! Thank you to those who were able to join us last Friday while we learned how to make Empanadas from our guest chef Pamela! Pamela is from Argentina and grew up in the region of Salta. Her recipe is unique to this region and is often made for large gatherings with family and friends— if you have anyone that wants to learn how to make empanadas, now's the time to round them up! While this recipe does take some work, it is well worth it. Not only did we get to learn how to make the repulgues (twists) that characterize the dish, but you also create delicious, hand-held crescents that can be filled with the ingredients of your choice.

The full recipe can be found below.

As mentioned above, the filling can be completely customized to your preference. The recipe below features beef, but the ones we made during the event were vegetarian and they were phenomenal! Some popular ingredients are chicken, cheese, corn, olives, squash, and carrots.

If you do decide to make them (or made them with us during the March event), please let us know by sharing your thoughts or any photos you have! Thank you again to those that joined, and a special thank you to Pamela for the time she took to teach us the recipe. Keep an eye out for our next event in April, where we will be featuring a guest chef from Romania!

Empanadas Salteñas


  • 2 lbs of meat (in one piece preferred), or ground meat

  • 0.6 lbs of onions

  • 0.6 lbs of bell pepper (preferably red or green)

  • 1 lb of potatoes

  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled

  • Green onion (a little)

  • Flour (1 lb)

  • Salt

  • Cumin

  • White Pepper

  • Paprika

  • Butter or margarine (0.5 lbs)

  • Oil to fry (canola)


  1. Cut the meat into small pieces and cook it in a pan with a small amount of water for approximately 20-30 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how small the meat was cut. Do not let the broth dry completely.

  2. Cut the onions and bell pepper into small pieces. Fry them in a large skillet with some oil.

  3. Cut the potatoes into very small cubes and boil them until they are almost done. You do not want them to be so soft that they can be smushed easily between two fingers. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

  4. Mix the cooked meat with the fried onions and bell pepper. Then, add the cooked potatoes and season with cumin, paprika, salt, and white pepper to your liking.

  5. Add the diced boiled eggs and the chopped green onion into the mixture. Turn off heat and set mixture aside while preparing the dough.

To Prepare the Dough

  1. Prepare a small bowl with about a cup of hot water mixed with some salt.

  2. Add the flour to a large bowl. Mix in the butter, adding a tablespoon of the salted water at a time until the dough reaches the desired consistency. The dough should not be sticky; it should be smooth, firm, and cohesive. If you add too much water, you can add more flour to balance it out.

  3. Knead everything together for a couple of minutes to a smooth dough.

  4. Divide the dough into two logs and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for about 5 minutes.

  5. Cut each log into small discs. Using a rolling pin, roll out each disc until they become flat, thin circles. The rolled discs should be pretty thin and slightly larger than the size of one's palm.


  1. Fill each disc of dough with a spoon or two of the prepared filling. Fold the dough in half to form a half-moon shape and press the edges in firmly between your thumb and index finger. There should be an edge of dough extending from where the filling stops to the actual end of the dough.

  2. Once sealed, start at one of the corners of the empanada and fold the edge up and out, using your fingers to twist and curl until you reach the other side of the empanada. These twists are called "repulgues". Example:

  3. Continue making repulgues until you are out of dough/filling. The repulgues can be frozen and fried/baked later on as well.

  4. To Fry: Add about a half inch of oil to a pan or skillet on medium heat. To test if the oil is hot enough, you can add a small piece of dough to the oil to see if it starts frying; if it does, your oil is ready.

  5. Fry each empanada for about 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown, flipping with a fork or tongs.

  6. Remove cooked empanadas from oil and place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

  7. To Bake: Preheat oven to 350° (400° for Flagstaff altitude). Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown. No flipping is required.

  8. Enjoy!!!!

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