Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino

Chilean style beef empanadas recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Chill : 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
325 Calories
18g Fat
30g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 325
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 307mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 216mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

You can find as many types of empanadas as cooks in the world. These turnovers are a flavorful portable meal that can be packed with local ingredients. And while empanadas are great as appetizers, many countries in Latin America have a bigger version that can be served as a main dish. Empanadas de pino, one of the most popular in Chile, are an example of a thick, big, and generously stuffed empanada.

From the Mapuche term "pirru," which refers to the onion and beef mixture, "pino" became the name for these marvelous crispy empanadas. Although for outsiders, a filling of beef, raisins, onions, olives, and hard-boiled eggs seems like something unusual, take our word for it. They are amazing.

An easy-to-make empanada dough wraps these savory treats, and both the dough and filling can be made the day before and kept refrigerated until it's time to assemble. Serve with pebre for a traditional Chilean meal.


Click Play to See This Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino Recipe Come Together

"Although making hand pies is a lot of hands-on work, you can break this recipe down over the course of several days. The dough is such a dream to work with, you don't have to worry about keeping it chilled or handling it carefully. The resulting empanadas were rich and delicious—a definite crowd pleaser." —Danielle Centoni

Chilean-Style Empanadas de Pino Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Empanada Dough:

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 12 tablespoons lard  (chilled, or vegetable shortening)

  • 2 tablespoons butter (chilled)

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 cup water

For the Beef Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 large onions (finely chopped)

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 cube beef bouillon

  • 1/4 cup water (hot) 

  • Salt to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1/2 cup black olives (chopped)

For Assembly:

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (sliced)

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 2 tablespoons milk

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this empanada dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the dough ingredients.

    Ingredients for empanada

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  2. Sift the flour into a bowl and then stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and all of the sugar.

    Sift flour

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  3. Mix the butter and shortening (or lard) into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter, or with two knives, until fairly well incorporated.

    Blend butter

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  4. Whisk the egg yolks with 1 cup of water.

    Whisk eggs

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  5. Stir in 1/2 cup of the water-egg mixture, a little bit at a time, until the dough starts to come together smoothly.

    Stir in butter

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  6. Keep kneading the dough, adding more of the water-egg mixture as needed. A few tablespoons of extra water may be needed. The dough will become smooth, although somewhat soggy until it has thoroughly chilled.


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  7. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. The dough can also be kept in the fridge for up to two days. When ready to use, the dough should be soft and smooth, not elastic. When poking a hole in the dough with a finger, the indentation should remain. Reserve.

    Plastic wrap

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Prepare the Beef Filling

  1. Gather the filling ingredients.

    Ingredients for empanada filling

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  2. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. 


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  3. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened and fragrant. 


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  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.


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  5. Add the ground beef, cumin, chili powder, paprika, beef bouillon (dissolved in the hot water), and salt and pepper to taste.

    Beef in pan

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  6. Cook the beef, stirring and crumbling the meat with a spatula, until well-browned.


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  7. Add the flour and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add the flour

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  8. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir the raisins and black olives into the beef mixture.


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  9. Let the filling cool completely. The filling will keep up for up to two days in the refrigerator.

    Add filling

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Assemble the Empanadas

  1. Gather the ingredients.


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  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grab a baking sheet.

    Ball dough

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  3. Separate the empanada dough into golf-ball-size pieces and roll into smooth balls.

  4. Let the dough balls rest for 5 minutes.

    Set timer

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  5. Roll each ball of dough on a floured surface into a 6-inch circle of about 1/4-inch in thickness.

    Roll out dough

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  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the ​beef filling and one slice of hardboiled egg into the middle of the circle.

    Add filling

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  7. Brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half over the filling to make a semi-circle. Seal the edges by pressing down with fingers.

    Fold empanada

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  8. Brush the sealed edge lightly with water, then turn the edge toward the middle and press with fingers to seal.

    Wrap empanada

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  9. Mix the egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of milk and brush the empanadas with the mixture.


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  10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

    Bake empanadas

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Can I Freeze Empanadas de Pino?

You can freeze these delicious empanadas once they're assembled. Choose to freeze them with the egg wash on or without. Simply place the empanadas on a baking tray and freeze horizontally for at least 6 hours before transferring them into freezer bags. If you freeze them together they will stick to each other, thus freezing them individually beforehand guarantees they'll keep their shape. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For cooking, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes. Add the egg wash if you froze them without, and bake them at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.