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A dozen cooked gluten-free empanadas on a wire rack

Gluten-Free Meat Empanadas from Argentina

Using my Argentine grandmother's empanada recipe, the filling is an authentic sweet, salty and slightly spicy meat mixture encased in my homemade oven-baked gluten-free pastry. These gluten-free meat empanadas are perfect as a snack, lunch-box addition, party food and even as a meal with a side salad.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Resting Time for Dough 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Party Food, Snack
Cuisine Argentina
Servings 18 medium size empanadas



  • 460 g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 70 g butter or vegetable shortening, chilled & cubed
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 egg, separated Use the egg white to seal the pastry discs together and the egg yolk with some water to brush the pastry before baking


  • 3 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • 500 g good quality minced beef with some fat in it
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, hard-boiled, chopped
  • 100 g sultanas
  • 70 g Spanish green olives stuffed with red pimiento peppers, sliced
  • 3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped finely
  • 3 tbsp store-bought or homemade empanada seasoning
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 50ml white wine or stock
  • olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly, cracked black pepper to season



  • Blend the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder & salt with the cold butter or shortening in a food processor until it looks like breadcrumbs, or alternatively, rub the mixture using your hands.
  • Slowly add the milk until the dough feels soft and comes together nicely.
  • Place the dough in a bowl, cover and chill for at least one hour.


  • Mix all the herbs, spices and salt together in a bowl using a whisk to combine them well. Set aside. 
    a lazy susan showing all the different small bowls of spices needed to make the homemade empanada seasoning


  • Pour a thin layer of olive oil to cover the bottom of a large frying pan or cast iron pan.
  • Add chopped onions and fry them gently for about 15 mins, stirring often.
  • Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the minced beef and break up any clumps.
  • Add the garlic and empanada seasoning, stir and add more olive oil if needed. Fry for 15 minutes, or until the beef has lost its pink colour.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the white wine or stock. Cook for a further 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  • Add the fresh parsley, the drained sultanas and the sliced olives. Cook for a final 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the chopped boiled eggs, plus season the empanada meat mixture with salt and pepper, adjusting according to your taste.
    close up of gluten-free empanada meat filling
  • Allow to cool down slightly before assembling the empanadas.


  • Dust the kitchen counter with some flour or lay down a sheet of baking paper and roll out small batches of the pastry to 1 cm/ thick.
  • Using the rim of an upside-down bowl or small plate measuring approx 10 cm in diameter, cut a circle with a knife to form the pastry discs.
  • Add a heaped tablespoon of the meat filling to one half of the disc.
    Showing how to fill the gluten-free empanada
  • Brush the rim of the pastry with the egg white or water and fold over the disc.
    Folding over the pastry for the gluten-free empanada
  • Seal the discs by pinching the edges with a slight twist Dip your fingers in some flour to prevent your fingers from becoming sticky.
    An example of an assembled gluten-free empanada before being baked
  • Or, use a fork to press down the pastry together.
    Pressing the gluten-free empanada pastry with a fork on the edges to close it
  • Mix the egg yolk with some water to make an egg wash.
  • Brush the empanadas with the egg wash to give it a nice colour and sheen.


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf, or until golden and crisp.
    unbaked empanadas on a tray after being egg washed
  • Allow to cool down slightly before serving.


  • Keeps for 3 days chilled
  • Suitable to freeze
Keyword gluten-free argentina, gluten-free empanadas
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