How to Make Empanadas for Shark Week

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team


Hosting a Shark Week party? Make it a feeding frenzy with these shark tooth empanadas! With their classic South American picadillo filling, these are a great way to welcome guests. A great white’s teeth are about 2” long. That’s a great size for these empanadas, too!

Tip: This recipe has multiple components, so plan ahead. The filling can be made a few days ahead of time and kept refrigerated. The dough can be rolled out and kept in a freezer bag, so the day of your party, all you have to do is fill, shape, and bake.



●Unsweetened pie dough (purchased or homemade)

●1 lb. ground beef

●2 oz. cured dry chorizo, diced

●1 yellow onion, finely diced

●3 cloves garlic, finely diced

●1 teaspoon each ground cumin, oregano, and smoked or regular paprika

●2 tablespoon tomato paste

●1 small Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

●Chicken or beef stock, as needed

●2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

●⅓ c. green olives, chopped

●1 egg, beaten with a touch of milk


Make the filling

Brown ground beef in Dutch oven over high heat (you may need to add a bit of oil, such as grape seed, if your beef is especially lean). When thoroughly browned, reduce heat to medium, add chorizo and cook until it releases a red color into the pan. Add onions and garlic, season with salt, reduce to medium low heat, and cook until soft, about 7-10 minutes. Increase heat slightly and add cumin, oregano, and paprika and cook 1 minute to bring out the oils in the spices. Add tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.

Add diced potato, stir, then add enough stock to barely cover the ingredients. Cover the pot and simmer until potato is cooked, about 10 minutes, depending on size. It’s OK to leave them a little undercooked, as they will continue cooking when the empanadas are baked. Add stock as necessary to moisten—the finished mixture should be juicy, but not too loose. Remove from heat and stir in chopped eggs and olives. Let cool.


Assemble and bake

Roll out dough, then cut into diamonds. Spoon filling onto middle of diamond, then fold over to make a triangle shape. Pinch the two open sides together, then, using a fluted pastry cutter, trim the sides to create the teeth’s serrated edges. You can also use a fork to crimp the edges.

Heat oven to 375º. Place folded pastries on a cookie sheet with silicone baking mat or parchment paper and brush with beaten egg and milk mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 17-20 minutes depending on size. When fully baked, let cool slightly on a rack. Empanadas are best served warm. To serve, arrange in rows, just like a shark’s teeth!

You’ll be tempted to eat all the empanadas yourself, but everybody knows food is better with friends.


Invite a few over and tune in to Shark Week, only on Discovery.