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Empanadas vs Beef Patties: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The main difference between empanadas and beef patties is the type of pastry used. Empanadas are typically made with a flaky, buttery dough while beef patties are encased in a tender, sweet dough similar to that used for Jamaican beef patties.

Additionally, empanadas often have a wider variety of fillings, including meat, cheese, vegetables, and fruits. Beef patties are most commonly filled with seasoned ground beef. For a vegetarian option, they can be filled with vegetables or tofu.

Both empanadas and beef patties offer a delicious handheld snack or meal. Try making your own at home to customize the filling and find your favorite flavor combination. And don’t forget to pair them with your choice of dipping sauce for an extra burst of flavor!

Ever notice how one food can look like another? Take empanadas and beef patties.

On the surface, they’re twins. Underneath, total strangers. We’ve all been there, mistaking one for the other. A hilarious picnic fail, remember?

Beef patties speak to the soul with their spicy, meaty core. Wrapped in a flaky, yellow crust. It’s the loud party guest that doesn’t need an invite.

Empanadas, though. Ah, they whisper secrets of varied fillings in a soft, folded hug. From chicken to cheese, each bite’s a surprise party.

Our mission today? Diving deep into what sets them apart. Besides saving us from another “funny” mix-up at family gatherings.

What are Empanadas?

Mouth-watering empanadas from Latin America are delicious pastries.

Folding dough around a flavorful filling, like meat, cheese, veggies, or even sweets like fruit and chocolate, creates these savory turnovers.

Baked or fried until golden and crispy, they make a great contrast with the warm, tasty filling inside.

Empanadas are so versatile.

From traditional beef or chicken to spinach and cheese, or ham and pineapple – there’s something for every taste bud.

Enjoy them as a snack, appetizer, or even a meal.

Different from beef patties, empanadas have a half-moon shape from folding, and a thick outer crust for extra crunch.

The dough is wheat flour mixed with fat, while patties use flaky pastry dough with buttery layers.

Whether you go for empanadas or beef patties, you’ll savor a tantalizing mix of flavors.

So, give them a try next time you want a unique treat – and enjoy the irresistible combo of crispy crusts and yummy fillings that make empanadas so special.

What are Beef Patties?

Beef patties – a savory treat. Ground beef, spices and ingredients form these scrumptious rounds.

Cooked to perfection – juicy center and a golden exterior.

A blend of seasonings adds depth and complexity. Irresistible for any meat lover.

Versatile patties – part of a burger, or the star.

Popular across cultures – each with their own twist.

From American cheeseburgers to Jamaican jerk patties, endless possibilities.

The concept may seem simple, but intricate details make them stand out.

Ground chuck, sirloin – taste and texture vary.

Spices and seasonings – personal preference and culinary traditions.

Mouthwatering experience for all.

Enjoyed at summer barbecues or local eateries.

Bite into a juicy beef patty – savor every moment and appreciate the craft.

Differences Between Empanadas and Beef Patties

Empanadas and beef patties look the same, but there are differences.

Origin and Cultural Influences

The beginnings and cultural influences of empanadas and beef patties are interesting topics that reveal a lot about the cooking customs of various cultures.

These scrumptious snacks have their roots in multiple nations worldwide, each with a one-of-a-kind spin on the recipe.

If we discuss the source of empanadas, Latin American cooking can’t be overlooked.

These delightful turnovers have been traced back to Spain, where wheat flour-based dough was used, and it was filled with ingredients like meat, vegetables, and cheese.

As Spanish colonizers spread across the Americas, they took the beloved recipe with them – it then changed into regional variations.

In regions like Argentina and Chile, empanadas are often baked and filled with ground beef or chicken, onions, seasonings, and sometimes olives or raisins.

On the other hand, in Mexico and Central American countries, empanadas are commonly fried and may contain sweet fillings like fruit preserves.

Beef patties, on the other hand, have their origin deeply rooted in British cuisine.

The classic British meat pie laid the groundwork for what we now recognize as beef patties.

These handheld treats gained fame in the 19th century in Jamaica, when British immigrants presented them to the island’s vibrant food culture.

With time, Jamaicans added their own unique flavor by utilizing local spices such as Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, allspice, and garlic in the minced beef filling.

This blend of British heritage and Caribbean flavors created the renowned Jamaican beef patty.

Different cultures have also impacted these delightful dishes beyond their place of origin.

Empanadas have become a beloved part of many Latino communities worldwide due to migration patterns and cultural exchanges.

In areas with big Hispanic populations like Miami or New York City, empanada shops offer a wide range of fillings that please different palates while remaining loyal to their traditional roots.

Similarly, Jamaican beef patties have crossed borders and are now widely popular across the globe.

In cities like London, Toronto, and New York City, Caribbean communities have exposed their culinary traditions to new audiences by opening bakeries and restaurants that specialize in these savory turnovers.

The delicious combination of richly spiced ground beef in flaky pastry has captivated foodies from all walks of life.

Dough and Pastry

Empanadas and beef patties are two dishes with very different components.

Empanadas have a light, flaky dough that is folded around a savory filling.

Beef patties, on the other hand, have a tougher pastry that encases ground beef.

Both offer unique textures and tastes.

But, the dough and pastry can be changed based on culture or preference.

Empanadas typically have a buttery or lard-based dough, while beef patties might use pie crust or puff pastry.

These variations create distinct experiences.

If you want the delicate crunch of an empanada or the hearty bite of a beef patty, exploring the world of pastries is sure to delight your taste buds.

Filling Ingredients and Variations

Empanadas and beef patties are both mouth-watering savory pastries, well-loved in many cuisines worldwide.

Although they look alike, their fillings and variations make them unique.

Empanadas have a pastry made with flour, water, and lard, giving it a buttery and flaky crust.

The stuffings vary widely.

Latin American versions often contain ground beef seasoned with cumin, paprika, onions, garlic, and bell peppers.

Or try a chicken empanada with herbs such as cilantro or parsley.

Vegetarian empanadas usually feature a mix of veggies like spinach, mushrooms, corn, and cheese.

The fillings can be cooked before or after stuffing them in.

Beef patties have a different pastry recipe than empanadas.

The dough may have baking powder or yeast for a bread-like texture.

The filling is mainly ground beef with spices like Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Some variations add diced onions and breadcrumbs to add moisture and texture.

The flavors of empanadas and beef patties set them apart.

Empanadas have a richer taste due to the lard and spices.

Beef patties deliver a classic meaty flavor with seasonings.

Flavor Profiles and Seasonings

Empanadas and beef patties differ in flavor profiles and seasonings.

Empanadas, a Latin American specialty, can be filled with numerous ingredients such as ground beef, chicken, cheese, vegetables, or sweet fillings like Nutella or dulce de leche.

These fillings are often spiced with cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano for a bold and vibrant flavor.

In contrast, beef patties usually focus on the flavor of the beef itself and are typically just mixed with onions and herbs such as thyme and parsley.

Furthermore, there are regional variations in flavor and seasonings for both empanadas and beef patties.

Argentine empanadas, for example, include paprika to give them a smoky taste.

In Puerto Rico, sofrito is used as a base for empanada fillings to give them complexity.

Jamaican patties, on the other hand, are spiced with fiery ingredients such as Scotch bonnet peppers or allspice.

These unique details add to the diversity of flavor profiles and seasonings between empanadas and beef patties.

Texture and Shape Comparison

Empanadas and Beef Patties have major differences.

Empanadas, a Latin American dish, are known for their flaky pastry crust and pocket-like shape.

They are usually baked or fried for a golden brown color and a crispy outside.

Beef Patties, on the other hand, have a more solid filling, wrapped in soft dough.

Their shape is typically round or square, like a small pie or turnover.

In terms of texture, Empanadas are crunchy and tender.

The outer layer is crisp, and the inside is savory.

Beef Patties are denser due to the thicker dough.

This makes for a substantial bite that holds the filling in.

Empanadas are shaped like crescents or half-moons.

This shape is easy to hold and eat with one hand.

The curved edges also keep the filling together.

Beef Patties are round or square, allowing for presentation options when served.

Empanadas and Beef Patties have different structures and origins.

But both offer delicious experiences.

Whether you prefer a flaky Empanada or a hearty Beef Patty, these snacks have unique textures and shapes that cater to everyone’s tastes.

Serving and Culinary Uses

Empanadas and beef patties differ in many ways.

Empanadas are crescent-shaped, Latin American delicacies served as appetizers, mains, or desserts.

They can be filled with meat, cheese, veggies, or fruits. They can be fried or baked.

Patties, however, are more associated with American cuisine.

They are ground beef mixed with seasonings, usually grilled or fried.

They can be stand-alone entrees or part of a burger.

Empanadas offer cultural significance and a wide range of fillings, while beef patties offer simplicity and the ability to add toppings like mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.

Similarities Between Empanadas and Beef Patties

Empanadas and beef patties share many similarities.

Both are savory pastries filled with delicious ingredients.

Each bite is enveloped in a golden brown crust, which makes them popular across different cultures and regions.

These treats are also portable and have an enticing aroma.

They offer versatility.

Fillings range from classic minced beef or chicken to vegetarian options like cheese or spinach.

Both are enclosed in dough, crimped along the edges.

Baked or fried, they offer a balance of crispness and tenderness.

These delights have unique details too.

Empanadas feature regional influences in their fillings, while beef patties come in different shapes and sizes.

This allows for diverse serving options. Empanadas and beef patties are beloved by food lovers.

They make for a great snack or even a centerpiece at social gatherings.

So, next time you crave one of these irresistible pastries, you can be sure your taste buds will be satisfied.

Regional Variations and Popular Types

Empanadas and beef patties are both loved around the globe.

Yet, they have unique differences.

Empanadas are a traditional Spanish pastry with a savory filling in a flaky dough.

Depending on the region, fillings can range from meat or cheese to veggies or seafood.

For example, Argentinians often stuff theirs with ground beef, onions, and spices.

But beef patties are typically American.

They consist of ground beef formed into patties and cooked on a grill or stovetop.

Unlike empanadas, they have a charred exterior.

These dishes have gained worldwide recognition.

In recent years, you can find them in restaurants everywhere.

Still, empanadas are popular in Latin America, and beef patties remain a staple in American cuisine.

Whether you go with the pastry or patty, you’ll savor every bite.

So explore the regional variations and enjoy.


In the end, it is really up to one’s personal preference when deciding between empanadas and beef patties.

While both options are savory treats that make for excellent additions to any meal, the main difference comes down to the dough.

Empanadas come with a dough shaped casing that requires more time in preparation and baking, but beef patties come with a crispy outer shell that adds an interesting texture.

Both meals have their unique qualities that set them apart from each other, providing a wide variety of options for any food lover.

Whether you choose to go with empanadas or beef patties, you can trust that either way you’re getting deliciousness personified.

So go ahead to explore your taste buds possibilities with both empanadas and beef patties – there’s certainly enough room for both.

Empanadas vs Beef Patties: What’s the Difference?

Distinguish between empanadas and beef patties with our concise guide. Explore the key differences in these two savory delights to make an informed choice for your next meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Empanadas
  • Beef Patties


  • Choose between empanadas and beef patties based on your craving and preference.
  • Follow the recipe instructions for your selected option.
  • Prepare and cook them according to your desired flavors and fillings.
  • Enjoy the delicious results of either empanadas or beef patties, savoring their unique tastes.
  • Experiment with different fillings and variations to explore their culinary versatility.
Keyword Empanadas vs Beef Patties
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