Holiday Traditional Puerto Rican Beef Pastelillo Recipe!

This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and the United Soybean Board. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


Hey All!

Some of my favorite holiday family recipes originated in my grandmother’s kitchen and we actually used Soybean oil as an ingredient for most. Though you may not realize it, there’s a good chance soybean oil is part of your cooking routine. In fact, soybean oil accounts for approximately 58% of vegetable oil used in homes and commercial cooking! Just check the ingredients label to be sure. Soybean oil is one of the most versatile ingredients in my pantry. The oil has a neutral flavor that helps me create some of my favorite traditional meals without compromising taste.

One recipe that we’ve always enjoyed making during the holiday season as a family is Pastelillos AKA Empanadas. Puerto Ricans like myself call them Pastelillos and when I’m making them, I use SoyBean oil to fry them. They are a family holiday tradition. We can’t have a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal with out some Pastelillos. I make them two different ways, but this is the traditional way my Grandma used to make them for the holidays.


To Make Our Beef Filled Amazing Pastelillos you need:

  • Soybean Oil
  • Olives (At least 10)
  • Ground Beef ( Depends on how many your making but a pound should be good)
  • 1 Pinch Garlic Powder
  • 1 Package of Sazon
  • 1 Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • Flour Round Discos (Usually come in a package of ten at your local Latin Market. You can use as many as you like and then freeze the rest.)
  • Big Frying Pan
  • Fork
  • Parchment Paper

First you separate the round Discos on some Parchment Paper so you can put the ones you’re not using away.

You then dice up your olives…


You then begin to season and cook your ground beef with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and half a packet of Sazon.


You then mix in the Olives into the ground beef. Just FYI Puerto Ricans put olives in everything! It’s a fact. Look it up! lol. Well that’s the way my family cooks and what my grandmother used to do.


You cook the ground beef completely. You then scoop the ground beef after it’s cooled for a few minutes on to the center of the discos.

After you do that you then form your Pastelillo! You roll over the edges of the discos to seal the meat in. Make sure to pinch the dough closed as this dough is tough. You then flip it over and press your fork along the edges to further seal them shut.


Once your done sealing all your Pastelillos (and it does take some elbow grease to press these shut), you then heat up your Soybean Oil.


You fry the Pastelillos until they are golden brown. Place them on some sheets of paper towels to soak up the grease and to let them cool for 4-5 minutes as they will be very hot after frying and be careful with the hot oil!


That’s it! You’re done! You serve and enjoy these delicious Beef Pastelillos! They make a great starter for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!


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  •" target="_blank">TerriAnn @ Cookies & Clogs

    Ooh, this sounds delicious! I had no idea that they were called pastelillos by Puerto Ricans.

  • " target="_blank">Rachel

    This looks really good. I have never tried Puerto Rican food.

  • " target="_blank">Ann B.

    I would love to try this recipe Vanessa! We don’t have a latin market around me to get the discs, so is there anything else I could use?

  • These look amazing and I know the entire family would love this unique (to us!) dish. I will be pinning this recipe and trying it out in the very near future.

  • facebook" target="_blank">Debbie H.

    I learned how to cook these from my ex’s mom; plus many other Puerto Rican recipes. I still make these at holidays and when I don’t feel like cooking a meal.

  • " target="_blank">Laura L

    I needed a recipe for these…although I have “winged it” using Sazon. Do you ever put cheese in them, too? Here in Berks County, PA in the Reading area, they sell them in small corner stores & gas stations! My kids love them, and even though I am not Puerto Rican, I have been making them for several years. They call them “pastilleros” as you indicate. My daughter has Puerto Rican friends who are young & don’t cook, but give her tips (like to use Sazon on pork chops, and pigeon peas with rice, etc.) Thanks for this!

  • " target="_blank">Carol

    I use guda cheese is delicious

  • Fb" target="_blank">Charlotte mullin

    What is sazon.

  • " target="_blank">ashok

    Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.

  • " target="_blank">Smiley face

    I just made this
    Recipe and it was
    Very easy and very
    Good I will be making
    These again thanks for