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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