How to Make African Meat Pies

If you have a craving for a scrumptious and savory treat, look no further than African Meat Pies.

Bursting with flavor, these delectable delights are perfect as a snack or as part of a hearty meal.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a culinary novice, follow this simple recipe to create your own batch of irresistible Meat Pies.


For the pastry:

  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 250g unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cold water (as needed)

For the filling:

  • 300g minced beef (or any meat of your choice)
  • 1 medium-sized potato (peeled and diced into small cubes)
  • 1 medium-sized carrot (peeled and diced into small cubes)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
African meat pies empanadas
Photo by ildipapp via canva pro


1. Prepare the Filling:

  • In a skillet or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
  • Stir in the minced meat and cook until browned and fully cooked.
  • Add the diced potatoes and carrots, stirring well to combine.
  • Season the mixture with curry powder, thyme, paprika or cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.
  • Cook the filling until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Once done, set the filling aside to cool.

2. Prepare the Pastry:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the cold, cubed butter into the dry ingredients and rub them together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Gradually add cold water, a few tablespoons at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  • Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.
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3. Assemble the Meat Pies:

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Using a round cookie cutter or a glass, cut out circles of dough (about 4 to 5 inches in diameter).
  • Spoon a generous amount of the cooled meat filling onto one half of each dough circle, leaving enough space around the edges to seal.

4. Seal and Bake:

  • Beat the egg in a small bowl to create an egg wash.
  • Brush the edges of the dough circles with the egg wash to help seal the pies.
  • Fold the dough over the filling to form a half-moon shape, and press the edges together firmly with your fingers or a fork to seal.
  • Place the assembled meat pies on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash to give them a shiny, golden finish.

5. Bake to Perfection:

  • Bake the African Meat Pies in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they turn a beautiful golden brown color.
  • Once baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Now, all that’s left to do is enjoy your homemade African meat pies.

These delightful snacks are perfect for parties, picnics, or as a quick snack any time of the day.

Share them with friends and family, and you’ll be sure to impress everyone with your culinary prowess.

Remember, feel free to get creative with the fillings.

While the classic minced beef and vegetable filling is a favorite, you can experiment with chicken, or vegetarian alternatives to suit your taste.