Argentine empanadas were often served during parties and festivals as a starter or main course.
The dough is usually made with wheat flour and beef drippings for the fillings which differs from province to province. Some places mainly use chicken, and some places beef (cubed or ground depending on the region) mostly spiced with cumin and paprika. Some other fillings are onion, boiled egg, olives, or raisins. Empanadas can be baked (Salta-style) or fried (Tucuman-style). It also can contain ham, fish, humita (sweetcorn with white sauce), or spinach; a fruit filling is used to create a dessert empanada. For the interior regions, they can be spiced with peppers. Empanadas are mostly eaten during celebrations.
In those places (usually take-out shops) where several types are served, a repulgue, or pattern, is added to the pastry fold. These patterns indicate the filling. In larger cities, empanadas are more commonly eaten as take-away food, sourced from restaurants specializing in this dish. They usually carry dozens of different varieties, which is not the case in northern provinces, where empanadas are usually made at home, with more traditional recipes.
During Lent and Easter, empanadas de Cuaresma fillings with fish (usually dogfish or tuna) are popular.
Also popular are the so-called "Arabian" empanadas (empanadas árabes or fatay), filled with beef, tomato, onion, and lemon juice, similar to the fatayermade in the Levant.