African Meat Pies

5 from 7 votes
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African Meat Pies have a buttery, flakey crust and a hearty beef filling. They are a party favorite and popular in African countries like Cameroon, Nigeria, and Ghana.

This African variation of beef empanadas are baked, not fried. I love making them for family picnics. They can be enjoyed as a complete meal!

3 African meat pies on a white platter.

If you love tasty snacks like this also check out FLAVOURFUL FISH ROLLS – CAMEROONIAN FISH ROLL RECIPE and this guide on How To Make Puff Puff.

African Meat Pies Are Perfect For Celebrations

On the 9th of August, that’s two weeks ago, Mr. N and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary! After thinking of what to make to celebrate with (because what’s any celebration without food??) I decided to make these EPIC meat pies.
I call them Nigerian meat pies, Cameroonian meat pies or African meat pies because I’ve lived in both countries and experienced the same kind of meat pie in both of them. Meat pies are also eaten in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Jamaica  and in many other countries.
Other names for it are beef empanadas, beef patties or pastelillos. So all of us, it’s our meat pie! And it’s coming to you with a Precious Kitchen touch, of course!
You guys, African style meat pies for the mighty win! On that anniversary day, we ate then ate some more. All of my girls equally loved it. In fact, we had them as a complete meal because you know they are wholesome and very filling! I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook and a lot of you wanted the recipe.

nigerian meat pie

An Updated Recipe

Now I had to come back to the blog and edit my archaic meat pie recipe which has been begging for a revival. Let me confess something to you: in the early days of the blog, I hardly tested recipes properly.
I mean I mostly eyeballed everything when I cooked and they almost always turned out great. Now when it came to sharing the recipe with others aka, here on the blog, I estimated the ingredients. Yeah, busted!
But I’m no longer in that place, you guys. I have been learning the art of food-writing, recipe-testing and all the bells and whistles of this job called food blogging.
Sometimes I’ll have to remake a recipe 3 times to get the perfect measurement of ingredients. It is a bit of a pain but it is so rewarding. Because I can stand tall and proud and tell you to follow my exact measurements and make a recipe because I know the outcome will be glorious.
best meat pie recipe
That’s the case with these meat pies, the measurements are perfect! For best results, you must make the pie dough the same way I make mine. If you don’t understand anything about the recipe, feel free to leave a question below and I’ll respond ASAP.
The pie crust is perfectly buttery, flaky and so tasty. I could live on the pie crust alone. But then when you dig further into the pie, you taste the filling which is sufficiently meaty, savory, garlicky, moist and so rich.
To take it up a notch, I added some slices of hardboiled egg to some of the pies. Welcome to meat pie heaven!
African meat pie
Because I love you, I made a video to show you how to be a meat pie guru! The video is so detailed that I call it “Meat Pie University”. I share so many details in there and if you follow my steps, I am certain that be you man or woman, boy or girl, you will be able to impress everyone around you with very tasty meat pies!
african meat pie recipe
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Watch how to make perfect African meat pies:

best nigerian meat pies

African Meat Pie

5 from 7 votes
These savory hand-held African style meat pies are EPIC! Believe me when I say you've never had meat pies like these before. The pie crust is perfectly flaky and the filling is perfectly meaty. Add a slice of hardboiled egg into each pie to take it up a notch. Insanely delicious!
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


For the dough

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 500g or half kg
  • 1 cup unsalted butter - softened 226g or 16 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1 cup cold water

For the filling

  • 1 pound ground beef about half kg
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 stem green onions - chopped sub with leeks
  • 4 large garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 habanero pepper optional
  • 2 medium Irish potatoes - peeled and diced about 1 cup chopped
  • 3 small carrots (or 1 large carrot) diced
  • 8 green beans diced
  • 2 small bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 red) sub with half a medium bell pepper
  • 2 small stock cubes (Maggi) about 4g per cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil I used olive oil

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg - beaten


How to Make the Filling

  • Pour oil into a pot and heat for 2-3 minutes. Add in onions and saute while stirring from time to time until fragrant.
  • Add the minced garlic and stir to bring out the flavor. Let it cook with the onion for about a minute.
  • Add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it as it cooks. This helps prevent it from forming chunks of meat. At the same time, incorporate the meat into the garlic/onion mixture. Stir meat until fully scattered and it has changed from pink to brown.
  • Add a cup and a half of water to the meat. Add in potatoes, bay leaf, white pepper, salt, stock cubes and habanero (if you choose to use it). Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft and break easily when touched.
  • Add in half a tablespoon of flour and stir well. Let the flour cook with the meat for about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the green onions/leeks, carrots, green beans and bell pepper. Mix well to combine. Turn off the heat - the filling is ready. 

How to Make the Dough

  • In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. 
  • Add in softened butter and mix until the flour and butter are well incorporated. 
  • Add beaten egg and cold water. Mix to form a dough. Transfer to a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Place dough back in the bowl and place in the fridge until ready for use.

How to Make the Pies

  • Cut the dough into two. Place one half on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/8 of an inch thick. 
  • Use a pie maker or a round lid (I used the lid of a water jar) to cut circles out of the rolled dough. Remove the excess dough from around the circles.
  • Place about a tablespoon and a half in the middle of each circle. Be careful not to overfill the circles! Now add a slice of hardboiled egg on the filling (note that I only used the hardboiled egg for half of the pies in this recipe. If you would love to use egg on all your pies, use two hardboiled eggs instead. )
  • Cover each circle to form a semi-circle. Press the edges with your hands then press with a fork.
  • Repeat the pie-making process with the rest of the dough. 
  • Place all the pies in the refrigerator to rest for about 5 minutes. While they rest, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 180 degrees C).  
  • Remove pies from fridge and brush generously with egg wash.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Enjoy!


1. Sometimes I add a tablespoon of sugar to the dough to give it a hint of sweetness. This gives it a nice variation in taste.
2. Use milk in place of water if you would like a richer dough.
3. I usually brush the top of my pies with egg again half way through baking. This makes them extra glossy. 


Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 618mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3717IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: African, Cameroonian, Nigerian
Calories: 434
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!



About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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5 from 7 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. Precious, this meat pie recipe is the eye. I made ,came out perfect, and my friends and family could not stop eating until it ran out. Thank you so much

  2. Since I saw this recipe, I have wanted to try it out but couldn’t find the time. I tried it today, and in my husband’s words, “the pies are beautiful.” I will definitely keep this in my repertoire of foods.
    Thanks 🙂

  3. This recipe is the gospel truth.I have made meat pie Couple of times using this recipe but i somehow always ended up altering the recipe in one way or the other. The results were just okay..Mehh.. Today i followed it step by step even though i used chicken instead and i overcooked my potatoes as i always mess one thing up🤒. But The crust was sooo divine like i never wanted the feeling to end. Thanks for ur recipes, we love them.

    1. You are most welcome, dear Golda. This warms my heart. So glad you enjoyed the recipe! It’s always great to follow everything exactly because I take time to test the recipes so you can get the best. Have a wonderful week!

  4. Bless you! I remember as a child growing up in Nigeria (Benue state) and a neighbor from the Camaroons who made these pies at home and sold them fresh out of the oven… they cost I think 50 kobo each (this was in about the early 1980s). I have long left Africa, but the smell of baking pies still lingers in memory. And finally I have the recipe now! Thanks so much!

  5. Aieeee Preciousssss!!! You are kindness and talent personified.
    I was coached by your recipe and I made my own savoury pies. Goodnessss😋😋😋.

    The only thing I didn’t get right was the shape, but the taste of the crust, ouchhh!! Yum yum. Wish I could upload a pic of how ugly they look😂😂😂, but how tasty they are

    I’ll def try again.

    1. This made me smile! Glad you loved the pies and don’t worry, you’ll do better with the shapes next time. Thank you for the feedback.

  6. Thanks for the recipe Anty pre . Pls I wanted to find out if it is possible to preserve baked meat pie for 5 days out of the fridge without it getting bad .

    1. I don’t think that’s possible, dear. It is best kept in a fridge. If out of the fridge, I’ll suggest not more than 2 days in a cool place and in an airtight container. Hope this helps.

  7. Hello precious thanks for this recipe. I wish to find out if it’s possible to preserve this meat pie out of the fridge for 5days without it getting bad

    1. Hi Camilla, placing the dough in the fridge for a while helps the fat to firm off. It also leads to a more even baking. Hope this helps.

  8. Precious u are the best. I made this yesterday and it was insanely delicious, all my guests so loved it. Your recipes are so genuine. U are simply the best. Your family is blessed.

  9. Aunty presh!!!. Thanks for the recipe. Since I wanted to deep fry, I used the fish roll dough recipe instead and meat pie filling. It came out great.