Delicious Vegetarian Empanadas: A Flavorful Treat!

Sometimes life can get hectic, and it can feel like there’s no time to cook a proper meal. That’s where quick and easy recipes come in handy, especially when they’re as delicious as these vegetarian empanadas. As a vegan chef, I’ve created this recipe for those moments when you’re short on time but still want something wholesome and tasty for dinner.

These vegetarian empanadas are baked to perfection, meaning that they’re not only healthier than fried alternatives, but also much easier to make. With ingredients that you might already have in your pantry, putting together these flavorful pockets of goodness is a breeze.

Whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian or simply want to try something new, this recipe is perfect for anyone looking for an easy-to-make dish that still packs a punch in terms of flavor. So let’s get started and make some delicious vegetarian empanadas that everyone will love!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Quick & Easy Vegetarian Empanadas
Quick & Easy Vegetarian Empanadas

Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you why you’ll absolutely love this quick & easy vegetarian empanadas recipe! First of all, it’s super simple to make, meaning that even those with limited cooking skills won’t have any trouble. Secondly, the flavor combinations are incredible – think smoky refried beans mixed with sweet potatoes, creamy avocado and cheddar cheese – guaranteed to leave your taste buds dancing in ecstasy.

But that’s not all; this recipe is also incredibly versatile. If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, simply swap out the cheddar cheese for a plant-based alternative like vegan cheddar shreds, and replace sour cream with vegan sour cream or coconut yogurt. If you don’t have time to make your own empanada dough, use store-bought pie crust or puff pastry instead. The possibilities are endless!

And let’s not forget about the health benefits of this dish. Consuming more plant-based meals has been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. Plus, the ingredients used are packed with nutrients such as fiber, vitamins C and A.

So there you have it folks – an easy vegetarian empanadas recipe that’s full of flavor and adaptable to suit any dietary needs. Give it a try and thank me later!

Ingredient List

 Crispy and golden brown: the perfect bite-sized vegetarian goodness!
Crispy and golden brown: the perfect bite-sized vegetarian goodness!

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you will need to make these Quick & Easy Vegetarian Empanadas. All the ingredients in this recipe are vegan-friendly and easily available at any grocery store. Here is what you need:

For the empanada filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the empanada dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons vegan butter, cold and cubed
  • Water

Optional toppings:

  • Avocado slices
  • Cheddar cheese (or vegan cheddar cheese)
  • Sour cream (or vegan sour cream)
  • Salsa

You can also use store-bought pie dough or empanada dough if you want to save time.

The Recipe How-To

 You'll be surprised at how fast these vegetarian empanadas disappear from the plate!
You’ll be surprised at how fast these vegetarian empanadas disappear from the plate!

Let’s get cooking, my fellow vegan culinary enthusiasts! This vegetarian empanadas recipe is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party, potluck or just for a simple night in. To start off, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and let’s dive into making the empanada filling.

Empanada Filling

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 can of black beans (15 oz), drain and rinse
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • ¼ cup of water

  • In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and sauté the diced white onion until fragrant.

  • Add the minced garlic, chopped red bell pepper and chopped jalapeño pepper. Sauté for another minute then add smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt and black pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the drained and rinsed black beansand mix with the spices.
  • Now it’s time to add in the cubed sweet potato. Mix everything together to ensure that all the veggies are coated in the spices.
  • Pour in the water and let it simmer on low-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Assembling the Empanadas

Now that we have our empanada filling ready, it’s time to move on to assembling our easy vegetarian empanadas.

  • Store-bought pie dough or homemade empanada dough recipe
  • Egg-wash (optional)
  • Black bean refried beans (optional)

  • Take your empanada dough or pie crust, flatten it out on a floured surface and cut it into circles with a five-inch cookie cutter. You can also use store-bought puff pastry if you’re in a hurry.

  • Place one heaping tablespoon of filling onto one-half on each circle.
  • Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top of each spoonful of filling.
  • Fold over half the dough circle and seal it by crimping with your fingers.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, brush an egg-wash (whisked egg diluted with some water or milk) on top of each empanada for browning effects.
  • If you want an extra punch of flavor, spread some refried beans from the can or homemade onto your empanada dough circle before adding in your filling.


Now that we have assembled our vegetarian empanadas, it’s time to pop them into our

Substitutions and Variations

 Delight your taste buds with these mouth-watering vegetarian hand pies.
Delight your taste buds with these mouth-watering vegetarian hand pies.

If you’re looking to switch things up or add your own twist to this quick and easy Vegetarian Empanadas Recipe, there are plenty of substitutions and variations that you can try out. Here are some ideas to get you started:

– Swap out the black beans for pinto beans or kidney beans for a different taste and texture.

– Add diced avocado or a dollop of sour cream on top of the empanadas for an extra creamy finish.

– Replace the cheddar cheese with a vegan cheese or leave it out altogether for a dairy-free option.

– Use salsa verde instead of traditional red salsa to switch up the flavor profile.

– For a gluten-free version of this recipe, use store-bought gluten-free empanada dough or pie crust.

– Mix in different vegetables like cooked sweet potato or spinach into the empanada filling for added nutrients and flavor.

– If you don’t want to fry the empanadas, try baking them in the oven at 375°F (190°C) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

These substitutions and variations allow you to adjust the recipe to fit your personal preferences and dietary restrictions. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different ingredients until you find your perfect combination.

Serving and Pairing

 Warm and comforting, these empanadas are the perfect comfort food for any season.
Warm and comforting, these empanadas are the perfect comfort food for any season.

After baking your delicious vegetarian empanadas to golden-brown perfection, it’s time to serve them up for maximum enjoyment. There are a variety of options for serving and pairing these mouth-watering treats.

First and foremost, you can serve them as a quick and easy meal all by themselves. They make an amazing lunch or dinner on the go, especially if you have some avocado or salsa on hand to complement their rich flavors.

If you’re looking to pair these empanadas with additional sides, consider making a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables. You can also serve them with a dollop of sour cream or grated cheddar cheese on top for an extra layer of flavor.

For those who prefer a heartier meal, refried beans and sweet potato fries make excellent accompaniments. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients to find the perfect pairing that fits your tastes.

In terms of beverages, try serving these empanadas with ice-cold beer or a glass of white wine. A refreshing margarita also pairs superbly with the spicy kick brought by the jalapeño peppers in the filling.

Whether enjoyed as a snack or as part of a full meal, these vegetarian empanadas are sure to please any crowd. So go ahead – take a bite and savor in their crispy exterior, tender center, and delectable flavor combinations!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Each bite of these empanadas is bursting with flavorful goodness!
Each bite of these empanadas is bursting with flavorful goodness!

The beauty of these vegetarian empanadas is that they can be made ahead of time and stored for later consumption. They are perfect for meal prep or when you need to prepare meals in advance. Once baked or fried, these empanadas can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

If you plan on storing them for longer periods, then it’s recommended to freeze them instead. To do this, place the baked or fried empanadas in a Ziploc bag and seal them tightly. They can be frozen for up to two months.

When reheating the empanadas, you can either heat them in the oven or microwave depending on your preference. For oven heating, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake them for about 10-15 minutes until heated through. For microwaving, place the empanadas on a microwave-safe plate and heat them for 20-30 seconds on high power.

It’s important to note that if you’re reheating frozen empanadas, it’s best to thaw them first before heating. This will ensure they cook evenly and maintain their texture and flavor.

So, whether you make these easy vegetarian empanadas fresh or ahead of time, you can rest assured that reheating them will be just as simple and delicious as the first time around!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Your friends and family will be impressed with your game-day snack skills when you serve up these empanadas.
Your friends and family will be impressed with your game-day snack skills when you serve up these empanadas.

Making the perfect vegetarian empanadas can be a bit tricky, but fret not! With these tips, you’ll be making the most amazing and delicious vegetarian empanadas in no time.

First and foremost, it is highly recommended to use good quality olive oil in your recipe. The flavor of olive oil adds a delicious earthy taste to your empanadas. I also suggest brushing your empanadas with olive oil before baking or frying them for a crispy final result.

Use fresh and high-quality ingredients such as diced bell peppers and sweet potato to make a filling that is rich in flavors. It is essential to cook the veggies until they are crisp yet tender with a perfect crunch factor that will make your tastebuds dance.

For a gluten-free option, you could use almond flour instead of wheat flour in making the dough. Using cornmeal instead of wheat flour can give you a crunchy texture while still maintaining an excellent binding agent for your dough.

Another vital tip is to ensure that the filling doesn’t have too much liquid. A watery filling might result in soggy empanadas after cooking or baking. Use thick refried beans, drained canned black beans or chickpeas, or potatoes as your primary ingredient in the filling to keep it firm and absorb any excessive liquid.

Finally, if you want a more interesting twist, try experimenting with different vegan cheeses or adding diced avocado to your recipe. The classic combination of cheddar cheese and sour cream as toppings never fails too!

In conclusion, use high-quality ingredients, cook your veggies correctly, use olive oil moderately, take control of the liquid level of your filling, be creative with fillings and toppings and enjoy making the perfect vegetarian empanadas!


As with any recipe, there are often questions that arise. I understand that you may be concerned about some of the steps or ingredients in this quick and easy vegetarian empanadas recipe. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you feel more confident in making this delicious dish. So, let’s dive into the details!

Which dough is best for empanadas?

It’s common for people to use pre-made pie dough when making empanadas since the ingredients used in most dough recipes are quite similar. The key components often include flour, butter, salt, water, and occasionally egg – all of which are also needed in this recipe.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

As a vegan chef assistant, I have compiled a list of diverse empanadas and pastelitos recipes which include savory and sweet flavors. Get ready to create a tantalizing range of empanadas and pastelitos that are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a quick snack on the go. From traditional Chilean chicken empanadas to sweet and creamy strawberry and cream cheese pastelitos; let’s get cooking!

Should empanadas be baked or fried?

Let’s get started with baking! First things first, we need to preheat the oven to the temperature of 375°F (190°C). This is a great technique as it liberates us from using oil, leading to a healthier outcome.

Can you use store bought dough for empanadas?

If you’re trying to save time or don’t have access to empanada dough, there are alternative options available. One great option is store-bought pie dough, which can be used as a substitute. However, it’s important to note that the dough may need to be rolled out thinner in order to achieve a flakier result. It’s also worth mentioning that this type of dough is better suited for baking rather than frying.

Bottom Line

With these quick and easy vegetarian empanadas, you have a recipe that is perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a last-minute dinner or a party, these empanadas will always impress your guests. And with endless variations and substitutions, you can make them your own and tailor them to your taste.

Not only are they delicious and versatile, but these empanadas are also a great way to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. They’re packed with nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes, black beans, and bell peppers that will leave you feeling satisfied and fueled.

So don’t hesitate to give this easy recipe a try. With just a few simple steps and ingredients, you’ll have a batch of crispy, flavorful empanadas that everyone will love. And the best part? You can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freezer for later.

In conclusion, these vegetarian empanadas are the perfect dish for any occasion or mealtime. Not only are they tasty, but they’re also an excellent way to add more plant-based nutrition to your diet. So why not give this recipe a try today? Your taste buds (and body) will thank you!

Quick & Easy Vegetarian Empanadas

Quick & Easy Vegetarian Empanadas Recipe

This great recipe found in "Real Simple" magazine cuts normal preparation time for empanadas in half.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 318.4 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup flour (for the work surface)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (1 pint) container fresh salsa
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream (to garnish) (optional)
  • avocado (to garnish) (optional)


  • Heat oven to 400°F Spread 1 teaspoon of the oil on a baking sheet.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each into an 8in round on a lightly floured surface. On 1 side of each round, spread some of the beans, then top with 1 1/2 tbs of salsa and 2 tbs of cheese.
  • Fold each of the rounds in half, covering the filling, and sealing the dough on the curved edge with your thumb. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the remaining oil. Transfer to the already greased baking sheet.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until golden.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sliced avocado if desired.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 223gCalories: 318.4kcalCarbohydrates: 24.7gProtein: 15.7gFat: 18.1gSaturated Fat: 8.9gCholesterol: 39.8mgSodium: 1070mgFiber: 5.3gSugar: 3.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Beginner Cook, Easy, Kid-Friendly, Mexican, Savory, Savory Pies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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