Empanadas With Spicy Bean Filling

Empanadas, stuffed savory or sweet pastries, are among my favorite foods from Latin America. They are often stuffed with meat, and often fried, but my version is stuffed with a deliciously spicy bean filling and then baked, which makes the empanadas far healthier.

I had a good deal of the bean filling left over after making the empanadas, but I just used it as a dip for tortilla chips, and it was perfect.

Serve your empanadas with a hot sauce or just with some vegan sour cream which tastes exactly like the real thing, and is cruelty-free too! I mixed up this delicious hot pepper sauce I had leftover from this past week with a dollop of vegan sour cream, and it was heaven.

This is going to be a short, prattle-free post because it’s Monday morning and things are already jumping around here. Here’s looking forward to a speedy week and a leisurely weekend!

These empanadas go to It’s A Vegan World: Mexican. There’s still time until March 31 to send in your recipes, so get cooking, guys!



For the pastry:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp transfat-free shortening

1/2 tsp salt

Icy cold water to make the dough

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and, with the motor running, drizzle in enough water to make a smooth dough. Do not overmoisten. Make a ball of the dough, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the filling:

1 small red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium potatoes, finely diced

1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced

1/2 cup pinto beans (use black beans if you prefer), soaked for a few hours, then cooked until tender enough to be mashed

1/4 cup raisins

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tbsp canola or olive oil

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions. When they start to brown, add the garlic and stir another minute.

Add the potatoes, carrots, cayenne and oregano. Stir and cook until the carrots and potatoes start to soften.

Add the beans with about 1 cup of the water. Stir well and cook until the vegetables are tender enough to be mashed. Let most of the liquid evaporate and, with a potato masher, mash the filling until it has broken down but is not absolutely smooth. You want some chunks of potatoe and beans in there for texture.

Stir in the raisins.

Add salt to taste, and let any remaining water evaporate before turning off the heat.

To assemble the empanadas:

Roll out the dough and cut out four six-inch circles from it. You might need to reroll the scraps and roll out again to get four circles.

Slightly off-center in each circle, place 2 tbsp of the filling. Then fold one end over so you have a half-moon shape. Press together the ends and press down with a fork to get a tight seal and decorative edge.

Place the empanadas on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with a mixure of 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp soy milk, and bake in a 400-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes until lightly golden-brown.

Cool until warm on a rack and then serve.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

19 thoughts on “Empanadas With Spicy Bean Filling

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 23, 2009 at 9:15pm

    I love Empanadas, make them with Meat. Refried beans is a great substitute, looks yum! :)

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    March 23, 2009 at 9:16pm

    Wow excellent!! would love to grab one from the pic, love the healthy filling..

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    March 23, 2009 at 10:36pm

    Hey Vaishali, Empanadas look soo yummy. But aren’t these Argentinian?

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 24, 2009 at 2:54am

    Asha, Priya, Trupti, Pavithra, Superchef, Gita, Lisa: Thanks, all!

    Mints, Empanadas are made throughout Latin America, including Mexico and Argentina, with slight variations.

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 24, 2009 at 4:15am

    They are lovely Vaishu empanadas with beans!

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    DJ Karma

    March 24, 2009 at 9:41am

    I got some empanada molds for Christmas that I should try out- thanks for reminding me. These sound great!

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    March 24, 2009 at 12:48pm

    I agree with you, I also think empanadas are great. I have to safe this recipe and make them the next time I travel. They sound great to take on the road.

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    March 24, 2009 at 11:30pm

    These always remind me of gujjias.. & a bean filling is a WOW!! Vaishali can i use any substitute for shortening? just curious…

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    March 25, 2009 at 1:51am

    OMG love this Empanadas, greatttt recipe and looks mouth-drooling!!!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 25, 2009 at 3:25am

    Your empanadas look delicious- I haven’t had them in quite a while so I just may have to try out your recipe!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 25, 2009 at 1:22pm

    Sounds delicious,though i never had tasted anything like this,but potaotes+ maida crust+veggie +beans=awesome combination.Since i still dont have any medium to bake these,i will but obviously go for the guilty method(deep frying ),coz i cant wait to try it out,as this will be such a nice way to put to use a can of pinto beans which i regret purchasing in one of those shopping KICKS(it cost bomb to me,and now i obviously would like to use them for some fancy recipe and not just another rajma curry).Thanks a ton, coz i found quite a few recipes of beans at your place.

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    March 25, 2009 at 1:27pm

    Empanadas look great, loved the bean filling in them !

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 25, 2009 at 5:17pm

    Oh is it! i always thought it was Argentinian as my Argentinian colleague keeps on talking abt it ;)

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