Filed Under: Appetizer | Savory | Side Dish

Vegetarian Empanadas

By Tessa Arias
  |  
May 31st, 2022
4.91 from 31 votes
4.91 from 31 votes

These homemade Vegetarian Empanadas are made with a super easy dough and are filled with black beans, corn, potatoes, veggies, and flavorful spices. Perfect snack or side dish for serving a crowd. Baked, not fried!

Yield: 20 empanadas

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Savory with a small kick of spice.
Texture: The pastry crust is buttery and slightly crisp while the feeling is ultra satisfying.
Ease: Both the dough and the filling are incredibly easy to make.
Pros: Perfect for serving a crowd, taking to a potluck, or a perfect game day appetizer.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? 100% yes.

These baked Vegetarian Empanadas are my new favorite savory snack. Or lunch. Or appetizer!

Perfectly flaky pastry. Black bean and corn filling packed with flavor. What’s not to love about these beautiful little pockets of heaven?!

Make sure to check out the pink tip box below, where I share all my tips for how to make empanadas of your dreams!

How to Make Vegetarian Empanadas

How to make vegetarian empanada filling:

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño (feel free to include as much or as little of the seeds as you prefer)
  • Corn
  • Black beans (rinse and drain first if using canned)
  • Russet potato
  • Seasonings: salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, and ground cumin
  • Celery
  • Red bell pepper and green bell pepper
  • Optional: shredded cheese (Monterey jack, Mexican blend, or pepper jack cheese would all be delicious)

To make the veggie empanada filling, start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the jalapeño and sauté. Once fragrant, add corn, black beans, potato and seasonings and stir together in the pan. After the mixture has come together, add the diced celery and bell peppers. Cook until tender.

How to assemble vegetarian empanadas:

  1. Tear off golf-ball sized pieces of the chilled dough and roll into balls.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the balls into 1/4-inch thick, 5-inch diameter circles.
  3. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, if using. Be sure not to overfill your empanadas as you assemble, which is easy to do. Use a little less than you think to prevent any holes or tears in the dough and to prevent them from bursting open as they bake.
  4. Brush a small amount of egg wash lightly over one half edge’s border. Fold over the dough to create a half-moon shape and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp edges with the back of a fork.
  5. Brush with an egg wash and bake.

How can I make these vegetarian empanadas vegan-friendly?

We haven’t tested this ourselves, but feel free to omit the cheese and use a vegan butter in the dough if you prefer to make these empanadas vegan. For the egg wash, try using a non-dairy milk instead, just note the empanadas may not get as brown.

How long to bake vegetarian empanadas recipe?

I baked mine for 20 minutes, until golden brown. If you make empanadas that are smaller or bigger than the size created in the recipe, make sure to adjust the baking time accordingly.

What to serve with Veggie Empanadas:

  • Green or red salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Spanish rice
  • Salad

How to store empanadas:

Refrigerate leftovers either plastic wrapped or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 400°F oven until the crust has re-crisped and the filling is warmed through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

How to make Vegetable Empanadas ahead of time:

The empanada dough can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the fridge for one day before using. The filling can also be cooked and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a day. The assembled unbaked empanadas can also be covered in plastic and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, no need to change the baking time.

How to freeze vegetarian empanadas:

Freeze the sheet of unbaked empanadas until solid, then transfer into a freezer bag. Frozen empanadas will keep for up to three months and can be baked straight from the freezer. Add a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Fully baked empanadas can also be frozen, though they lose a bit of their flaky texture. To prevent freezer burn, wrap them individually in plastic wrap. To reheat, unwrap as many empanadas as you want and warm in a 300°F oven or toaster oven, about 10 minutes.

More Empanada Recipes:

4.91 from 31 votes

How to make
Vegetarian Empanadas

Yield: 20 empanadas
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
These homemade Vegetarian Empanadas are made with a super easy dough and are filled with black beans, corn, potatoes, veggies, and flavorful spices. Perfect snack or side dish for serving a crowd. Baked, not fried!

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 3/4 cups (349 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch paprika

For the Vegetable Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) corn
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled, finely diced, and boiled*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (or “Mexican blend” cheese), optional

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons water

Directions

For the dough:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the water and butter, heating until butter has fully melted. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and paprika and make a well in the center. Pour a little of the warm butter mixture in and mix with your fingertips to make a wet paste. Pour in remaining liquid, and work the dough with your hands until you get a wet, oily dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

For the filling:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté jalapeño. Once fragrant, add corn, black beans, potato and seasonings. After the mixture has come together, add the diced celery and bell peppers. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until tender.

To assemble:

  1. Tear off golf-ball sized pieces of the chilled dough and roll into balls. On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the balls into 1/4-inch thick, 5-inch diameter circles. Once your dough has been rolled out, place 2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of each dough circle. Sprinkle lightly with cheese, if using. Fold over the dough to create a half-moon shape and press edges firmly to seal. Crimp edges with the back of a fork.
  2. Place empanadas onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat together the egg and water. Brush the empanadas gently with the egg wash.
  3. Bake empanadas until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers either plastic wrapped or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze cooked empanadas plastic wrapped in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, unwrap as many empanadas as you want and warm through in a 300°F oven or toaster oven for about 10 minutes.

Recipe Notes

*May use cooked potato leftovers as well. If using fresh uncooked potato, in a small saucepan, fill ⅔ with water and bring to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the potato. When water is boiling, reduce heat to medium and add potato, cooking until the potato can easily be pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain in colander.
Course : Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine : Mexican
Keyword : vegetable empanadas, vegetarian empanadas

June 2022 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the June 2022 selection for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Full challenge details here. Check out everyone’s empanadas:

 

Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Emily — June 30, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    Amazing! My family and I aren’t big meat people, so these vegetarian empanadas were a big hit!!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 1, 2022 at 11:47 am

      So excited to hear these were a hit, Emily!

  2. #
    Tyler Thomas — June 28, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Excellent recipe! Takes a little time to make all the empanadas, but totally worth it!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 29, 2022 at 7:11 am

      So happy to hear you found these empanadas worth the time, Tyler! 🙂

  3. #
    Alexa — June 28, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    The empanada dough is DELISH. So buttery and flavorful. Loved the filling as well, I just felt like there was too much because I had a lot leftover! Can’t wait to make breakfast ones next!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 28, 2022 at 1:59 pm

      Hi Alexa! Thanks for the comment! So glad you enjoyed these so much 🙂

  4. #
    Haley Jordan — June 28, 2022 at 11:05 am

    So flavorful!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 28, 2022 at 11:53 am

      So happy you enjoyed these empanadas, Haley!!

  5. #
    Edna — June 28, 2022 at 9:31 am

    Really delicious dough, easy to work with and extremely flavourful….I did haded extra smoked paprika so my empanadas tasted like they had choriço in them. I will repeat this recipe.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 28, 2022 at 11:53 am

      Sounds delicious, Edna! So happy you enjoyed them!

  6. #
    Jamey Cerka-Wilks — June 27, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Second empanadas I’ve made. I will say I had lots of the filling leftover. Planning on using it for an egg scramble!

    My husband loves them and we are planning on having them for dinner with homemade guacamole.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 27, 2022 at 1:19 pm

      Sounds like a delicious way to use up the leftover filling, Jamey! So happy you and your husband enjoyed these empanadas!

  7. #
    Fithria — June 26, 2022 at 2:54 am

    Delicious empanadas

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 27, 2022 at 7:39 am

      Hi Fithria! So happy you enjoyed these empanadas!!

  8. #
    Maggie Deveaux — June 23, 2022 at 11:56 am

    We have a vegetarian in our household so we made both the beef empanadas AND the veggie ones! Both were soooo delicious! The pastry was so buttery and flaky! None of us were very skilled at beautifully perfect Empanada crafting, but what they might have lacked in looks, the more than made up for in excellent taste! Super fun family project to do together!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 24, 2022 at 6:44 am

      So happy to hear that, Maggie!! 🙂

  9. #
    Kaitlin — June 21, 2022 at 3:06 pm

    These were amazing! The only issue I had was the time. The recipe said 20 minutes for prep, and I trusted that a little too much. As a first time empanada maker, it took me almost 2 hours to prep and saute the veggies and then assemble. These weren’t ready for dinner, but they made a great bedtime snack! Next time I’m sure it will go faster.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 22, 2022 at 7:23 am

      I’m sorry these empanadas took so much longer than you expected, Kaitlin, but I’m glad you still enjoyed them!!

  10. #
    Kelly — June 19, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    The dough was extremely easy to work with. I can’t wait to use it again with a variety of fillings. The black bean and corn combo was delicious. I added extra pepper plus onion and garlic.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 11:47 am

      Hi Kelly! So happy to hear you enjoyed these empanadas! 🙂

  11. #
    Maribel Rodriguez — June 19, 2022 at 6:57 am

    I made these and the beef empanadas, both we’re delicious, but I liked these better, they packed so much flavor!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:56 am

      Hi Maribel! So happy you enjoyed these so much!! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  12. #
    David — June 18, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    The dough alone is amazing. Any filling will taste amazing, but this is a great starter recipe.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:49 am

      So happy you enjoyed these empanadas, David!!

  13. #
    Esther Chow — June 18, 2022 at 5:13 pm

    This was delicious! Both the dough and filling had great flavor! It’s easy to make. It just takes time to roll out the dough and to fill it.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:49 am

      Hi Esther! So happy to hear you enjoyed these empanadas!!

  14. #
    PJ Bibby — June 18, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    It’s been a couple of years since I made empanadas and I had forgotten how easy they were to make. I love the hint of spice from the jalapeno – plus it means the kids won’t eat too many 🙂

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:41 am

      Haha sounds like a win-win, PJ!!

  15. #
    Cindy Wall :-) — June 18, 2022 at 11:57 am

    This was an easy and fun recipe. I love cheese, so I did add extra. The versatility of the recipe is great, making it easy to add to the mixture (green chiles). I may try with a fruit dessert mixture next time. 🙂

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:40 am

      So happy to hear these were such a hit, Cindy!

  16. #
    Andrea Jimenez — June 18, 2022 at 6:17 am

    Fabulous! Just so delicious! I made the filling and dough the day before and baked them the newt day and they were amazing!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:39 am

      Yay! So happy you enjoyed these empanadas so much, Andrea!

  17. #
    Cindy Wall — June 18, 2022 at 12:11 am

    These were easy and fun to make. I made 20 Empanadas with each dough ball weighing about 34.5 grams each. I also used extra cheese in my filling.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:39 am

      We’ll never say no to extra cheese around here, Cindy!! So happy you enjoyed these 🙂

  18. #
    Cecilia — June 17, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Absolutely delicious!!! I added some shrimp to the mix and my husband could hardly stop eating them!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 9:35 am

      So happy you enjoyed these empanadas, Cecilia!

  19. #
    Kiersten — June 13, 2022 at 5:22 pm

    Dough and filling super easy to make and delicious. The empanadas themselves take more time (and patience) to put together.
    Totally worth it and so delicious.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 14, 2022 at 6:58 am

      So happy you enjoyed these empanadas, Kiersten!!

  20. #
    Susana Jimenez — June 13, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    I absolutely loved this recipe! The dough was so flaky and tender and flavorful, definetly going to make this recipe again. It already became a family favorite!! Thank you for sharing this recipe

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 14, 2022 at 6:57 am

      Woohoo! So great to hear that, Susana!

  21. #
    Cristina Jimenez — June 13, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    I love them! They have so much so flavor! And the dough is so smooth! I’ll make them again definitely!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 14, 2022 at 6:56 am

      Wonderful to hear that, Cristina!!

  22. #
    Ellen Louie — June 12, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    This was my first time making empanadas, and they were so delicious! The veg filling was hearty, and I even had some left over. My only negative would be that they are rather time consuming to make.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 13, 2022 at 9:11 am

      So happy you enjoyed these, Ellen! They are a little time-consuming, but you can always encourage family members or friends to help, and start an assembly line – or make ahead sometime when you have extra time, and freeze for a much quicker dinner next time 🙂

  23. #
    robin innaimo — June 9, 2022 at 5:58 pm

    These were amazing. I loved being able to customize my filling and flavor profile. These got rave reviews for the whole family. It came together very easily. Will definitely make them again.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 10, 2022 at 8:15 am

      Woohoo! Love to hear that, Robin!! 🙂

  24. #
    Elizabeth Brubaker — June 9, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    The vegetarian empanadas were boring, in my opinion.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 10, 2022 at 8:24 am

      Hi Elizabeth! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t love these empanadas! Did you use all the spices mentioned in the recipe? I’m not sure if you like things spicy, but I found all the spices, plus the jalapeño, to be really delicious! The greatest thing about these empanadas is that you can totally customize the filling; so you could add more spices, different spices, or change the fillings entirely if you wish! I hope you give them another try and change up the fillings to suit your personal preferences! 🙂

  25. #
    Wendy Ketchum — June 6, 2022 at 4:56 am

    These are delicious! I’ve been trying to add more vegetarian dinners to my Rostin. When I wrote this on my meals board for the week my hubby didn’t seem thrilled they were without meat. They made enough for two nights of meals for the two of us and he couldn’t stop making positive comments both nights. He loves them and wants them on the menu every month. I topped mine with an avocado crema and they are so good. I did have to bake mine about 30 minutes but ovens can vary. Thank you for a vegetarian meal that got the husband stamp of approval.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 6, 2022 at 2:01 pm

      Hooray! Love it when we change our husbands’ minds about something haha! So happy you both loved these empanadas!

  26. #
    Gwen — June 5, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Hit as usual!!!

  27. #
    Gwen — June 5, 2022 at 1:55 pm

    So yummy! Perfect crust, savory filling… all amazing things per usual

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 6, 2022 at 1:58 pm

      So thrilled to hear this, Gwen!!

  28. #
    Kelly Olson — June 2, 2022 at 8:42 am

    I used m leftover veggies from a crudité platter, chopped them up and oven roasted them with some garlic salt, seasoned pepper, lemon pepper and garlic pepper. Lots of carrots and peppers were in the roasting pan and I added diced onions and about 6 cloves of chopped garlic. The roasted veggies had a nice char, good flavor and they were soft. I added cheddar, Gouda and Gruyère to the empanada for some additional flavor. They were really tasty, even the non vegetable eaters liked them!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 2, 2022 at 12:45 pm

      Hi Kelly! I love the idea of using delicious cheeses to these! Your empanadas sound so delicious!! So happy everyone enjoyed them 🙂

  29. #
    Michelle Gallagher — June 1, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    This is something I’ll definitely make again! It was surprisingly simple and so delicious! We made a couple of variations with the fillings (spinach, cheese, and toasted walnut for one example), and I’m definitely going to try out some other ideas. This recipe also made enough that I froze a batch to bake another day. Super happy with this recipe!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 2, 2022 at 6:55 am

      Hi Michelle! So excited that you loved these empanadas, and enjoyed the customizable fillings! The combinations are endless!! Enjoy 🙂

  30. #
    Saarah Siddiqha — June 1, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    These empanadas were beyond amazing! The texture and buttery flavor was perfect. We couldn’t stop but finishing them all! You’ve got to try em’!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 2, 2022 at 6:52 am

      Hi Saarah! So wonderful to hear that you loved these empanadas! 🙂

  31. #
    Sandra Gutierrez — June 1, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    I was skeptical in the beginning because I had never tried vegetable empanadas. Given my Latinix background, (savoring sweet empanadas) I was unsure what these would taste like. To make story short, these empanadas were very delightful and lightweight. They had a kick of spice to them and the plus side is that they are not fried. Give this recipe a try and you will not be disappointed. ♥️ Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 2, 2022 at 6:51 am

      We are so excited you enjoyed your empanadas, Sandra! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts 🙂

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed