These vegan empanadas are the perfect copycat recipe without using any animal products. The perfect dough, delicious filling, and super easy instructions to make them exquisite every single time.
Empanadas are a common dish in many cultures including a host of Latin American countries, Italy and the Philippines. Most are filling with some sort of meat mixture so that’s why we are making vegan empanadas to share with you today.
We do not claim that this recipe is authentic in any way, but we have done our diligence to make sure that it is close to maintaining the cultural traditions that it comes from while making vegan.
For those our you unaware, empanadas can be baked or fried and are a turnover of sorts made with a pastry dough and then some sort of filling, usually beef based. However, the filling can contain chicken or pork ingredients as well as vegetables like tomatoes, corn, and more.
In order to make vegan, we are using a vegan meatless crumble to mock the beef base, but feel free to use other ingredients as desired. We even given some ideas below for other vegan empanadas fillings.
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VEGAN EMPANADAS INGREDIENTS:
Below are notes about the ingredients before we get into the full recipe located lower in this post on how to make this vegan empanadas:
- flour – This is the base of our pastry dough. We are using all-purpose flour for this recipe to make this as easy as possible.
- vegan butter – for richness and texture, vegan butter is best and easiest to use.
- vegan sugar – Cane sugar is what we are using. If you want to learn more about why your sugar may not be vegan, you can learn more by clicking on the link.
- vegan meatless crumbles – we are using frozen vegan meat crumbles for this recipe. They are easy to find and quick to use. We like the Gardein or Morningstar versions.
- onion and peppers – There is a combination of two different onions and two different peppers for the perfect combination
- spices – We have created a unique blend of seasonings that we think pair perfectly with this recipe
- green olives – added for the salty and slightly sour taste, the brine from the olive is absolutely delicious in this dish
SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS:
- flour – you can use pastry flour instead of all-purpose if using
- vegan butter – you can sub for vegetable shortening for the vegan butter
- sugar – can sub date sugar or coconut sugar if needed
- vegan meatless crumbles – if needed, try subbing different roasted vegetables, beans, seasoned and hydrated TVP, tofu crumbles, seitan, mushrooms, and more
We wouldn’t suggest any other substitutions.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Flour, Vegan Butter, and vegan meatless crumbles are the ingredients you need to consider. You can use an all purpose 1:1 gluten free blend for the flour, though keep in mind that gluten free flour sometimes needs more liquid.
Use a soy free vegan butter like Flora or the red version Earth Balance.
And finally a safe for you vegan meat crumbles. You can use vegan ground meat if needed since it’s easier to find allergy friendly versions than frozen.
Yes! Let cool and store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
You can reheat in the microwave for 45-90 seconds or until desired temperature. These will give a softer texture. Or you can place in an air fryer or oven at 375 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
Yes! Let cool completely and then store in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
Try subbing different roasted vegetables, beans, seasoned and hydrated TVP, tofu crumbles, seitan, mushrooms, and more. Feel free to get creative!
Yes! Make sure your seals/edges are properly closed tightly or your filling may come out as they open. Heat your oil between 350 and 375 degrees F. Cook for about 2-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crisp.
Yes! Air fry at 375 degrees F for 15-25 minutes. Do not overcrowd your basket or tray when air frying these.
What other vegan Spanish inspired ideas could I make?
- Easy Cheesy Crispy Vegan Black Beans Tacos
- Vegan Chicken Fajitas
- Vegan Cauliflower Tinga Tacos
- Grilled Vegan Jackfruit Tacos
- Sheet Pan Vegan Cauliflower Fajitas
- Tofu Taco Crumbles
- Vegan Cheesy Gordita Crunch (Taco Bell Copycat)
Pin these vegan empanadas for later!
For the Dough
For the Filling
- 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive)
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- 14-16 oz frozen vegan meatless crumbles
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ poblano pepper (sub anaheim pepper), chopped
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon vegan sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for spice)
- ½ teaspoon annatto (optional for coloring)
- 2-4 tablespoon vegetable stock, if needed
- ¼ cup pitted green olives, diced
- 6-8 stalks green onions, chopped small
- olive oil or unsweetened non-dairy milk
For the Dough (Make First)
- In a large (8+ cup) food processor*, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse together.
- Add COLD vegan butter, in tablespoons. Pulse until you get a sand like texture.
- Add 1 cup of water and pulse until a dough starts to form. Pour a tablespoon more water at a time until you have a consistent dough that you can form into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Add oil in pan and heat over medium heat.
- Add onions in and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
- Add vegan meat crumbles, red bell pepper and poblano peppers. Stir together.
- Add spices (paprika through annatto). Stir and cook 4-5 minutes.Add vegetable stock as needed to not dry out the vegan meat mixture and keep moist – let cook for about 5-6.
- Add diced green olives and stir together. Cook until heated through, about a minute, remove from heat.
- Add the green onions. Stir together and let cool.
To Prepare Empanadas
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking dish with parchment paper.
- Once filling is cooled, either (1) Weigh the dough and divide into 20 equal balls of dough and then use a tortilla press to flatten them. Or (2) Roll out dough to be approximately ¼” and use a large (3-4”) biscuit cutter to cut out pieces of dough. *For any dough you aren’t using immediately (within 2-3 minutes) place remaining dough back into the fridge to keep the butter cold in the dough.
- Place 2-3 tablespoon of filling on one side, leaving an edge.
- Fold one side of the dough over to the other and make the ends meet each other. Press the edges together carefully. Finish by pressing the edges down with a fork to seal or pinching pleats along the edge. Place on baking sheet, repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Before placing into the oven, lightly brush empanadas with oil (for a more golden brown color) or non-dairy milk for a lighter color.
- Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes.
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