Whole Wheat Empanadas

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Whole Wheat Empanadas
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Empanadas, or hand pies, are widely eaten in South America and can be filled with sweet, savory, or sweet and sour fillings.

Yields: 10 Empanadas


For the dough:

4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 T flax meal

2 tsp baking powder

Sea salt to taste

4 T non-hydrogenated spread

1 - 1 1/2 cups warm or hot water

For the Black Bean and Plantain Filling:

2 T safflower oil

1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

3/4 cup yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

3/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp lime juice

For the Spinach and Tofu Filling

1 large bunch of spinach, washed and trimmed (or 1 frozen package, cooked and drained)

3/4 cup yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups firm tofu, cubed

1 cup parsley, chopped

10olives, chopped

1/2 tsp oregano

1-2 T safflower, corn or olive oil

Sea salt to taste

1/2 c dairy-free cheese, shredded

1/2 tsp paprika, optional


For the dough:

Mix the dry ingredients. Add the spread and, using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix together. Add the water until it forms a dough. Knead until it is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

For the Black Bean and Plantain Filling:

In 1 tablespoon of oil, cook the plantain for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly browned and soft. Removed from the pan, add the other tablespoon of oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add the beans, cilantro, spices and lime juice. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat. Mash the bean mixture. Add the plantains. Set aside to cool.

For the Spinach and Tofu filling:

Steam the spinach in the water it was washed in for 1-2 minutes. Press all of the water out of it and chop. In an iron skillet over medium high heat, cook the onion and garlic in the oil until onion is soft. Add the tofu and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the paprika if you choose. Add the olives, parsley, oregano and salt to taste. If the mixture is dry, add a teaspoon or two of water. Mix in the spinach and set aside.

To Assemble the Empanadas

Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Separate into 10 small golf-ball sized pieces. Using a little flour so it doesn’t stick, flatten the dough with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin or a clean bottle, roll out to 1/4 inch thick circles (about 7 inches in diameter). Spoon 1/3 cup of filling on top; sprinkle 1-2 T of soy cheese on the spinach and tofu empanada. Wet the edges with water, fold over, and crimp the edges. You can also use a fork to close the edges.

To Bake:

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes and then lower heat to 350 for an additional 20 minutes.

Additional Tips

Serve warm or cold with a mixed green salad.

Thanks to Silvia Hast for sharing this recipe.

Recipe by
Silvia Hast