10 Creative Filling Ideas for Vegetarian and Vegan Empanadas
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Empanadas are a popular and delicious dish originating from Latin America, and they have quickly become a favorite in many parts of the world. Traditionally, empanadas are filled with meat, but there are plenty of inventive and tasty vegetarian and vegan options to explore. If you’re looking for a creative and flavorful way to satisfy your vegetarian or vegan cravings, look no further than these 10 filling ideas for vegetarian and vegan empanadas. From savory to sweet, and everything in between, these delicious and easy-to-make empanadas are sure to please everyone at the table.

Introduction to Vegetarian and Vegan Empanadas

If you’re a fan of savory pastries, you’ll love empanadas. These delicious stuffed pastries are a staple in Latin American cuisine. Traditionally, empanadas are filled with meat, but there’s no reason why us vegetarians and vegans can’t enjoy them too! In fact, there are plenty of creative and tasty vegetarian and vegan empanada filling ideas out there.

What are Empanadas?

If you’re not familiar with empanadas, they are a type of pastry that is either baked or fried. They can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as meats, vegetables, and cheese. Empanadas originated in Spain and were brought over to Latin America during the colonial period. Today, they are a staple in many Latin American countries and are enjoyed all over the world.

Vegetarian and Vegan Empanadas

While meat is a common filling for empanadas, there are many vegetarian and vegan alternatives that are just as delicious. Vegetarian empanadas can be filled with cheese, vegetables, beans, and more. Vegan empanadas can use plant-based meats, tofu, or other proteins, along with veggies and spices. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making vegetarian and vegan empanadas.

Basics of Making Empanada Dough

The dough is a crucial component of empanadas. Traditionally, empanada dough is made with flour, water, salt, and lard. However, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are a variety of alternative dough options that you can use.

Traditional Empanada Dough Recipe

If you’re looking for a traditional empanada dough recipe, you’ll need flour, water, salt, and lard. Simply mix the flour and salt together in a bowl, then add in lard and mix until crumbly. Gradually add in water until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it’s smooth, then let it rest before rolling out.

Alternative Dough Options for Vegans

For vegans, you can use a vegan butter or vegetable shortening in place of lard. You can also use a combination of flour, water, and vegetable oil to make the dough. There are also pre-made vegan empanada dough options available in some stores.

Creative Filling Ideas for Vegetarian Empanadas

If you’re looking to make vegetarian empanadas, you have plenty of filling options to choose from. Here are some creative ideas to get you started:

Spinach and Feta Empanadas

This filling combines spinach, feta cheese, onion, garlic, and spices for a flavorful and satisfying empanada.

Mushroom and Onion Empanadas

Mushrooms and onions are a classic pairing that make for a delicious vegetarian empanada. Add in some herbs and spices for extra flavor.

Roasted Veggie Empanadas

Roasted veggies, such as eggplant, zucchini, and red pepper, make for a tasty and colorful vegetarian empanada filling.

Black Bean and Corn Empanadas

Black beans and corn are a delicious and protein-packed filling option for vegetarian empanadas. Add in some spices, such as cumin and chili powder, for extra flavor.

Fusion Filling Ideas for Vegan Empanadas

If you’re looking to switch things up and try some unique vegan empanada fillings, there are plenty of fusion options to choose from. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Potato and Pea Samosa Empanadas

Combine the flavors of Indian samosas and empanadas with this tasty filling. Potatoes, peas, and spices make for a delicious vegan filling.

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Empanadas

Curried cauliflower and chickpeas are a flavorful and nutritious vegan empanada filling. Add in some raisins or currants for a sweet touch.

Mexican-Inspired Tofu and Pepper Empanadas

Satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings with this delicious vegan empanada filling. Tofu, peppers, onions, and spices combine for a flavorful and protein-rich filling. Serve with fresh guacamole or salsa for extra flavor.

Spicy and Savory Filling Options for Vegetarian Empanadas

Empanadas are a delicious and versatile snack that can be filled with just about anything you like. For those who prefer a bit of heat, try adding some spice to your filling with these vegetarian options:

Spicy Jalapeño and Cheese Empanadas

For a classic and flavorful filling, combine diced jalapeños with shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack works best). Roll out your pastry dough (store bought or homemade) and fill each round with a spoonful of the mixture. Fold the dough over and press the edges to seal. Bake until golden brown and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Cajun-Spiced Seitan and Vegetable Empanadas

For a heartier and more filling option, try using seitan as your protein source. Combine diced seitan with sautéed onions, peppers, and Cajun seasoning for a flavorful, spicy filling. Add some shredded vegan cheese for an extra punch of flavor. Bake until crispy and enjoy!

Buffalo Chickpea and Blue Cheese Empanadas

For a unique and flavorful twist, try using chickpeas as your protein source. Mix cooked chickpeas with buffalo sauce, crumbled blue cheese, and diced celery. Fill your pastry dough and bake until crispy. Serve with a side of ranch dressing for a delicious and balanced snack.

Sweet and Savory Filling Options for Vegan Empanadas

Empanadas don’t have to be savory – they can also be sweet! Here are a few vegan options that combine the best of both worlds:

Apple and Cinnamon Empanadas

For a sweet and comforting snack, fill your pastry dough with diced apples, cinnamon, and a bit of brown sugar. Bake until golden brown and enjoy with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate and Banana Empanadas

For a decadent and indulgent dessert, try filling your empanadas with sliced bananas and vegan chocolate chips. Bake until the chocolate is melted and the dough is crispy. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup for a dessert that’s out of this world.

Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Empanadas

For a fun and unique twist, try using sweet potatoes and marshmallows as your filling. Roast diced sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and cinnamon until soft. Mix with mini marshmallows and fill your pastry dough. Bake until melted and crispy for a delicious and seasonal snack.

Tips for Baking and Serving Empanadas

When it comes to baking and serving empanadas, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Baking Time and Temperature Guidelines

Empanadas are typically baked at 350-375°F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. However, it’s important to check your specific recipe for exact baking times and temperatures.

Serving Suggestions for Vegetarian and Vegan Empanadas

Empanadas can be served on their own as a snack or appetizer, or as part of a larger meal. They pair well with a variety of sides, such as salsa, guacamole, or a simple mixed green salad. For a heartier meal, serve with rice and beans or roasted vegetables.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts on Vegetarian and Vegan Empanadas

Empanadas are a delicious and versatile snack that can be filled with just about anything you like. Whether you prefer spicy and savory fillings or sweet and indulgent desserts, there’s an empanada recipe out there for everyone. So next time you’re in the mood for a snack, try making your own empanadas at home – they’re easier than you think!In conclusion, vegetarian and vegan empanadas are a tasty and versatile way to enjoy this traditional Latin American dish. By trying out these 10 filling ideas, you can experiment with different flavors and textures to find the perfect combination that satisfies your cravings. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or a meat-lover looking to try something new, these creative empanada fillings are sure to impress. So grab your apron, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal!



Can I use store-bought empanada dough for these recipes?

Yes, you can use store-bought empanada dough for these recipes if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own dough. Just make sure that the dough you purchase is vegan if you’re making vegan empanadas.

What are some creative vegetarian and vegan options for empanada fillings?

Some creative vegetarian and vegan options for empanada fillings include roasted vegetables, black beans and corn, spinach and feta, and mushroom and onion. For vegan empanadas, you can also experiment with tofu, tempeh, and vegan cheese.

Can I make these empanadas ahead of time and freeze them?

Yes, you can make these empanadas ahead of time and freeze them for later. Simply assemble the empanadas, place them on a baking sheet, and pop them in the freezer for about 30 minutes until they’re firm. Then you can transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To bake the frozen empanadas, just add a few minutes to the baking time.

What should I serve with vegetarian and vegan empanadas?

Vegetarian and vegan empanadas are a filling and satisfying meal on their own, but you can also pair them with a variety of side dishes to round out the meal. Some good options include a simple side salad, fresh fruit, or roasted vegetables. You can also serve them with a dipping sauce, such as salsa, guacamole, or a vegan cheese dip.

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By Sarah

Hey there! I'm Sarah. I love Writing, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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