Veggie Empanadas

Fun fact: I eat mostly plant-based during the week. And the more experienced I get in the kitchen, the more I learn to appreciate vegetables for what they are and focus on how delicious and versatile they can be. I find myself gravitating towards more vegetable-forward cookbooks and trying to incorporate more plants into my diet; honestly, I just feel better when I do so and find that my dishes are more balanced.

Also, to the skeptics, spare me the “i DoN’t EaT vEgGiEs” remarks and be an adult for once. Vegetables are amazing (when prepared correctly) and I love making dishes that my vegetarian and vegan friends can enjoy. I don’t like leaving them out when it comes to dinner parties and snacks, so here we are!

The original recipe yielded 40 empanadas since I made a batch for a dinner party and for coworkers, but I scaled it down to 20. Half to enjoy fresh and the other half can easily be frozen in a plastic bag and made for another time. They’re great fo meal prep since they can easily be thawed out the night before and fried or baked the next day. And get creative with the fillings! I have a recipe for a meat filling (if you’re making mixed batches), so feel free to do what you like with them.


Veggie Empanadas

Yield: 20 empanadas

Cook time: 1 .5 hours, start to finish with filling and frying

Vegetable oil

2 packages Goya empanada dough discs, thawed

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced and partially cooked

1/2 cup Simple Sofrito

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

6 whole garlic cloves, crushed 

2 tbsp sliced manzanilla olives 

Kosher salt

Black pepper 

1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika 

1 packet Goya Sazón con Achiote

1/3 cup water

1 tbsp tomato paste 

2 small bay leaves 

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen sweet corn

1 small box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained 

1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the diced potatoes and enough water to cover them. Microwave them for 15 minutes to partially cook them.


While the potatoes are being microwaved, in a large frying pan or sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the sofrito and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the yellow onion and cook until it’s translucent. Stir in the garlic and sliced olives and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Liberally season with kosher salt and black pepper.


When the potatoes are done in the microwave, drain them from the liquid and set aside. Next, in the pot on the stove, stir in the diced mushrooms, cumin, smoked paprika, and Goya Sazón packet. Cook the mushrooms until they release all of their liquid, about 8-10 minutes. Then, stir in the tomato paste.


Next, fold in the drained, partially cooked potatoes, black beans, and water. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. After the potatoes are tender, add the drained spinach and cabbage to the pot. Stir well and cook until the spinach is warmed through and the cabbage is slightly tender.


Turn the heat off and let the vegetable mixture cool down for about 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, get a pot and heat up enough vegetable oil over medium heat to fry the empanadas. While the oil is heating up and once the mixture is cool enough to handle, add about 2 tablespoons of filling to the thawed out dough disc. Fold over the dough in a half-moon shape and press down with your fingers. Then, using a fork, press down on the edges to seal the empanada.


Once you have all the empanada shells made, it’s time to fry these babies up! Fry the empanadas in small batches to avoid overcrowding the pot. Once they float and are golden brown in color, remove them and drain on a paper towel lined plate.


Serve immediately with a main dish or eat solo as a snack!


¡Buen provecho!