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Healthy Crispy Vegan Spiced Bean Empanadas

Healthy Crispy Vegan Spiced Bean Empanadas

These Healthy Crispy Vegan Spiced Bean Empanadas are filled with zesty black beans and wrapped in flaky puff pastry. They’re packed with flavor and surprisingly easy to make!

I used store-bought puff pastry in place of the from-scratch pastry you’d find in most empanada recipes. Is this an authentic way of making empanadas? Hell no! Is it easy and delicious? You bet!

Puff pastry is French, for one thing, while empanadas are Latin American. The texture of puff pastry isn’t exactly the same as that of empanada dough, but for my purposes, it works!
Note: If you can’t find a vegan puff pastry, you can use filo pastry.
No need to roll the filo, but you will need to butter each layer and build it yourself. Then cut circles.


Although I don’t think there’s a specific filling that makes an authentic empanada, most recipes I’ve seen call for beef and cheese. Obviously we can’t have that here.

Black beans are my go-to substitute for meat filling in lots of Latin American-inspired recipes. They work great in burritos and tacos. They’re delicious, satisfying, and go great with the spices you’d normally find in this cuisine. So that’s what I used as the primary ingredient in my vegan empanada filling.


  • Where can I find a vegan puff pastry? It’s probably right there in your regular supermarket’s freezer. Lots of brands happen to be accidentally vegan. Just check the ingredients lists! I used Pepperidge Farm.
  • Make sure to let your puff pastry thaw before getting started. This can take a couple of hours. If you forget (as happens to the best of us), take the puff pastry out of the package and sit it close to the oven while it preheats. It’ll thaw much quicker this way.
  • Make-ahead option: The filling for these can be made up to two days in advance. However, I recommend leaving the scallions and cilantro out and adding them just before stuffing the empanadas.
  • Leftover empanadas can be stored in a sealed bag or airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The puff pastry will lose it’s crispness as they sit, and I haven’t found a way to get that back with reheating, but they will continue to taste good.
  • For cheesy vegan empanadas, feel free to add a pinch of your favorite shredded vegan cheese to each empanada. Just sprinkle it right over the filling before folding and sealing.
  • You’ll have some leftover puff pastry scraps after cutting the dough. I like to throw them on an extra baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake for about 20 minutes.Do let me know how you found these Healthy Crispy Vegan Spiced Bean Empanadas if you do try them though! And if there was anything you tried or something that worked better…Do drop me a comment below, or you can find me/message me directly on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, or Facebook! I love seeing what my lovely readers think of my recipes!Also, I would really appreciate it if you check out my very first E-Book, it’s a 70-page book, full of beautiful, easy, and delicious vegan recipes! Click HERE to find out more!

    Healthy Crispy Vegan Spiced Bean Empanadas

    These vegan empanadas are filled with zesty black beans and wrapped in flaky puff pastry. They're packed with flavor and surprisingly easy to make!
    Prep Time 20 mins
    Cook Time 25 mins
    Total Time 55 mins
    Course Main Course, Side Dish
    Cuisine Mexican
    Servings 16
    Calories 234 kcal


    • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    • 1 medium onion diced
    • 1 medium red bell pepper diced
    • 3 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • Pinch ground cloves
    • 1 14 ounces or 400 gram can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/4 cup/ 61g of water
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup/80g frozen corn thawed
    • 2 tablespoons hot sauce* such as Cholula or sriracha
    • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 8.7 ounces or 245 gram sheets vegan puff pastry ( or filo pastry )
    • 1 tablespoon unflavored and unsweetened non-dairy milk


    • Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and place it over medium heat.
    • Once the oil is hot, add the pepper and onion. Cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is tender and the onion is soft and translucent.
    • Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, and cloves. Stir everything and cook the mixture for about 1 minute, until the garlic becomes very fragrant.
    • Add the beans, water, and tomato paste. Stir everything to blend the tomato paste with the water.
    • Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until the beans have softened up a bit and most of the liquid has cooked off.
    • Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the corn, hot sauce, scallions, and cilantro. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
    • Preheat the oven to 425°F/200c and oil two large or three medium-sized baking sheets.
    • Place one of your puff pastry sheets on the counter, and use a rolling pin to roll it into a 9x14 inch rectangle.
    • Cut six circles in the dough, about 4 1/2 inches each in diameter. To do this you can use a large cookie or biscuit cutter, or find an appropriately-sized bowl and use a knife to cut around it. You can also just eyeball it if you're comfortable doing that.
    • Repeat the process until all of your dough has been rolled and cut. You should have eighteen circles.
    • Fill a small bowl with water. Grab one of your dough circles and spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center.
    • Wet a finger with the bowl of water, then spread a thin layer of water around the edges of the circle. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling, and pinch the edges tightly to seal. Place it on a baking sheet and crimp the edges with a fork.
    • Repeat until all of the filling and dough circles are used, arranging the empanadas evenly on the baking sheets with about an inch separating them. Use a fork to poke a few holes in each empanada, then brush the tops of the empanadas with the milk.
    • Place the empanadas into the oven (you can bake them in batches if they don't all fit), and bake them for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the baking sheets from the oven and brush the empanadas with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
    • Bake the empanadas for about 5 minutes more, until golden brown. Let the empanadas cool for just a few minutes before serving


    If you can't find a vegan puff pastry, you can use filo pastry.
    No need to roll the filo, but you will need to butter each layer and build it yourself. Then cut circles. 
    Store the cooled empanadas in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven.


    Calories: 234kcal
    Keyword crispy, dairyfree, empanadas, nutfree, vegan
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