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Side view of a plate with three empanadas.


  • Author: Vicky and Ruth
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 empanadas 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Get ready to indulge in the mouthwatering, savory goodness of these homemade empanadas that will leave you craving more! With every bite, you'll experience the perfect combination of flaky olive oil dough and an irresistibly delicious Mediterranean-inspired vegan filling that will take your taste buds on a flavorful journey.


Units Scale

Empanada Dough 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (400 gr )
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vinegar or lemon
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (140 gr)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Chickpea Filling

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • One 15 -ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp water

Vegan Shawarma Filling

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces firm tofu, padded dry and crumbled
  • 1 tbsp Shawarma Spice Mix, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or concentrate
  • A pinch of Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes ( optional)


To prepare the empanada dough

  1. In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients.  Mix well with your hands or a pastry blender and let it sit until you make the fillings.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

To prepare the chickpea filling

  1. In a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil, add onions, and cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time to prevent the onions from burning. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
  2. In a food processor add the chickpea-filling ingredients and process until it becomes a smooth paste.
  3. Set aside in a bowl

To prepare the vegan Shawarma filling

  1. Wipe the chickpea skillet clean.  Heat olive oil, add shallot, and cook for 3 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent it from burning.  Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.  Add tofu and the rest of the ingredients and cook for 12-15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. 

How to assemble the empanadas

  1. Using 1/4 cup of dough at a time make dough balls.  Flatten the dough into a disk. To make it easier and faster you can use a tortilla press, check out the images above.
  2. Scoop 2 tablespoons of filling and place it a little below the middle of the disk.  Fold over the dough to form a semi-circle empanada.  Seal the edges with a fork. 
  3. Brush the empanadas with almond milk or egg, if not vegan.
  4. Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. For best results chill the empanadas for 15 to 20 minutes before baking.
  5.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden at the bottom. 
  6. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.


  1. Use good dough: Using good tasty and easy-to-handle dough will make a big difference in the texture and flavor of your empanadas. You can make your own dough or use pre-made empanada dough, which is available in some grocery stores.

  2. Make sure your filling is well-seasoned: A well-seasoned filling is essential to a flavorful empanada. Be sure to taste your filling before assembling the empanadas and adjust the seasoning as needed.

  3. Don't overfill your empanadas: Overfilling your empanadas can cause them to burst or leak during baking or frying. Use about 2 tablespoons of filling per empanada.

  4. Seal the edges well: A good seal is crucial to keeping the filling inside the empanada. Use a fork to press the edges together, or crimp the edges with your fingers.

  5. Chill the empanadas before baking or frying: Chilling the empanadas before baking or frying will help them hold their shape and prevent them from opening up during cooking. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before cooking.

  6. Brush with almond milk or egg wash: Brushing the empanadas with an egg wash before baking it will give them a nice golden brown color and a shiny appearance. They will not be as shiny when using almond milk. We've read that some people use aquafaba to brush the empanadas, but we have not tried it yet.

  7. Experiment with different fillings and flavors: Empanadas can be filled with a wide variety of ingredients. We encourage you to experiment with different fillings and flavors. Here are some suggestions:

        • Spinach and feta: A classic combination of spinach and feta cheese seasoned with garlic and onions.

        • Mushroom and garlic: Sautéed mushrooms with garlic and parsley make a great vegan empanada.

        • Black beans and corn: A filling made with black beans, corn, bell peppers, and onion seasoned with cumin and chili powder can create a flavorful and satisfying Latin-inspired vegetarian empanada.

        • Butternut squash and goat cheese: A sweet and savory filling made with roasted butternut squash, crumbled goat cheese, and caramelized onions.

        • Eggplant and tomato: Roasted eggplant and tomatoes with garlic, onion, and herbs, such as basil or oregano, make for a tasty empanada filling.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Spanish


  • Serving Size: 1 empanada
  • Calories: 194
  • Sugar: 1.4 g
  • Sodium: 208.1 mg
  • Fat: 10.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 4.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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