Being Argentinean and living in Italy, we really miss the great “Empanadas Argentinas.” These vegan empanadas are delicious and very easy to make; you will feel that you have taken a quick trip to Argentina.
There are many different kinds of these puffy savory pastries. In a way, they are very close to the pizzas as the principle for making empanadas is the same: dough plus getting creative with the garnishing/filling.
Making Vegan Empanadas
- Make the dough as directed below. You can also use pre-bought puff pastry.
- Make the filling.
- Assemble the empanadas.
When making empanadas, you need to think about three things that differentiate the different types you can find typically in Argentina: the kind of dough, the cooking method, and the filling.
If you mix these three variables, you can find an endless array of possibilities.
Let’s start with the simplest of the variables.
Fried vs. Oven Baked. Although fried empanadas are quite common, they have become less common day by day. In our point of view for two reasons:
- It is widespread to ask for empanadas’ deliveries, and just as any other fried delivered good, will not reach its destiny as crispy as they should.
- Fried empanadas are not very healthy. They are usually fried in pork’s fat, and nowadays, people are always looking for healthier comfort food versions. Still, they widely consumed when eating out, and they naturally will reach your mouth crispy.
The Empanadas Dough
You can find mainly two kinds of doughs, puff pastry, and regular pastry.
This decision is harder to make, and we like both very much; it is really just up to what you feel like having. We vary amongst these types, depending on our mood.
Simple and Tasty Empanadas Dough: All-purpose flower, Olive Oil and Salt.
Also, in the north of Argentina, Tucuman’s empanadas use pork’s fat to make the dough. Being plant-based, we just limit our consumption of animal fats. We have tried them before, but in my opinion, there is nothing to miss from porcine fat; also, they are obviously, less healthy.
The Best Empanadas filling
In every Empanada Shop, they have at least five kinds of fillings. The ones that you will always find are beef, ham and cheese, Caprese, humita (sweet corn), and Roquefort (blue cheese). But most empanadas shops have about ten types or more.
In the case of empanadas, unlike pizzas, cheese is not an essential component. Certain filings include cheese such as the: ham and cheese, onions and cheese kind, or Caprese (cheese, basil, and tomato).
Another two practical aspects
Since it is common to eat more than one kind of empanadas as part of the same meal, the cue to differentiate them from the outside is the folding technique (repulgue). Also, different marks work.
I will show how to make the repulgue, but the easiest way to get it right for a beginner is to use a fork to put pressure on the border and close them.
How many Vegan Empanadas should you calculate for each person?
If you’re like us, empanadas are good any time of the day, they are both a staple appetizer and a great option for any given lunch or dinner with family or friends. And for a while now, we’ve been craving some as we miss them so much!
For a full dinner or lunch: four empanadas.
Not that hungry: three empanadas.
On a diet? two empanadas.
As an appetizer: one empanada.
Notes (if using pre-made puff pastry):
- You can get about seven medium discs out of one disc.
- Take it out of the fridge just right before cutting and using it.
So, out of all this variety, what kind of vegan empanadas are we having here?
For these easy empanadas, I am using Tucuman Style Empanada’s seasonings (Empanadas Tucumanas), which typically include cumin, paprika, olives, and raisins.
These lentil empanadas are a veganized version, so we use olive oil instead of porcine fat, lentils instead of pork, and we are not using eggs which the Tucuman version usually includes.
Also, we make a vegan empanada dough using olive oil instead of pork fat.
Sauces or no Sauces on your Empanadas?
It is not necessary and it is not common. If you go to a Restaurant, typically a Meat restaurant would Maybe have a “Chimichurri” or “Provenzal” sauce, which some people will put on top.
There is a large community of Argentineans living in Mexico, so this puffy pastries have become quite common there luckily.
While we lived there, we noticed that with every Empanadas Delivery we would also get some extra sauces, but yes is Mexico! The land of sauces. Feel free to try it.
Lentil Empanadas Ingredients
Ready for the cooking empanadas?
Please let us know which is your favorite and what type of empanadas you find in your region.
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If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
- Baking Tray
- Rolling pin or clean bottle
- Sauce Pan
To paint them (for color):
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoon water
- Unite all the ingredients to form a dough.
- Knead for 5 minutes so that it is well united and tender. Cover with a film or damp towel and let rest which will prevent the surface from drying.
- Wash and soak the lentils in a bowl with a glass of water.
- Chop the different kinds of onions, garlic, and red bell pepper.
- On high heat, sauté the chopped ingredients until tender.
- Add the lentils, plus the water.
- Add all the spices, salt, and pepper.
- In about 15 minutes, the lentils should be tender. You should slightly overcook the lentils to manageable and don’t fall apart while assembling the empanadas.
- Add the olives and the raisins. Turn off the fire and let the mix cool down.
Prepare the dough:
- Prepare two little bowls, one with a half cup of water and one with two tablespoons of water plus a little bit of paprika (to paint the empanadas for color).
- Spread the dough with a rolling pin on a surface with just a little bit of flour to prevent it from sticking.
- Cut the discs with a 3-4 inches cutter or any circular plate with a circular shape.
- Pre-heat the oven at 450ºF (230ºC).
- Moist your fingertips in the water bowl and spread some water in the edges of the discs.
- Fill with about one full tablespoon of the cold mixture in the center of the disc.
- Close the disc and with a fork, put pressure in the moist edges until perfectly closed.
- Paint them with a brush and the paprika and water mix.
- Arrange the empanadas on a greased baking tray.
- Bake for 15 minutes, watching it after the minute ten, to them from burning.
You can have the mix prepare a couple of hours or a day before.
You can store the empanadas in the fridge, separating them with pieces of parchment paper.
To bake frozen empanadas, you just need to place them directly in a baking tray without defrosting. You might need to leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Empanadas are well kept frozen for months, so they make a great meal prep.
The dough is well kept wholly covered in the fridge for two days.