I'm here to share with you a quick and easy recipe for vegan empanadas dough. It's perfect for your next party! Being Argentinean and living in Italy, we really miss the great "Empanadas Argentinas."
This eggless dough Recipe is easy to make and ready in minutes.
Empanadas are a great appetizer, main meal, or side dish widely consumed in Latin America. They can be filled with anything and can be eaten at any time of day. They're also great as the main dish for your next gathering!
This is not the extra puffy and buttery kind but the drier and not oily version, which we like better.
🧾 Dough Ingredients
In all the empanadas recipes I've ever made, one thing has been missing: empanada dough without egg.
Well, not anymore - I have finally found a suitable replacement with this simple recipe.
So, to make a dough without eggs, you will need the following ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Olive oil
- Fine sea salt
See quantities in the recipe card.
Let's dive into the vegan empanada dough recipe in detail.
Unite all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Knead for 5 minutes so that it is well united and tender and forms a dough ball.
Cover with a plastic wrap or damp towel and let rest to prevent the surface from drying. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Eight hours or overnight would be even better.
Stretch the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface with just a little wheat flour. Use more flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
You could stretch the dough after 30 minutes, but it can be more difficult to manage and keep the empanada discs from keeping their shape.
Note: different flours may absorb water differently, so it is a best practice to have extra 50-100 grams available (about ½ cup), to add as needed and prevent any eventual sticking.
Stretching Homemade Dough. Cut the discs with a round pastry cutter (affiliate link) or a circular bowl, making left-to-right, round movements.
Separate the discs. Use flour and parchment paper to separate the discs so they don't stick together.
💭 An alternative method for hand pie discs
If you don't have a pastry cutter, simply form small dough balls of approximately 1 ¾ ounce (50 grams).
Start stretching the dough ball with your thumb until you have a 4-inch (10 cm) disc.
💡 Top tips
- You can use the dough immediately after kneading and refrigerating for a minimum of 30 minutes. Still, it is even easier to manage the discs after refrigerating them overnight, as they become less stretchy and keep their shape.
- You can use a clean glass bottle without labels if you don't have a rolling pin. Just pick a wine bottle and put it to good use.
- Ensure to roll the dough thin enough so the dough's ratio to filling stays balanced.
- Keep it chilled in the fridge wrapped in plastic until you are about to use it; otherwise, the surface can harden as exposed to air.
- Before making the empanada dough circle, lay some flour on the surface to manage them better. Also, when assembling the vegetarian empanada filling, use some flour to facilitate the handling of the discs.
- You can also use a toaster oven to make only a few empanadas or even frying them (definitely a less healthy option).
👨🏻🍳 Handling the vegan empanada dough
When you have your filling of preference, set your working table with:
- A small bowl with water - to facilitate the closing of the discs.
- The empanadas filling.
- A baking tray (if baking the empanadas).
- Oil or parchment paper prevents the dough from sticking to the baking sheet.
- A brush, a small bowl with water, and a pinch of smoked paprika. This replaces the regular use of egg yolk to paint the dough and gives it a golden brown color.
Filling - make your favorite vegan empanada recipe filling.
If you want to make something simple, make a Caprese empanada. Simply use two or three halved cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and a chunk of vegan mozzarella cheese.
Expert tip: always add a little extra salt to your filling than you would typically use, as when combined with the dough, which is not a salty one, you may perceive the filling as bland.
Make the dough
Make the dough as directed. Mix the flour, salt, oil, and warm water in a large bowl or directly on the table and knead for five minutes. You can also use pre-bought puff pastry.
- Assemble the empanadas and place them on a baking sheet.
- Fill the empanadas with a healthy scoop of filling, but not too much; otherwise, it would be difficult to close them.
- Use your finger to apply some water to the edges, so the dough closes perfectly.
Tip: if using a watery filling such as spinach or tomatoes, squeeze and remove any excess moisture before adding it to the empanada disc. Otherwise, it can make the dough soggy.
- Close the discs with the filling with a fork, stretch the closed edges outwards, and then fold them inwards.
- Brush the empanadas with the smoked paprika and red water mixture to give the empanadas a golden color, instead of using the regular egg wash.
Make the paprika mixture.
Then brush the empanadas with it.
With a fork, gently pierce the dough to prevent it from exploding in the oven after they rise.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Place the empanadas on an oiled baking sheet or on top of lined parchment paper. Leave some room between them.
- Bake until golden brown (about 15 minutes). If you notice that the borders of your vegetarian empanadas are already golden brown, the top of the patties still needs some cooking, lower to medium heat.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Hint: you can eat empanadas straight out of the oven, but they pack a lot of steam inside. In our opinion, having the empanadas warm allows experience their flavor better.
Folding: a practical aspect
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. The easiest way to get it right for a beginner is to use a fork to pressure the border and close them. Some people like using an empanada maker (affiliate link).
Please let us know which is your favorite and the type of empanadas you find in your region!Jump to Recipe
You can find mainly two kinds of doughs, puff pastry and regular pastry (which we make here).
Vegan puff pastry
Vegan Puff Pastry uses vegan butter instead of the traditional one, and the dough is made from all-purpose flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and any dairy-free milk like soy milk.
Sometimes we use Whole Wheat Flour for added flavor and nutrition; the result will be a more dense, flavorful dough.
Baking powder makes dough fluffier. Add it to the dough if you want a puffier and fluffier dough.
Replace a third of the all-purpose flour for whole bran flour to include more fiber in your diet and improve the nutritional value of the dough.
In the empanada dough recipes for empanadas I have been sharing with you, I use all-purpose flour.
But what is the difference between whole bran flour vs all-purpose?
All-purpose flour is made from a blend of high-gluten wheat, whereas whole bran is made from soft wheat, durum flour, and barley.
Whole Wheat flour is not as finely milled as all-purpose or pastry flour.
And that's why empanada dough using whole bran flour is different than empanada dough using all-purpose flour.
It works well; I prefer replacing only a third of the all-purpose flour, so the empanadas have some gluten and can keep the rising power of the dough.
You can make your empanada dough gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend for baking in place of wheat flour. We like using Bob Mill's.
The taste of this gluten-free version will be slightly different, but it can certainly work well if you are gluten-intolerant.
While many gluten-free recipes call for lard or shortening, this hand-pies dough replaces the fat content with olive oil to hold the dough together.
Replace Olive oil
This recipe calls for olive oil, but the puffy pastry is typical in many cuisines, such as French, Levantine/North African, but they exist in every one of the world's cultures.
Every culture has dough made out of flour and water, which is used to make all kinds of pastries- savory or sweet.
Vegan Butter or margarine is an example of a vegan alternative to dairy butter. The main ingredient in butter is fat, which can be extracted from soy, almond, and other fruit such as coconuts.
Making a vegan empanada usually requires buying pre-made dough (usually, this comes in sheets) and then making small turnovers with a filling.
Using vegan butter will allow you to replicate the puff pastry used for the vegan empanada recipe so that you can recreate your own at home.
Of course, this vegan recipe is a healthier puff pastry version, but you can start experimenting with different variations.
Instead of warm water, use warm plant-based milk.
- Rolling pin - I find that using a rolling pin (affiliate link) makes my life so much easier, but you can also use a clean bottle.
- Cookie cutter - you could use a small bowl with a sharp edge, but it is nice to work with a cookie cutter (affiliate link) to make clean cuts on the dough.
- Empanada maker - if you want to make empanadas faster or simply find the fork method technique or folding techniques messy, use this simple empanada maker (affiliate link), which resembles a dumpling or ravioli maker but is bigger.
If you want to save your dough discs for later use, store them separately with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
To freeze the empanadas dough, separate them with parchment paper. Then place the disc in a closed container.
When ready to use, pull the frozen empanadas out 15 minutes before so they thaw well. Use flour on the surface of a baking sheet.
If you buy the discs, they come with a separator; set aside them for the next time you prepare your own, and save the planet from using parchment paper.
🌶 Veggie empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri is a classic Argentinean sauce season for meats and vegetables.
It's made from red wine vinegar and olive oil mixed with garlic in addition to parsley or oregano for tons of flavor!
Make Chimichurri sauce by combining all ingredients in a large bowl or jar.
Ingredients of Chimichurri Sauce
1½ fresh Italian parsley leaves
4-5 cloves of garlic
Fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (or ½ dried) – I used 3 large thyme sprigs instead. I also use an immersion blender to blend everything.
Vegan Empanada Recipe with mushrooms filling
Also, in the north of Argentina, Tucuman's empanadas use pork fat to make the dough. Being plant-based, we 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 than vegan recipes.
❓ Other uses for this dough
If you are looking for a pie shortcrust, we recommend using our No-roll vegan pie crust, which works for sweet and savory baked goods.
🇦🇷 More Argentinean recipes
These vegan meals share various aspects with the empanadas, as they use similar ingredients and have that Argentinean seasoning we love.
Looking for a vegan empanadas recipe?
- Vegan Empanadas Tucuman Style (our favorite vegan empanada recipe, lentils filling).
- Vegan Mushroom Empanadas
- Mom's Pickled Eggplants
- Carrot Savory Tart (Pie)
- Vegan Eggplant Pie
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Easy Vegan Empanadas Dough
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour (340 grams). Use 13 ¼ oz (375 grams), if using 1 cup of water. Plus more to adjust. See notes below.
- ⅞ cup water (200 ml) warm (or measure 1 cup of water (236 ml) and add exactly 1 ¼ oz (35 grams) extra flour until it binds
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin, use vegan butter to make it a puff-pastry
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
To paint when making empanadas:
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons water
- Unite all the ingredients to form a dough.
- Knead for 5 minutes so that it is well united and tender.
- Cover with a plastic film or damp towel and let rest to prevent the surface from drying. Let it rest for 5 minutes before using.
Prepare the dough:
- Prepare two little bowls, one with a half cup of water and one with two tablespoons of water plus some paprika (to paint the empanadas for color).
- Spread the dough with a rolling pin on a surface with just a little flour to avoid sticking.
- Cut the disks with a 3-4 inches cutter or any plate with a circular shape. You can also shape a small ball with your hands.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC).
- Moist your fingertips in the water bowl and spread some water on the edges of the disks.
- Fill with about one full tablespoon of the filling of your preference in the center of the disk.
- Close the disk and put pressure on the moist edges until perfectly closed with a fork. You can also fold it, stretching outwards and then inwards.
- Arrange the empanadas on a greased baking tray (or a lined parchment paper) and paint them with a brush and the smoked paprika and water mix. Pinch with a fork- for the empanadas to release hot air while baking and prevent them from exploding.
- Bake for 15 minutes, watching it after the tenth minute to prevent them from burning. If the empanadas borders start to brown while the center looks still uncooked, reduce to medium heat.
🌡️ Food safety
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to or remove the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove