These baked vegan garlic spinach empanadas are the perfect healthy finger food snacks – hot or cold, they’re incredibly delicious! They can be made with gluten-free cornflour or simple all-purpose or spelt flour. You can even stuff these dumplings with other veggies you like!
Vegan Empanadas with Garlic Spinach
Today I have a recipe for vegan empanadas for you. These are stuffed dumplings, which are mostly served in Spain, Central, and South America, and the Philippines. Often, however, they are made with eggs and filled with minced meat and cheese. But I think this recipe proves once again that the vegan version tastes just as delicious without dairy products. I prefer to snack on them in the evening while relaxing in front of the TV or serve them when friends come over. In combination with different dips, such as guacamole or cashew cream dip, they are a great party snack. But these empanadas are also perfect as a side dish to a fresh salad or for preparing for the next day to take away.
Vegan Empanadas can be made in so many ways!
Usually, empanadas are made from gluten-free (precooked) cornflour or simple all-purpose flour. But you can also combine both types of flour or use a gluten-free flour blend. Optionally, you can also use spelt flour. Anyway, in this recipe, I made the dough with wheat flour because it is available in every supermarket and I think most of you already have it at home. Also as regards the filling different combinations are possible. In this recipe, I chose a simple filling of garlic spinach with vegan shredded cheese. But I also like to fill them with beans, corn, peas, and carrots. With a filling of potatoes and mushrooms, as I did with my vegan pierogi, they certainly taste very good as well.
How to make Vegan empanadas- It’s so easy!
Step 1: Prep the dough
To make these healthy baked vegan garlic spinach empanadas, start by making the dough. First, combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Shape a pile and press a hollow in the center. Then add the soft vegan butter into the hollow and fill in plant-based milk (or water). Now knead everything well until you have a nice smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Place the wrapped dough ball in the fridge to chill for at least 1/2 hour. If you leave the dough longer in the fridge, you should remove it approx. 15 minutes before using it so it can come to room temperature before using. Otherwise, it’ll be pretty firm and more difficult to roll out.
Step 2: Make the filling, assemble and bake
In the meantime, you can prepare the garlic spinach filling or another filling you like. While the prepared filling cools down, you can roll out the dough and cut out medium-sized circles (I easily used a big glass of about 10 cm diameter). Then place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each dough circle and fold the empanadas over the filling into a crescent. Now press the edges firmly with a fork, so that the filling does not run out. Before I put the stuffed empanadas in the oven, I always brush them with a mixture of olive oil, soy milk, and some turmeric for a nice golden color. You can either bake the vegan empanadas in the oven for about 20 minutes at 392°F (200°C) until they are golden brown and crispy, or deep fry them. This recipe yields about 12-16 empanadas, depending on size.
If you tried this baked vegan empanadas recipe, I would appreciate a comment. You are also welcome to post a picture on Instagram and link it to @biancazapatka so that I can see your great creations. Maybe you will also like my similar recipe for vegan dumplings with spinach and cashew ricotta.
Vegan Empanadas with SpinachAuthor:
- 3 tbsp soy milk or other dairy-free milk
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch of turmeric optional
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Then form a mold in the center of the flour.
- Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan. Allow to cool slightly, then pour it into the flour mold. Pour in dairy-free milk (or water) and knead everything until a nice smooth dough forms.
- Then form the dough into a ball, wrap tightly in cling film, and place in the fridge to chill for at least ½ hour.*
- Thaw and squeeze out the spinach.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Sauté chopped onion and garlic briefly. Then add the spinach and season with salt, pepper, a bit of nutmeg, and chili to taste. Set aside and let cool slightly before adding the vegan cheese.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and knead again on a lightly floured surface. Then roll it out and cut out 4-inch (10 cm) diameter circles (I used a big glass to do that). Collect the remaining dough and knead it together into a ball. Then roll it out again, and cut out more circles of dough. Continue this process until all of the dough is used up.
- Place 1-2 tsp of the filling in the center of each dough circle and fold the empanadas into a half-moon shape. Then press the edges together firmly using a fork.
- Brush a baking tray with oil (or line it with parchment paper) and arrange the stuffed empanadas onto it.
- Mix the olive oil, soy milk, and turmeric to combine, then brush the filled empanadas with it.
- Bake them in a preheated oven at 392°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. (Optionally, you can also deep fry them).
- Serve your vegan empanadas hot or cold.
- Instead of all-purpose or spelt flour, you can also use gluten-free (pre-cooked) cornflour, or combine both types of flour. You could also use a gluten-free 1 to 1 all-purpose flour blend, however, I do not recommend using whole grain flour.
- You can also use other ingredients for the filling.
- I used vegan shredded cheese, but you can also use vegan cream cheese, homemade vegan feta, or homemade cashew ricotta.
- If you leave the dough in the fridge for longer than 1/2 hour, you should remove it earlier and allow it to come to room temperature before using it. Otherwise, the dough will be too firm and difficult to roll out.
- They taste best when you serve them with different dips, such as guacamole or cashew cream dip, or vegan mayonnaise.
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