Savory Hand Pies – Vegetable Empanadas with Spicy Sauce

I like foods that you can eat on the go… image

The combinations are endless with empanadas and I absolutely love recipes where you can freestyle a bit with your ingredients.  I made these vegetarian, well actually vegan for my friends.  I wanted something that would be substantial enough to serve as a main course along with several other items.  I have also used this combination of vegetables with both beef and pork and it was very good. image

The seasonings can also be adapted, for these I decided to do a basic seasoning of salt and pepper, along with some Natures Seasoning, which is my favorite seasoning blend.  Because I was serving these with an amazing homemade spicy sauce, I didn’t want to detract from the sauce.


Although you want to have a good amount of filling, be sure not to over fill your empanadas, otherwise they won’t close and I guess you’ll end up with more of a veggie taco than empanadas!


These keep very well, in fact you can freeze them before or even after they are baked.  They make great lunches, just a few minutes in the toaster oven or microwave and lunch is served!


Hope you enjoy these as much as I do! 


Vegetable Empanadas

3 cups finely chopped kale
3 carrots shredded
1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
1 large shallot
1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (and a little Natures Seasoning)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Make the filling

  • In a large pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons oil to pan with shallots and mushrooms, cook until onions are softened and mushrooms are nicely browned.
  • Add carrots, kale and cabbage to the pan, with 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, cover with a tight pitting top and allow vegetables to cook.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and Natures Seasoning.  Stir on occasion to ensure that the vegetables do not burn.  Cook until vegetables are softened, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool while you make the empanada dough.

Empanada dough

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces (for vegan, use shortening)
2 large eggs (for vegan, use 2 tablespoons olive oil, or egg substitute)
1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Make dough

  • Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, pulse 2-3 times to combine.
  • Add butter (or shortening or margarine) and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Combine the eggs, water and vinegar, mix lightly. Drizzle mixture over the flour and butter and pulse until the dough just comes together.
  • Lightly floured work surface and turn the dough out and gently knead until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  • Once chilled, roll dough out about 1/8 inch thick and cut out circles to desired size.  I cut out my circles using a bowl that was about 3 inches diameter.

To assemble and bake

  • Add filling to dough, fold in half and crimp edges with fork.
  • Brush prepared empanadas with egg or milk (soy milk) to help ensure a nice brown crust.
  • Bake empanadas for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Torrisi’s Spicy Sauce
Original recipe can be found here 
Makes 2 cups

4 ounces B&G hot cherry peppers (or other pickled hot peppers), stemmed
2 ounces roasted red peppers
2 ounces crushed tomato
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, with a bit of chunkiness.
  • Let spicy sauce rest for awhile so that the flavors can blend.



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