Vegan Empanada Pie Recipe

Making empanadas can be time-consuming. Getting the filling ready and preparing the dough is the easy part, but forming each empanada can take some time. Fear not! There is a simple solution that makes this shaping process much faster. Instead of making several small empanadas, you can just make one big pie-style empanada which you can prepare quickly after the dough and filling are ready.

Vegan Empanada Pie Recipe
Vegan Empanada Pie

This type of empanada is typical from the north of Spain, and while the traditional filling includes ingredients local to the region like bonito or tuna, the possibilities (as with any type of pie) are endless. They can always be made with seasonal ingredients, they can be served cold or hot, and they don’t take long to make. An empanada is a great year-round dish; as a family dinner, for a picnic, or to bring to the beach!

Infuse the Oil

Cooking Herb Oil
Cooking Herb Oil

Starting this recipe by first infusing the oil gives you the chance to set aside a small amount to add to the empanada dough. Another reason is that infused oils are one of the easiest ways to provide depth of flavor.

When using fresh herbs or any other fresh ingredients to infuse the oil, pay particular attention to the way it’s stored. Harmful toxins can thrive in an environment deprived of oxygen like oil. That’s why in this recipe we’re only infusing the amount of oil we’re going to use in the filling as well as in the dough, nothing more.

During the time it takes for the oil to infuse you can be preparing the rest of the ingredients. So once the oil is infused, everything else will be ready to start cooking. 

Vegan Empanada Pie Crust

Buttery Crust of the Vegan Empanada Pie
Buttery Crust of the Vegan Empanada Pie

While the traditional dough for this type of empanada is thick and hearty; this recipe aims for a lighter, crumblier buttery crust. The key word here is buttery.

You can use any type of vegan butter, whether homemade or store-bought, but not margarine. The difference between using vegan butter and margarine is noticeable.

This recipe calls for a good amount of vegan butter, so it’s flavor will definitely impact the flavor of the crust. The crust requires less time in the oven than traditional recipes, and its crumbly texture complements the filling rather than overshadows it.

Because of the crumbly texture we’re after, you don’t need to rest this dough, unlike many other dough recipes.

In a pinch, a store-bought vegan dough will work just fine. However, making the dough from scratch is really very easy and tastes delicious.

This recipe doesn’t use a pie dish, instead, the empanada pie is assembled on an oven tray with parchment paper.

Can You Make this Recipe Gluten-Free?

It is possible to make a gluten-free version of this recipe. While the crust won’t have exactly the same texture, the flavor will be all the same. Most recipes will replace the flour with a gluten-free flour or a gluten-free grain, like corn or buckwheat. But gluten-free dough can be intimidating.

If you’re not confident enough to try making your own, there is also pre-made gluten-free crusts available in most groceries stores that yield great results and are a safe bet.

What to Serve With Vegan Empanada Pie

This is a hearty and delicious pie filled with vegetables and delicious on its own. But you can of course serve it with some tasty side dishes. Such as a simple green salad, a Spanish-inspired slaw or a Spanish-style green bean salad.

Ingredients For Vegan Empanada Pie Filling

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 potatoes
  • 3 cups of kale (chopped)
  • 8 sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 big carrot
  • 3 cups of mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Vegan Empanada Pie Filling Ingredients
Vegan Empanada Pie Filling Ingredients

Ingredients For Vegan Empanada Pie Dough

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup of vegan butter, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbs infused oil
  • ½ cup cold water or as much as needed

Method – How to Make Vegan Empanada Pie

Empanada Pie Filling:

Cooking Vegan Empanada Pie Filling
Cooking Vegan Empanada Pie Filling

Start by infusing the oil. In a small pot, add the extra virgin olive oil, sage, thyme, and garlic. Set the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, peel the potatoes, cut them into small cubes, and add them to a pot of water with a pinch of salt, bring it to a boil. Cook then until nearly soft (5 min) before removing from the water and setting aside.

Thinly chop the shallots, carrot, and celery. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. Brush the mushrooms to make sure there’s no dirt left on them. Break them apart in irregular pieces using your hands. Chop the kale into thin and short strips.

Once the oil is ready, let it cool off for a few minutes and set two tablespoons aside. Put the rest in a big wide pan and set the stove to medium.

Once the oil is hot, add the celery and carrot. Fry while stirring often for about 3 minutes, then add the shallots and coriander seeds. When the shallots are translucent and the carrot and celery are soft, add the mushrooms and the oregano.

Mix it well adding the balsamic vinegar and turn the heat up to medium/high until the vinegar smell evaporates, then turn the stove down to medium again.

Add the potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and kale along with a cup of water to the mixture and cook together for a further 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and all the liquid has evaporated.

Once the filling is ready, set it aside to cool down and get to work on the dough.

Cooked Vegan Empanada Pie Filling
Cooking Empanada Pie Filling

Vegan Pie Dough:

Preheat the oven to a hot 450 F (230 C). Then start by mixing the flour, salt, and vegan butter in a bowl. Knead the butter into the flour with a spoon or your hands until a crumbly dough forms.

Making Vegan Empanada Pie Dough
Making Vegan Empanada Pie Dough

Mix in the infused oil and work it into the dough while very slowly adding cold water to the dough. As you work it, the dough should become more manageable and hold together.

Once the dough it’s smooth and homogeneous, make it into a ball, cut the ball in half and roll each half out aiming for a round shape using a rolling pin. Place one of the sheets on an oven tray lined with baking parchment.

Vegan Empanada Pie Dough
Vegan Empanada Pie Dough

Once you have the empanada crust ready, spoon the filling on the crust, making sure to leave a small margin between the edge of the crust and the filling.

Vegan Empanada Pie Before Going in the Oven
Vegan Empanada Pie Before Going in the Oven

When all the filling has been placed on top of the crust, cover the base and the filling with the other sheet of dough and use a fork to seal the edges.

Place the empanada in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

Cooked Vegan Empanada Pie
Cooked Vegan Empanada Pie

Vegan Empanada Pie Recipe

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latin American
Servings: 4 People

Ingredients

Vegan Empanada Pie Filling

  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Potatoes
  • 3 Cups Kale (chopped)
  • 8 Sundried Tomatoes in Oil
  • 2 Shallots
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 1 Carrot (large)
  • 3 Cups Mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 10 Sage Leaves
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds (crushed)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon Chili Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Vegan Empanada Pie Dough

  • 2 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ Cup Vegan Butter (cubed)
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Infused Oil
  • ½ Cup Cold Water (or as much as needed)

Instructions

Empanada Filling

  • Start by infusing the oil. In a small pot, add the extra virgin olive oil, sage, thyme, and garlic. Set the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • In the meantime, peel the potatoes, cut them into small cubes, and add them to a pot of water with a pinch of salt, bring it to a boil. Cook then until nearly soft (5 min) before removing from the water and setting aside.
  • Thinly chop the shallots, carrot, and celery. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. Brush the mushrooms to make sure there’s no dirt left on them. Break them apart in irregular pieces using your hands. Chop the kale into thin and short strips.
  • Once the oil is ready, let it cool off for a few minutes and set two tablespoons aside. Put the rest in a big wide pan and set the stove to medium.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the celery and carrot. Fry while stirring often for about 3 minutes, then add the shallots and coriander seeds. When the shallots are translucent and the carrot and celery are soft, add the mushrooms and the oregano.
  • Mix it well adding the balsamic vinegar and turn the heat up to medium/high until the vinegar smell evaporates, then turn the stove down to medium again.
  • Add the potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and kale along with a cup of water to the mixture and cook together for a further 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Once the filling is ready, set it aside to cool down and get to work on the dough.

Empanada Pie Vegan Dough

  • Preheat the oven to a hot 450 F (230 C). Then start by mixing the flour, salt, and butter in a bowl. Knead the butter into the flour with a spoon or your hands until a crumbly dough forms. Mix in the infused oil and work it into the dough while very slowly adding cold water to the dough. As you work it, the dough should become more manageable and hold better together. Once the dough it’s smooth and homogeneous, make it into a ball, cut the ball in half and roll each half out aiming for a round shape using a rolling pin. Place one of the sheets on an oven tray lined with baking parchment.
  • Once you have the empanada crust ready, spoon the filling on the crust, making sure to leave a small margin between the edge of the crust and the filling. When all the filling has been placed on top of the dough, cover the base and the filling with the other sheet of dough and use a fork to seal the edges.
  • Place the empanada in the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Sliced Vegan Empanada Pie
Sliced Vegan Empanada Pie

Further reading: