"Now and Later" Vegetarian Empanadas

"This is from "More Make Your Own Groceries". There are instructions for both eating right away and freezing to eat later. This is one of several dishes I made in preparation for the birth of my daughter and would probably be good for someone who doesn't usually have enough time (or energy) to make a healthy meal for themselves every day, but has a period of time to make this. I've probably estimated prep time on the high side because I'm a slow cooker."
photo by Everybody eats when photo by Everybody eats when
photo by Everybody eats when
photo by Everybody eats when photo by Everybody eats when
Ready In:
1hr 30mins
8 empanadas




  • In a pot, cover carrots with water to cover.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat.
  • Simmer 10 minutes or until just tender.
  • While simmering carrots, pour contents of can of tomatoes into a bowl and squish into little pieces with your hands.
  • Wash hands.
  • Blend chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne into tomatoes.
  • Take the 2 Tbs of flour and blend with 1/4 cup cold water in a small cup.
  • Pour this into tomato mixture and stir to blend.
  • Drain carrots, and cut into 3/4 in pieces.
  • Put both aside for now.
  • Melt butter on medium heat in a large fring pan.
  • Add onion, mushrooms, zucchini, celery, green pepper, and garlic and saute.
  • Stir continuously until onion is limp.
  • Stir tomato mixture into frying pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, then uncover and (stirring constantly) cook for about 5 minutes over med-high heat until liquid has evaporated.
  • Stir in carrots and cheese.
  • Salt to taste.
  • When cheese has melted put pan in refrigerator to quickly cool vegetables.
  • Stir now and then to help cool faster.
  • Now, begin empanada crust.
  • Resift flour with baking powder in a bowl.
  • Quickly cut butter and shortening into bowl until it looks like a coarse meal.
  • Make a well in the center.
  • Add soy sauce and cold water together.
  • Stir vigorously with a fork until dough follows the fork around bowl (about 30-40 seconds).
  • Personal observation: The dough seems rather"frothy" at this point.
  • Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for about 10 folds (or 30 seconds) to remove stickyness.
  • Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Make into a ball and roll into an 8 inch circle.
  • Spoon about 3/4 cup vegetable filling onto center of circle.
  • Moisten edges of circle with water and bring together at top, pinching and fluting edges.
  • Note: The original instuctions say to make a sealed semi-circle.
  • Mine looked like balls of dough and turned out fine.
  • Lift empanada onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Repeat until done.
  • If you fill more than one cookie sheet put the full one in the refrigerator.
  • When done, prick the top of each empanada with a fork and brush with egg and water mixture.
  • If you are going to cook some of them right away, pre-heat oven to 400 and cook 25 to 30 minutes (until golden brown) on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Take the ones for later and freeze uncovered on cookie sheet overnight.
  • When frozen solid wrap in foil or put in freezer bags.
  • Label with instructions: Bake uncovered in pre-heated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Let cool some before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. My family enjoyed this different twist on empanadas. I thought the flavor was a little lacking at first so I added some garlic salt (not much), cilantro and lemon juice, which perked them up. I also had a ton of leftover filling (about half the recipe) so I froze it to use again. Hopefully it will thaw normally. Thank you for posting. We will keep this in mind for our "Meatless Monday Meal" in the future.
  2. Excellent flavor! My son and husband raved over these. I didn't care for the pastry, so I bought some ready to bake pie crust and used half a crust for each. Also prepped veggies a day ahead and let cool in fridge - filling thickened right up and was easy to use. I made a double batch and froze the veggies portioned in muffin cups to extend the time I had to assemble them (I could only freeze 2 at a time in my side by side). I LOVE THESE. Will cook them again and again and again.
  3. Like another reviewer, I had more filling than dough. This wasn't a problem though. The next day I served the extra filling with rice and it was terrific. It was more flavorful the next day anyhow. Next time I won't bother with the dough and just make the delicious filling and serve it again over hot rice. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
  4. This was a very tasty recipe! I made it with soy cheese, as opposed to dairy based cheese, and it was "delish". The family devoured them. I only had two problems with this recipe: the dough was too sticky; I had to add a good bit more flour. Also, I had more filling than dough; I could have made two more empanadas with the left over filling. The filling was delicious by itself, however, and did not go to waste. It was also very nice to see such thorough, detailed instructions for a recipe. My compliments to the contributor!
  5. Sounds good, but I am not a vegetarian. I will try these but with a little added left over beef or chicken added.


  1. good crust but i just used salt instead of soy sauce (did not want discoloration). i brushed the tops with oil. put them in the toaster oven at 375 for 20 min. also i think 3/4 c of filling is far too much. i put 1/2 cup and could just get them closed. thanks for posting.


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