Quick & Easy Vegetarian Empanadas

"This great recipe found in "Real Simple" magazine cuts normal preparation time for empanadas in half."
photo by magpie diner photo by magpie diner
photo by magpie diner
Ready In:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb refrigerated pizza dough
  • 12 cup flour (for the work surface)
  • 1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1 (1 pint) container fresh salsa
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream (to garnish) (optional)
  • avocado (to garnish) (optional)


  • Heat oven to 400°F Spread 1 teaspoon of the oil on a baking sheet.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each into an 8in round on a lightly floured surface. On 1 side of each round, spread some of the beans, then top with 1 1/2 tbs of salsa and 2 tbs of cheese.
  • Fold each of the rounds in half, covering the filling, and sealing the dough on the curved edge with your thumb. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the remaining oil. Transfer to the already greased baking sheet.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until golden.
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sliced avocado if desired.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I wasn't blown away by this recipe. I found that many of my empanadas sprung leaks in the oven which was unfortunate but certainly not the end of the world. They were very tasty but I found preparing them to be very time consuming and tedious despite the shortcut of using frozen pizza dough. I also thought that the outside of the empanadas could have used a bit of brushed egg or butter because it was rather dry tasting. Good, not great and for me not quite worth the effort.
  2. No one has mentioned it, but go to your favorite pizza place and ask for dough !! We have a place here that makes amazing dough, the will usually just let us have it, but sometimes charge a little. Look forward to making this next week !!
  3. I made my own pizza dough in my bread-maker for one large pizza and divided that dough into 6 smaller, rolled out circles. I added chopped garlic, onion, and green peppers to my boyfriends empanadas. On mine, I had them with just re-fried beans and cheese. Next time I make the pizza dough, I'm going to try a cornbread-type recipe to add to the Mexican flavor of this meal. It was quick, easy and totally yummy! What's not to love about it?!?!
  4. This certainly is a quick and easy way to make empanadas! I don't think I'd serve them at a dinner or drinks party, but they make a great casual lunch or snack, especially for kids. Would be ideal for a kids party. I used some leftover wh.wheat pizza dough that I had on hand, not the type that comes in a tube in the grocery store (which would have been even easier). I think next time we have a taco or burrito meal, I'll pick up a tube of that dough so that we can make these empanadas with the leftovers the next day. I had enough dough to make the 6 empanadas, but I didn't need the full tin of refried beans or that much salsa or cheese....and they were still bursting at the seams. Thanks Esmerelda, these were fun!
  5. My family loved these. My son ate his leftovers for breakfast the next morning! I'm always on the lookout for recipes using pizza dough because I stock up on Trader Joe's $.99 pizza dough and freeze it. Makes for quick and easy meals (or even doughnuts!). Thanks!


i've been a pesco vegetrian for over 10 years. i love to travel and try new things. my husband and i both enjoy cooking as do our families. his family is actually quite intimidating when it comes to cooking. i found this out the first Thanksgiving i spent with them when his mother pulled out the wheat to grind to make the biscuits! we are expecting our first child due in january '09.
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