Vegan Empanadas with Curried Potato and Chickpeas

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 12 empanadas
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Empanadas are wonderful for entertaining because the deliciously flaky turnovers are easy to serve and can be eaten out of hand—no silverware required. These vegan empanadas are stuffed with a spicy mashed potato-chickpea combination and paired with a bright green spinach sauce that can be either drizzled over the empanadas or served in a bowl for dipping. When rolling out the dough, flour both the work surface and the top of the dough pieces to keep the circles from sticking. Be sure the filling has cooled completely before filling the empanadas, as a warm filling can soften the dough and make it sticky.  



  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon pure cane sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ cup unsalted vegetable stock, plus more for thinning
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • Pinch of sea salt


  • To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in ⅔ cup of warm water (120° to 130°F). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 minutes, adding up to ¼ cup more flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a small bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  • Meanwhile, to make the filling, place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or just until tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Coarsely mash the potatoes. Combine the chickpeas and 3 tablespoons of the reserved liquid in a medium bowl. Coarsely mash the chickpeas. Add the mashed chickpeas, peanuts, lime juice, curry powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the mashed potatoes. Stir just until combined. Cool to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch the dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling onto half of the circle; spread slightly. Fold the opposite side over the filling; seal edges with a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Bake 18 minutes or until golden. Remove; cool slightly on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, to make the sauce, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach; cook for 1 minute. Drain the spinach and place it in a blender. Add the stock, garlic, and salt. Blend until smooth, thinning with up to ¼ cup more stock, if necessary. Serve the empanadas with the sauce.

Comments (17)

(5 from 2 votes)

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Would it work with a gluten free AP flour? My daughter has celiacs but would love to try these!

Megan Edwards

Hi Laura, Yes, gluten-free AP flour should work just fine and you can do a 1:1 substitute with the original recipe. Let us know how it goes!


Sounds delicious! If you make the filling before the dough, it can cool to room temp while the dough rises.

Kimberly Robinson

These look delicious.. I'm going to try them as written and also with corn, black beans, Sweet potatoes and Mexican spices.


substitute for peanuts? either not or nonnut?

Megan Edwards

Hi Elizabeth, Cashews would be a good nut-based substitute or you could try sunflower seeds, although we haven't tested either option. You can also just omit the nuts altogether for an extra creamy filling that will still be delicious. Let us know how it goes!


These are a great idea for fusion cuisine. Tried them out tonight as a test run for something to take to holiday parties and they are absolutely a winner. I already had a cranberry chutney and a mint chutney on hand and used that instead of the sauce, so there is room for versatility. Thanks!!


The sugar in the dough is for the yeast to feed. I don't think make syrup would produce the same result.


What is white whole wheat flour?

Trudy Haines

. It’s a white whole-wheat berry.


This recipe was good but I think next time I will double the curry powder and red pepper as I think it needed more flavor!


I wish these recipes would have the nutritional information. That would be helpful when counting calories.

Joan Oliver

Can I substitute honey or maple syrup for the sugar?


I used agave, but it adds a bit of moisture.

Kelly McGill

These sound delicious! Is there a gluten-free version for the dough?


Can these be frozen once baked?

Janey kinnarx

What nut free ingredient, if there is one, that could be substituted for the can be the peanuts

About the Author

Headshot of Carla Christian, RD, LD

About the Author

Carla Christian, RD, LD

Carla Christian received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from the Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn. Photo by Jason Donnelly.

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