Vegetarian Empanadas

Perfect for a Cinco De Mayo snack or meal, these tasty empanadas are served with a parsley and cilantro chimichurri sauce for dipping.

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
35 min


Nutrition Facts


  • 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg

Empanada Filling

  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) (250 mL) diced sweet potato
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (250 mL) canned lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) each ground cumin and ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped kale leaves
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sodium-reduced vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten

Chimichurri Sauce

  • 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt, pepper and dried oregano



  1. In large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg with 2 tbsp (30 mL) water; stir into flour mixture, adding a bit more water if necessary, until dough comes together. 

  2. Form dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Empanada Filling

  1. Heat oil in large skillet set over medium heat; cook sweet potato, onion, garlic and jalapeño until slightly softened. Stir in chickpeas, lentils, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until well coated and fragrant. Stir in kale; cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste; cook for 1 minute. 

  2. Stir in broth and lime juice; cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Let cool completely. Mash lightly with fork. Stir in Parmesan; fold in chopped eggs.

  3. Preheat oven to 425˚F (220°C). Beat egg with 1 tbsp water; set aside. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough into 1/8-inch (3 mm) thickness. Using 5-inch (12 cm) round cutter, cut dough into 16 rounds, rerolling scraps as needed.

  4. Brush edges of each round with some of the egg wash. Spoon 2 tbsp (30 mL) filling onto each round, leaving border at edges. Fold dough over to enclose filling and seal edges with fork. Place on parchment paper–lined baking sheet; brush tops of empanadas with remaining egg wash.

  5. Using fork, prick tops to create steam vents. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until empanadas are golden brown. Let cool slightly.

Chimichurri Sauce

  1. Stir together parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, jalapeño, lime juice, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano. Serve with empanadas.


Tip: Also delicious served with guacamole, salsa and sour cream.