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These crispy baked vegetarian empanadas are warm, gooey, cheesy, and packed with flavor! Served with a fresh chimichurri sauce for dipping, these bean and cheese empanadas are the perfect party or game day appetizer!
I am in love with these little morsels of cheesy goodness. Crispy on the outside, cheesy and delicious on the inside, it’s everything you can ask for in a finger food.
Plus, you KNOW they are easy to make. Don’t get all worried about the dough and the folding and wrapping and such. It’s not hard. And I use store bought pie crust.
These vegetarian empanadas are baked, not fried, so no need to worry about messing oil and splattering. See?? Easy.
Are empanadas baked or fried?
They can be either. Some say that baked and fried empanadas use different dough and fillings, but in reality, you can choose to bake or fry them. This bean and cheese empanada recipe bakes them because it is easier, less messy, and also happens to be a little healthier.
The Ingredients for Vegetarian Empanadas
Like I said, I use store bought pie crusts for these vegetarian empanadas. I know, store bought is not as good, but honestly, I think it works just fine. Especially for these bean and cheese empanadas.
Get the ingredients on Amazon through the below links if you don’t feel like hunting them down in the grocery store (affiliate links – I earn a small commission if you buy through these links so I can keep buying already made pie crust):
How to Make Vegetarian Empanadas with Pie Crust
You guys are just going to love these bean and cheese empanadas. The filling can be made ahead of time if you want to save some time. I always make it the night before. To make the filling, follow the below steps:
Once you have the filling made, take your pie crust out. Dust a flat surface with flour and lay your pie crust flat. You will do the below steps twice; once for each pie crust. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set your finished empanadas on it.
And voila, you’ve got a vegetarian empanada! Do this for all the remaining dough rounds. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush each empanada with the egg wash. This is what will give them that nice golden brown color.
Bake the bean and cheese empanadas for 20-25 minutes, until nice and golden brown. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve with homemade chimichurri sauce.
What temperature do you bake empanadas?
Empanadas should be baked at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.
How do I freeze empanadas?
These baked empanadas can be frozen in advance. Place the empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.
How do you cook frozen empanadas?
To cook empanadas from frozen, bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on the outside.
How to roast poblano peppers
Heat a grill to medium high heat and place the peppers directly on the grill. Roast until the skin in blistered, turning to blister all sides. Remove and let cool. Peel the skin off and remove the seeds. The peppers can be roasted ahead of time and frozen. Just place in a freezer bag. Frozen roasted poblano peppers will last about 6 months.
Tools needed/recommended for this recipe:
More awesome game day/party food recipes:
Did you make these vegetarian empanadas with pie crust? Leave a comment below and let me know how they turned out!
Crispy Baked Vegetarian Empanadas
- 2 (9 inch) pie crusts
- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water (for egg wash)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine all filling ingredients (except Velveeta and milk) in a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Add the Velveeta and milk to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Stir periodically until cheese is melted and a sauce forms. Stir the cheese sauce in with the filling ingredients. Set aside.
- Taste the filling and add additional salt if necessary.
- Lay out the dough on a flat surface and use a cookie cutter to cut 4" round circles. Do the same with the second pie crust. Place the dough round on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each dough round. Fold over into a moon shape, firmly sealing the edges. Use a fork to seal the edges (see photos above).
- Arrange the empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush each one with egg wash.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let sit for 10-15 minutes and serve with chimichurri sauce.
- If your dough doesn't seal at the edges, dampen it with water and then seal.
- Replace the Velveeta with cheddar or any other cheese if desired. Omit the milk if you substitute it.
- Use black beans in place of pinto beans, or even a mix of both.
- Substitute Anaheim chilies, jalapeno peppers or diced red bell peppers for the poblanos if desired. However, I think the flavor of the poblano is best in this recipe, personally.
- Taste the mixture before stuffing the empanadas and add additional salt if desired.
- These baked empanadas can be frozen in advance. Place the empanadas (before brushing them with the egg wash) on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 3 months. To cook empanadas from frozen, brush with egg wash then bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on the outside.
- See instructions for roasting poblano peppers in the body of the post.
Did you make these bean and cheese empanadas? Follow me on Instagram, post a photo and tag @wenthere8this or #wenthere8this. I love to see what your making!