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a plate of vegetarian empanadas drizzled with green chimichurri sauce

Crispy Baked Vegetarian Empanadas

These Vegetarian Empanadas are made with smoky poblano peppers and paprika, creamy cheese, with a bite of onion and fresh cilantro all wrapped up in a buttery, flaky pie crust.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine South American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 30kcal


  • 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. 


  1. If your dough doesn't seal at the edges, dampen it with water and then seal. 
  2. Replace the Velveeta with cheddar or any other cheese if desired. Omit the milk if you substitute it.
  3. Use black beans in place of pinto beans, or even a mix of both.
  4. 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.
  5. Taste the mixture before stuffing the empanadas and add additional salt if desired
  6. 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.
  7. See instructions for roasting poblano peppers in the body of the post.


Serving: 2empanada | Calories: 30kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 206mg | Potassium: 55mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 313IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg