Plant-Based Empanadas - Daiya Foods, Deliciously Dairy-Free Cheeses, Meals & More

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Plant-Based Empanadas


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, 408g
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soy milk, plus more for brushing
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup russet potatoes, diced small
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup White onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomato, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 cup pinto beans
  • 1 cup Spinach, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 bag Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds


To the bowl of a large food processor, add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse together until uniform.

Add in the vegetable shortening and pulse again until a sand like consistency forms and the mixture is uniform.

Lastly add in the soy milk, in small increments at a time, and continue pulsing until a dough forms.

If necessary, you can transfer the dough into a bowl and mix it together by hand until a smooth dough is formed. You want your dough to be smooth, so it shouldn’t stick to your hands but it also shouldn’t be too dry and fall apart. You can add more liquid or more flour as needed.

You can also prepare the dough by hand, just follow the same instructions but use your hands to mix the ingredients together instead.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover that with a clean towel or plastic wrap and set that aside.

Roast the poblano pepper. You can do this on the grill, in the oven under the broiler, or over the flame on a gas stove. For the grill: place the pepper on a hot grill and grill on each side until they are blackened or charred. Oven: place the pepper on a baking sheet and broil on high. Roast on each side until charred. Stove: place the pepper over in the medium to low flame use thongs to hold them . Continue to cook, turning often until they are charred.

Place the pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 10-15 minutes to steam.

Remove the plastic wrap and gently peel off the skin from the roasted pepper. Cut them half and remove the seeds and stems. Finely dice the poblano peppers. You can use as little or as much as you’d like in your filling, we used about 1/4 of the pepper.

Grab a medium sauté pan and set it over medium-low heat. Add in the diced potatoes along with the water and allow the water to come to a boil. Once boiling cover the pan and allow the potatoes to steam for about 7 to 10 minutes or until almost cooked through.

Add in a tablespoon of oil along with the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add in the tomatoes, diced poblanos, cumin, chili powder, oregano, tomato paste and pinto beans, and allow it cook, stirring often, for 5 more minutes or until the potatoes are completely cooked through.

Add in the spinach and pop the lid back onto the pan for two minutes to allow that to steam.

Remove lid and Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Optional: Using a potato masher or fork, roughly mash the mixture into the consistency of refried beans. It does not need to be completely smooth, it is up to you. We mashed about half of it.

Fold in the cilantro and set this aside to cool.

Lightly flour a clean work surface.

Divide the dough into two and then divide each of those into 8 pieces, for a total of 16 pieces. You can eyeball this and just estimate the size of each and just try to get them as even as possible, or you can use a scale if you would like it to be exact.

Roll each dough piece into a small ball. And then using your hand slightly flatten it into a disc on your floured worksurface. Using a floured rolling pin or a floured flat sided cup, roll the dough into a disk. It does not have to be perfectly round! Do you want it to be about a quarter inch thick, if it is see-through you rolled it too thin. If you have a tortilla press, you can use that to flatten the dough balls as well.

We recommend rolling out and filling one piece of dough at a time as they tend to dry out when you roll them out and they’re harder to close later.

To assemble the empanadas, place a spoonful of the filling in the middle the disc, as well as a pinch of the Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds. The amount of filling may vary based on the size of the empanada, but in general, it’s easier to seal an empanada that isn’t overstuffed. We used about 1 tablespoon of filling per empanada.

To seal the empanadas, fold the top edge of the disc and over to the bottom and using your thumb, pressing the dough together to seal. If you’re having a hard time sealing the edges, you can use brush the inside edges with soy milk or water to get it to seal as it will act as a glue. Next, grab a fork and press the top of the fork against the edges to fully seal the empanada and give it a nice appearance.

Place the empanadas in the Fred river stir for about 30 minutes, then remove them and brush the empanadas with a thin layer of soy milk.

Line your air fryer with a piece of foil and place 2 to 4 empanadas inside or as many as fit in a single layer. Air fry 375°F for 10-13 minutes, or until golden. Keep in mind that every batch after the first one will cook a bit faster because the air fryer will be warmer to start so I would suggest cooking it on the lower end (10-11 minutes) and then checking from there so that it does not burn.

Alternatively, you can bake these in an oven in a lined baking sheet at 400°F for 18-24 minutes, or until golden.

  • The dough will last in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. We suggest flattening it into the shape of a disk and wrapping it in plastic wrap before storing.
  • If you have access to a liquid vegan egg like JUST Egg, we would suggest using that to brush the empanadas instead of soy milk as it yields a more aesthetically pleasing result.
  • If you can’t access poblano peppers, Anaheim peppers, bell peppers, or even jalapeño peppers would work in this. The peppers will vary in flavor and in spice so just keep that in mind and add them accordingly.
  • If you are using an air fryer, you will need to cook these empanadas in batches as they won’t all fit and you want to air fry them in a single layer.

Tips for cooking with Daiya

105 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
75 min
Cook Time

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