Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Almost Vegan Empanadas de "Carne"

I have such sweet memories of Mami Luisa (a friend of my mother's who for all intents and purposes is my grandmother) making empanadas and pastelillos (a smaller version of empanadas). Wasn't it just yesterday that I sat on a stool at her kitchen breakfast counter, chubby legs dangling back and forth as I watched and munched on the ingredients as she assembled a family's worth to have already at the table before her husband Ruben arrived from work? It sure feels that way.


-1 pack of 10 Goya Empanada "Discos", thawed
-1 10oz bag Morning Star Farms Grillers Crumbles (or brand of choice)
-1/2 medium onion, chopped
-2 cloves chopped garlic
-1 packet Sason Accent or Goya, with culantro and annatto
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp oregano
-1 8oz can tomato sauce
-1 15oz can chick peas/garbanzos
-approximately 10 manzanilla olives, sliced (or salad olives)
-1/4 cup IBERIA or Goya recaito
-Light Adobo, to taste
-Cheese of choice (I used Colby Jack), or none, if you are vegan

1. Sautee onion and reacaito in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil or coat pan with spray on med/hi until onions are transluscent. then add the garlic and stir for about another 1-2 minutes.
2. Add the crumbles, chickpeas and olives. Add seasonings while stirring. Sauté for about 3 minutes and add the tomato sauce. Lower heat to med/low and simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring regularly. 
3. Set aside to cool down a bit. 

Now comes the assembly. 
Use a rolling pin to expand the discs a bit. The directions did not call for using flour, but I found it helpful to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. I then turned the disc over, so that the floured side would fry on the outside of the empanada and not become part of the filling. 
I used cheese slices, 1/2 per empanada, and 2 spoonfuls of filling.
-Add filling to the center of the disc and fold over to make a half circle.
-Use a fork to press/seal the edges.
Before frying, I preheated the oven to 200 degrees to keep the empanadas warm while I cooked. 
I layered them on paper towels to absorb excess grease.
Fry until golden brown, following package directions. Mine only needed about a minute and a half on each side.

Que rico!
Buen provecho.


  1. This looks fantastic! Just for anyone who wants it full vegan, just use vegan patties (or crumbles) and vegan cheese substitute. There are some good ones! Thanks for this. You got my mouth watering.

  2. Try this with the Boca crumbles---the texture is better.