April 3, 2011

Black Bean Empanadas

Black bean empanadas with chipotle salsa

Empanadas on a baking stone

Serve these baked black bean empanadas with a fiery hot salsa and sour cream. A green and red cabbage salad with radish and lime would be a nice side. The black bean filling can be prepared several days in advance. Frozen defrosted tofu adds a meatier texture. You won't miss fried empanadas after trying this.

Black Bean Empanadas
Yield: 8 Empanadas

1 recipe samosa dough (below)
2 tsp peanut oil or olive oil, divided
½ block of frozen tofu, defrosted, and chopped fine (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
½ onion, diced
½ cup bell pepper, diced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup dried black beans, soaked and cooked)
salt to taste
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ cup - 1 cup of decent mild melting cheese (use queso Oaxaca or queso quesadilla if you can find it)
¼ cup flour for rolling the dough
1 egg, plus 1 tbsp milk, beaten together (optional)
Salsa and sour cream for serving

  1. Prepare the samosa dough (or you could purchase ready-prepared empanada dough).
  2. Heat up 1 tsp oil in a wide skillet. Once hot add in tofu and stir-fry over medium-high heat. Once tofu is golden-brown (should take 7-9 minutes) stir in garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute). Remove tofu-garlic mixture from pan.
  3. Heat up the remaining 1 tsp of oil in the same wide skillet over medium-high heat. If the pan is hot you won't have to wait long for the oil to heat up. Add in onions and after 2 minutes add in diced bell peppers (if you are omitting the tofu, add the garlic at this step). Stir fry for 5 minutes until the mixture is sweating. Stir in oregano, cumin, and paprika. Add ½ tsp of salt.
  4. Stir in black beans and tofu mixture and adjust for salt. I found ½ tsp adequate for salt. Stir in cilantro and set aside.
  5. Set out cheese in another bowl.
  6. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  7. Lightly roll the balls in a small bit of flour, and roll out the dough balls on a lightly floured surface. Roll the balls into a 7-8” circle about the thickness of a corn tortilla. The dough will shrink back slightly.
  8. Place 1 tbsp of cheese (or less) and about 2 tbsp of black bean stuffing on one side of the circle. Keep about a 1/2” border from the sides.
  9. Fold the samosa over on the borders. If you lose some beans tuck them back in, or remove. Flatten the edges together with the tines of a fork. Make sure the empanada is sealed. Brush with egg mixture and place on a baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining empanadas.
  10. When ready, bake at 425° F for 10 minutes, and then turn heat down to 375° F and bake another 15 minutes (or until golden brown).
Samosa Empanada Dough
I must say that I have used and reused Aarti Paarti's dough in many baked savory pastries. It's really simple to make, and can be prepared in the time it takes you to buy ready made dough from the grocery store. You could also make a galette dough, but this is a no-fuss pastry dough.

Yield: enough dough for 8 empanadas
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pastry-flour
½ cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk, add ¼ tsp of apple cider vinegar to ½ cup milk or soymilk, and let rest for 5-10 minutes – and if you don't have those, use ¼ cup yogurt thinned with ¼ cup water)
¼ cup vegetable oil
pinch salt

  1. Stir together flours and salt.
  2. Add in buttermilk and vegetable oil to the flour mixture and stir together. Begin to knead the dough with your hands and once it starts to come together, turn it out on a floured surface and continue to knead for about 5 minutes until it comes together. The dough will be slightly oily but shouldn't stick to the counter.
  3. Roll or form it into a ball and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Once ready to use, roll out the dough into a 12” log. Cut the dough in half, and cut each half into 4 equal pieces.
  5. Roll the 8 pieces into balls and let rest on the counter until ready to use.


  1. How interesting that I should read this post of yours today. I made pastries for dinner with spinach, tofu and tomato filling. I used puff pastry as the wrapping because I didn't have time to make something from scratch but it was yummy. My dinner even looked like your pics. It didn't have black beans though. That would have been nice too.


  2. I'll have to remember your fillings because you could stuff anything in a pastry and I'd probably eat it. I've heard from at least 3 people that have this on their cooking list, and from a friend that already made them. She doubled the empanada dough to make some strawberry-nutella pastries. Yum!