Vegan Beef Empanadas with Cheese

A crispy, tender crust combines with vegan beef and potatoes to make Vegan Beef Empanadas with cheese; a delicious dinner you’ll want to serve time and time again! If you’re into vegan beefy, cheesy dinners, sit back and be prepared to be wowed by my Vegan Spaghetti Pie recipe. The photos alone will make you hungry! But don’t stop there, because you might also want to ooh and ah over my cheesy  Vegan French Dip Sandwich. All the vegan beef and cheese, please!!

A crispy crust combines with vegan beef and potatoes to make Vegan Beef Empanadas; a delicious dinner you'll want to serve time and time again!

OK. Look. Usually I’d be gushing about how super easy this recipe is, but I’m not saying that today. The truth is, empanadas are not easy. There’s a little work involved, but the good news is there are ways to make the process go smoothly. And I like to add some fun along the way too.

The thing is, these Vegan Beef Empanadas are SO worth the effort! That crust is both crispy and tender and, believe it or not, we dipped it in a marina sauce. I know. It’s strange. Because the empanadas are Mexican-themed, but for some reason the marina sauce worked. You know, if it ain’t broke…

Tips for Making Vegan Beef Empanadas

Making Vegan Beef Empanadas will take a little bit of time, but I think these tips will make it go much better:

  1. Have some forethought. Make the dough ahead of time so you can allow it to rest in the fridge and so you’re not doing every step all at once.
  2. Work in batches. I cut the dough in half, covered the remaining half in plastic wrap and worked from there. It seemed to work better for me to cut the project in half like that.
  3. Assembly line these babies! As my instructions show, be sure to cut the dough into sections and then create dough balls. Then roll those dough balls out. I use the first one to create the right size and then used it as a reference for the rest of them. I placed them one on top of the other until all the dough was rolled out.
  4. Portion the filling. You want to make sure you have the right amount of filling for that very last bit of dough. So, because I cut the dough in half, I decided to do the same thing with the vegan beef mixture. I used a spatula to draw a line down the middle of the skillet and then I used one half for filling the first half of the dough balls.
  5. Keep some whiskey nearby. No, not for drinking; although there’s nothing wrong with that in my book. But I kept a little bowl of whiskey on the side to wet my fingers as I handled the dough. There’s a reason behind the madness here. You want these Vegan Beef Empanadas to have a flaky crust. The less water you use the better. Too much water will create a tougher dough. But you need some moisture to pinch the dough together. So, I used whiskey to add that moisture because it evaporates as it bakes. Perfection!
  6. Get out the earbuds! Listen to a favorite podcast, audio book, or album and the time will fly. I’m obsessed (again) with the Indigo Girls so I spent most of my time listening to their Shaming of the Sun album. ❤️ In fact, the title of this list item is an homage to a song on that album, Get Out the Map.
  7. Soy Please! Be sure to have some Soymilk on hand, because, in my mind, nothing makes a perfect egg-free egg wash like soy milk. I don’t know why, but it does the trick. Add a thin coating of soy milk and your vegan beef empanadas should get a nicely browned crust. Just be sure to use a plain (non vanilla- flavored) soymilk. I show some alternatives below if you don’t have any on-hand.
  8. Keep a towel nearby. Making empanadas is messy work…which is just one more reason why I love it! Don’t you think life has gotten entirely too tidy? Every now and then we need to mess things up. Just my two cents. 😬 Keeping a towel around can help you dry off your hands. That way you won’t get any of the color from the filling mixture on the outside of the crust too.

So, there you have it, my tips for making Vegan Beef Empanadas easier. And look at that picture. The one right below this sentence. Doesn’t that make you want to stop everything and make ’em?

A crispy crust combines with vegan beef and potatoes to make Vegan Beef Empanadas; a delicious dinner!

I Did it My Way!

We love watching John Oliver on his HBO Show Last Week Tonight. Last week he showed a clip of Sherif Arpaio singing My Way. I do NOT recommend watching it, but I imagine, if you’re like me, you’re googling it at this very moment. It’s terrible. The man has no sense of pitch…or decency. Either way, now the song is running through my head non-stop. I encourage you to do this recipe your way. In fact, a “My Way” attitude toward cooking is a great way to turn into your very own home chef! It’s better that way, you know? Because I made these Vegan Beef Empanadas the way I love ’em (aka, MY way), and I encourage you to put your touch on them as well. Here are some ideas to get you started on your own empanada path:

  • If you’re going to be making them anyway, might as well do a double batch. They freeze great and it’s pretty nice having them around
  • Add more or less cheese, depending on your preference
  • You don’t have to dip these in marinara sauce. Try salsa instead. Or better yet, try salsa mixed with some vegan sour cream. Oh the yum of it!
  • I could also see adding some fresh basil or cilantro to the filling mixture
  • Speaking of cilantro, have you ever heard of cilantro pesto? I made some last year and it would be perfect for dipping these empanadas (just replace cilantro with basil in your favorite pesto recipe)
  • How about sweet potatoes instead regular potatoes? I think it would work!
  • You could also add some sliced jalapeños to the filling as well.

I could go on all day with this Vegan Beef Empanadas recipe! There’s just so many ways to make these! I would definitely want to serve my Mexican Taco Dip on the side. Delish!

A crispy crust combines with vegan beef and potatoes to make Vegan Beef Empanadas.

We hope you love this recipe for Vegan Beef Empanadas with Cheese as much as we do. If you decide to make it, snap a photo and share it with us using #namelymarly on Instagram or Twitter. We LOVE seeing your photos!

A crispy crust combines with vegan beef and potatoes to make Vegan Beef Empanadas; a delicious dinner you'll want to serve time and time again!

Vegan Beef Empanadas with Cheese

A crispy crust combines with vegan beef and potatoes to make Vegan Beef Empanadas; a delicious dinner you'll want to serve time and time again!
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Vegan Beef Empanadas
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 20
Calories: 181kcal
Author: Marly


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Butter , cold & cut into slices
  • 3/4 cup Water , cold
  • 1/4 cup Whiskey* , cold
  • 1 tablespoon Plant-Based Milk (Not vanilla flavored)
  • For the Vegan Beef and Cheese Filling:
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Chopped Onion
  • 1 large Red Potato, , diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Veggie Crumbles , thawed
  • 1 cup Vegan Chorizo
  • 4 cloves Garlic , peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 cup Vegan Cheddar Shreds


  • Combine both flours, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add cold vegan butter pieces and pulse until well incorporated. Add cold water and whiskey and continue pulsing until the dough comes together. Remove from the food processor and transfer to a bowl. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate while proceeding with the following.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and cubed potatoes. Cook for 7 - 10 minutes until slightly tender. 
  • Add the veggie crumbles and vegan chorizo. Stir with a spatula, breaking any larger chorizo pieces apart. Add minced garlic, thyme, and paprika. Stir to combine. Then add broth, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender and the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Create a ball out of the dough. Cut the ball in half. Wrap one half in plastic wrap and place back in the fridge. With the other half of the dough, divide it into 3 dough balls about the size of a golf ball. Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 5" circle. You should be able to create around 10 circles in with this half of the dough ball.
  • For the filling, run your spatula down the center of the skillet divide it in half. This helps keep filling proportions the same. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of one of the rounds. Wet your finger with water or pour a little bit of whiskey in a small bowl and use that to wet your finger. Then run your finger around the edges of the circle of dough. Wrap the dough around the filling and use that moisture on the edges to press edges together. Fold the edge back to create a crust and use your fingers to pinch pleats. Repeat with each dough circle.  
  • Brush tops of each empanada with plain plant-based milk (such as soy milk) or melted vegan butter. Bake 10 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.  
  • Repeat these last few steps with the remaining half of dough that's been refrigerated.
  • Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve with marinara sauce or salsa. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. 


  • We used something like Jack Daniels, but you could sub with plain vodka. If you are against using alcohol, feel free to use water, just use it sparingly. 

If you’re into delicious vegan Mexican-themed recipes, you just have to check these out:

Whatever vegan delight you’re chewing on, enjoy!

Updated by Marly · Permalink