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A hand holds a vegan empanada over red sauce.

Vegan Beef Empanadas with Cheese

These vegan empanadas are made with vegan crumbles, potatoes, and vegan cheddar cheese. It's a tasty vegan dinner to serve for special occasions. Make a double batch and freeze half to have them available for weeknights too.
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


Vegan Empanadas Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup vegan butter , cold & cut into slices
  • ¾ cup water , cold
  • ¼ cup whiskey* , cold
  • 1 tablespoon plant-based milk (Not vanilla flavored)

Vegan Empanandas Filling Recipe

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large potato, , diced
  • 1 ½ 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 ½ cup vegan cheddar shreds


For the Empanada Dough

  • 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 to 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 400°F/200°C. 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 with this half of the dough ball.

For the Vegan Filling

  • Run your spatula down the center of the skillet to 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 to 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. 
  • Use an empanada maker to help speed up the empanada process!


Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2.7mg