Black Bean and Sweet Potato Empanadas

I usually cook two pounds of black beans in the crockpot each week, and try to have two or more meals planned on the menu using the beans. I prepared a large batch of black bean and sweet potato empanadas for dinner and to freeze for later lunches. These were a hit with the husband, so we will see how long the freezer stash actually lasts.

My go-to crust for all pies is listed under my Recipes tab here– I use this for sweet pies as well as Seitan vegetable pot pies and various mini pies. I prepared a double batch of pie crust to make the empanadas. This gave me enough for 18 but I made mine a little big – I was rolling out dough balls the size of golf balls. I still ended up with an extra cup of filling. Next time I’ll do a triple batch of pie crust and plan to make some apple empanadas with any extra crust. After I rolled out each ball of crust, I folded in half and spooned two (approximate) tablespoons of filling onto one side. I sealed the crust with a little water and crimped with a fork. I cooked 30 minutes at 375F (crusts should be lightly golden and firm).

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Empanada Filling

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp oil for sauteing

6 cups black beans, cooked and rinsed (I cook from dry, but I believe three cans should give you close to this amount)

1 1/2 Tbsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp coriander

salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups water

In a large cast iron skillet, saute sweet potatoes, onion and garlic until sweet potatoes are cooked through. Add black beans, spices and water and let cook until water is reduced. You want the mixture wet enough to easily spoon onto crust, but not runny.

Add to folded crust, run water along bottom crust edge and close top half of crust. Crimp with fork tines and place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 30 minutes. Check for doneness – crusts should be lightly golden brown and firm to touch. Serve with salsa and guacamole, if you have some.

Cook sweet potatoes for several minutes in skillet before adding onion and garlic.
After adding onion and garlic, continue to cook, stirring to prevent burning, until sweet potatoes are cooked through.
Add beans, spices and water and stir. Cook over medium heat until water is reduced. Mixture should be wet but not runny.
Empanadas will be sealed with water and crimped with fork tines. Bake 30 minutes at 375F.
I served with salsa and guacamole – vegan sour cream would have been awesome. These are also very tasty plain as a handheld mini pie.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Holly says:

    I made a slightly revised version of this (with a different dough that incorporated corn meal) and kept the filling the same – what a winner. Thanks for sharing this delightfully scrummy idea.

    1. Koalaborg says:

      glad you liked it. would you mind sharing your dough recipe? I’d be interested in trying it.

      1. Holly says:

        Hi there, since I made a much smaller quantity of filling I chose this dough:
        1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
        1/2 c cornmeal
        1 t sugar
        1 t baking powder
        1 t salt
        1/2 t garlic powder
        1/2 t mustard powder (optional)
        6 T margarine
        1/2 c + 1 T almond milk

        1. Koalaborg says:

          awesome – thanks!

  2. Jenny says:

    Do you freeze them already baked or unbaked?

    1. Michelle says:

      I have always baked the entire batch and then wrapped individually to go into the freezer. I can then thaw overnight in fridge or for an hour or so on the counter at room temp. you can then warm up in an oven or toaster oven – I usually just toss them in still in the foil wrap. A microwave with the foil off will do in a pinch but may leave it a little limp.

    2. Michelle says:

      I’ve never frozen an entire batch before cooking but I went searching for info. If you prep the empanadas and want to freeze them uncooked, place them on a baking sheet on parchment paper, not touching so they don’t freeze stuck together. move the sheet to the freezer, and then after they are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. when you want to cook, move from freezer directly to baking sheet and oven (do not thaw). add a little extra bake time.

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