These oil-free Vegan Corn Empanadas are so simple to make, but don’t skip out on any flavor! They’re perfect for a party appetizers, potlucks, etc!
It all started several years ago when I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I tried an Empanada de Humita (Corn Empanada)….and boy, was I hooked.
Unfortunately most empanadas aren’t vegan, as they have either butter or lard in the dough and/or are stuffed with cheese. That’s why I decided to create my own vegan version – these taste so similar, I can hardly believe it!
To top it all off – these Vegan Corn Empanadas have a super secret ingredient too.
The problem with empanada dough is that usually is “cut” with shortening. You all know how I feel about oil , so I didn’t want to go there. After some experimentation, I found an unlikely combination of plant based ingredients that still produce a soft, flaky empanada crust.
Are you ready for the secret? It’s Coconut Milk + White BEANS!
First, the healthy fats in the Coconut Milk allow the dough to remain moist. Plus, the texture of pureed beans is similar to a shortening, which allows us to “cut” the dough. You seriously can’t taste them at all! Talk about a great way to get in a little extra fiber and plant based protein 😉
I decided to take the fancy route and fold my empanadas the way I learned in Argentina, but if you want to just seal the ends and press them together using a fork, that will work too. However, If you want to give my technique a shot, I would suggest you watch my recipe video below (starts at 6:38)
Finally, I can’t forget to mention that this recipe is a collaboration with my friends Jasmine and Chris of Sweet Simple Vegan! We both created some delicious corn-inspired recipes for you, so after you finish making these empanadas, be sure to head on over to their blog and check our their Corn Almond Ice Cream.
A Few Final Thoughts:
- I have not tested any gluten free varieties of this empanada dough so I can not offer any GF flour subs.
- If you’re short on time, you can easily make this recipe in steps – both the dough and filling can be made ahead of time. Just be sure to store them in the fridge (for up to 3 days) until you use them.
- Finally, If you’re not feelin’ the corn, you can still make the empanada dough and fill with something else! A few suggestions: vegan beef and cheese crumbles, peppers and onions, or even bananas and chocolate 😉
Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas (Oil Free)
These oil-free Vegan Corn Empanadas are so simple to make, but don't skip out on any flavor! They're perfect for a party appetizers, potlucks, etc!
For the Empanada Dough:
- 3 cup All Purpose Flour (Organic When Possible)
- 3/4 cup Full Fat Coconut Milk, canned
- 2/3 cup Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-4 tbsp Filtered Water, if necessary
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/4 cup Plant Based Milk (optional, for brushing Empanadas)
For the Corn Filling:
- 1 1/4 cup Fresh Corn, removed from cob
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers, finely diced
- 1 cup Full Fat Coconut Milk, canned
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Black Pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, combine the Flour and Salt. Stir Well.
Add the Cannelini Beans and 3/4 cup of Coconut Milk to a Blender or powerful Food Processor. Blend for 60-90 seconds, until the beans have broken down and only smooth liquid remains.
Pour the liquid mixture gradually into a bowl, and "cut" the liquid into the dough using knives or a pastry cutter. Once this becomes to difficult, knead the dough with your hands until all of the flour has been incorporated. If you find the dough to be too dry still, add water in 1 tbsp increments until the dough becomes soft and slightly sticky
Divide the dough in half and roll out each half between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, until about 1/8" thin. Place in the fridge and let chill while you prepare the Corn Filling.
Add a splash of water to a medium pot and bring to medium heat. Once warm, add in the diced Yellow Onion and cook until translucent, about 5 or so minutes.
Add in the diced Roasted Red Pepper, Corn, Salt, and a generous amount of Black Pepper. Pour 1 cup of Coconut Milk over this mixture, and bring to a simmer.
Let simmer for 15-20 Minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before handling.
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Remove the empanada dough from the fridge and roll it out one more time to ensure it is nice and thin. Use a round cookie cutter or rim from a heavy glass to cut the dough into circular shapes; I was able to make around 18.
To fill each empanada, spread the dough round out with your fingers, then place about 1-2 tbsp of corn filling into the center of the round. Use your fingers to pinch the round closed (into a half moon shape), then seal the ends as desired, using either a fork or your favorite folding technique Note: if this step is confusing for you, I would suggest you watch the recipe video in this blog post
Place the empanadas on a lined baking sheet and lightly brush with plant based milk, if desired (this will make them more golden on the outside).
Bake the empanadas for 30-35 minutes at 350F, or until golden.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. It is best to reheat these on the stovetop or oven in place of a microwave.
I would strongly advise against substituting anything for the Flour or Full Fat Coconut Milk. // Frozen Corn can be substituted for Fresh, but this will affect the flavors of the recipe.
If you’d like to save these Vegan Corn Empanadas for another day, feel free to Pin them using the image below: