Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas (Oil Free)

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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!

Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas Dairy Free

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.

Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas Dairy Free

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 😉

Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas Dairy Free

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.

Corn Almond Ice Cream Sweet Simple Vegan

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 😉
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Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas (Oil Free)

Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas Dairy 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!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 70 minutes
  • Yield: 18 Empanadas 1x
Scale

Ingredients

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
  • 24 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

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the Flour and Salt. Stir Well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Let simmer for 15-20 Minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before handling.
  8. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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).
  12. Bake the empanadas for 30-35 minutes at 350F, or until golden.
  13. 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.

Notes

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:

Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas Dairy Free

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. I love the empanadas which I’ve always called hand pies. I usually add psyllium husk powder both fir binding + elasticity, the real stretch I get from vegan cheese sauce making – tapioca flour if I want that. I’ve always used leftovers in handpies. I was wondering about kidney beans in that pastry too.

    1. They’re also sometimes referred to as turnovers! There’s so much you can do in empanadas; beans are a great addition!

  2. Wow, I was looking for an empanada dough and found yours. I couldn’t believe it was oil free and had to try it. They are lovely! I had leftover pinto beans and used those instead. Great results. Then I tried it with garbanzo beans, and still got great results. Thank you. I am truly amazed!

  3. These are awesome! I ended up using Great northern white beans because I didn’t have the correct ones, and they turned out amazingly! I also kinda made my own fillings; I used chopped onions, mushrooms, and the remaining canned beans, which I seasoned with taco seasoning. There were delicious, thank you for an awesome recipe!

  4. I love these sooo much. I also did a semester abroad, in Chile, and fell in love with empanadas. These are amazing!!!

  5. Brilliant wheeze! So much vegan cooking is simple if you know ‘secret ingredients’.
    Just such a great idea, passed on and shared fir others to enjoy too. ????

  6. Made these yesterday for a party and they were great. The recipe made 24 empanadas with my glass size–would like to be able to fit in more filling, but they were tasty and would never have believed there could be beans in the dough! Will definitely make again trying different fillings.

  7. This is really brilliant. They look just like regular pastry dough. Your method is ingenious and I can’t wait to try it. Just one question. I know these are already doing double duty as vegan and oil free, but I’d like to make something special for a friend who is vegan, oil free and also gluten free (hard life). Do you have any thoughts on how these could be made gluten free? Do you think they’d just fall apart because there isn’t at least gluten as a binder? I made some white bean patties last night and even with egg they got a bit crumbly so I’m not super confident about their ability to act as a binder. In any case thanks so much for developing this method and sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Cristina! You could try to use a 1:1 GF Flour Blend, but I’m honestly not sure if that would work. They would definitely be more crumbly and harder to handle!

  8. Made these for dinner tonight and they were so tasty! I love the creative ideas with the dough. My non-vegan husband really enjoyed them too! 🙂

  9. Can these be frozen for later? If so, you would suggest baking them first then freezing the leftovers and reheating int he oven?

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I would suggest freezing the pre-cooked empanadas, then letting them thaw and baking from there 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    I am so thrilled to have just found your website! Everything, I mean EVERYTHING looks amazing! I am looking for recipes to share with my omni husband. Found them. Thank you! Some I will serve as is. Some I can easily add meat to or on the side, hoping to lure him over lol.

  11. 4 stars
    I just put these in the oven! I love the filling, my jar of roasted red peppers had gone bad so I threw in the rest of the can of beans from the dough instead. I had my normal battle with the dough, it was too stiff/dry/uncooperative but I managed to get it rolled out. Can’t wait until the timer goes off.

  12. Please help! My dough is stuck to the wax paper. It was not too wet. I kneaded it until it was no longer sticky. I don’t want to throw away the dough. I scraped off most of the dough and now its been sitting in the fridge a whole day ?