Smokey Plant-Based Empanadas

downloadI love empanadas and the smokey, sweet tomato sauce that I used to have with tuna empanadas. These plant-based versions are just as tasty and very easy to make. I have now found ready made wholemeal shortcrut pastry (Thank you Tesco!) its light and crumbly and these little treats are great for a mid-morning snack. I bought a nifty little empanada maker from the internet which is amazing (come in three different sizes) and ensure your empanadas don’t come undone during baking. If you are having a gathering – these are very moorish and will disappear quickly!

2 x 375g x ready rolled wholemeal shortcrut pastry sheets
2 x tbsp olive oil
1 x red onion finely chopped
2 x medium potatoes  – peeled and cubed
1/4 x cup of peas (optional)
1 x cup of drained and chopped roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes (blitzed)
1 x tbsp tomato puree
1 x tbsp tomato ketchup
1 x tsp garlic granules
2 x medium/large potatoes  – chopped into cubes
1-2 x tsp smoked paprika
1/4 x cup chopped pitted black olives
1 x tsp sea salt
1 x tsp ground black pepper
(other optional additions: mushrooms, jackfruit, tofu, sweetcorn)

Set your oven to 180 degress.
Boil your cubed potatoes in a large pan for about 8-9 minutes in lightly salted water until soft, then with a slotted spoon drain them and set aside.
Now add the olive oil to a large frying pan and gently fry the chopped red onion until softening.
While the onion is cooking, put the tinned plum tomatoes, ketchup and tomato puree into a bowl and blitz with a hand held food blender.
Add the cooked potatoes into the frying pan with the cooked onions and stir throughly. Add in the chopped pitted black olives, peas, the chopped and drained roasted red peppers, the smoked paprika and garlic granules – combine everything well.
Add in the pepper but check before adding any salt as the olives are quite salty. Add in enough of the tomato mixture to make a moist mixture. (You dont want it sloppy) Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
Now unroll the pastry sheet and cut out circles to your preferred size. I cut out about 5 circles from each sheet then squeezed together all the left overs and rolled out one more circle.
Brush the edge of the discs of pastry lightly with some cold water, add in about a dessert spoon of the mixture and fold over and seal the edges with a fork. Continue doing this until you have used both sheets of pastry.
Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and arrange the empanadas on the trays. Lightly brush each one with a little oat milk and place in the oven to cook for approx. 20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack for about 5 minues and then serve. These are delicious warm but equally as good the next day.

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