Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sweet potato and black bean empanadas

This is the time of year when most food bloggers are posting recipes for cookies or other sweets. But since I've already found a winning holiday dessert recipe for this year, I'm going to do something a little different and tell you about these empanadas. They're delicious and fun, and they keep really well, which means you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch for a few days. Sure beats the usual soup or sandwich. Besides, you need something to eat between all those Christmas cookies, right?

Sweet potato and black bean empanadas
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2010
Makes 10 empanadas, 2 empanadas make a good dinner serving

9 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour (I substituted white whole wheat flour for half of this)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cold water
1 tbs cider vinegar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbs cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hot smoked paprika
3/4 tsp chili powder
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Combine flour and 3/4 tsp salt in a large bowl and mix together with a whisk. In a medium bowl, combine canola oil, water, vinegar, and egg. Slowly add oil mixture to flour mixture, mixing until just moist. Turn dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Toast cumin seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring. Grind toasted cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. In the same saucepan used for cumin, heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove pan from heat. Combine cumin, paprika, chili powder, sweet potatoes, black beans, onions, garlic, cilantro, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl and mash with a fork until well combined.

Divide dough into 10 equal portions, and shape each into a ball. Working with one ball at a time (keep remaining dough covered), roll dough out into a 5-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Add 3 level tablespoons of sweet potato mixture to the center of the circle. Brush egg white around the rim of the dough, and fold dough over filling into a half moon shape. Pinch edges together to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with spray oil. Make 3 diagonal slashes on the top of each empanada using a sharp knife. Bake at 400 deg F until lightly browned, 16-20 minutes.

Cooked empanadas keep very well for a few days in the fridge.


  1. Hello my friend (this is KR),

    First of all, these look delicious.

    Secondly, can I use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this? Or should I just knead it by hand? How long do you think I have to knead it?

    Say hi to Andrew for me!

  2. Hey! I wouldn't bother using a stand mixer - by hand, you only have to knead it for a minute or so for the dough to get smooth

  3. mmmm these reminded me of a super yummy burrito recipe:

  4. Love empanadas! Great idea on using sweet potato! Am sure they are delicious!

  5. Can you use ground cumin in place of cumin seeds?

  6. Yes, you could use ground cumin - I would start with 1/2 tbs, skip the toasting step, and taste the filling mixture once it is blended, and then add more cumin if you think it needs it.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.