Vegan Empanadas with Quick Corn Dough

Chef by StepAuthorChef by Step
corn crusted empanadas
Yields4 ServingsCategoryCuisine
Total Time1 hr
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Want empanadas but don’t have all night to let your dough sit? This crusty corn dough is ready for use immediately.

If you prefer wheat over corn flour, try our other empanada recipe, Empanadas with Tender Wheat Pastry.

Quick Corn Dough
 1 tsp salt
 2 ½ cups Masarepa pre-cooked corn flour
 2 tsp oil for brushing
 2 cups warm water
Empanada Filling
 1 small yellow onion
 1 green bell pepper
 15 oz canned black beans
 1 large tomato
 1 cup rice cooked in vegetable broth
 ¼ cup vegetable broth
 2 ripe plantains
Filling Spices
 4 tsp minced garlic
 1 tsp oregano
 2 tsp cumin
 ½ tsp salt

Gather your ingredients! Pictured here is the ingredients for the savory filling.

ingredients for vegan empanada filling with corn dough


Peeling a plaintain is a bit trickier than a banana. Chop off the two ends of the plantain, then cut a slit along the side. Widen the slit with your fingers and peal the fruit away from the hard rind. In the spirit of this quick recipe, my plaintain could stand more time to ripen! You should wait until the skin turns yellow to use them.

peeling a plantain


Wrap the plantains in aluminum foil and bake them for 20 minutes at 350°F.

plantains wrapped in foil


Dice the small yellow onion and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.

saute onion for corn vegan empanada


Prepare a cup of cooked rice. Ad 1/2 cup of dry rice to 1 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. raise to a boil, then cover and simmer until the rice is soft. Uncover and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the excess moisture has boiled off.

rice cooked in vegetable broth


Dice the green bell pepper and large tomato.

diced vegetables for corn vegan empanadas


Stir the green peppers into the hot pan with the transluscent onions.

stir green peppers into vegan empanada filling


Add the rest of the filling ingredients and stir, cooking on medium heat until the ingredients are soft. This is the green pepper and onion with one cup of rice, one diced tomato, a15 oz can of black beans, 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 4 teaspoons of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and 2 teaspoons of cumin.

vegan empanada filling for corn dough


Dice the baked plantains. You want the pieces to be small enough that they won’t interfere in folding a 4″ pocket out of thin dough.

chopped baked plantains


Once the filling is ready, make the dough. The dough ingredients are quite simple: just masarepa corn flour, salt, tap water, and a bit of oil for brushing.

ingredients for quick corn vegan empanada dough


Mix 1 tsp of salt thoroughly into 2 1/2 cups of corn flour in a large mixing bowl.

mix corn flour with salt


While mixing the dough with your fingers, slowly stream in about 2 cups of warm water. The dough has enough water when it’s soft, moist, and dense. Err on the side of extra moisture, because dry dough is prone to cracking. Continue kneading until the dough has no lumps. The great thing about corn flour is that oyu don’t have to worry about over-kneading, since there are no gluten strands!

mixing corn dough


Split the dough innto even halves, then thrice more, until you have 16 evenly sized dough balls, about the size of meatballs. Keep these covered under a moist towel until you are ready to roll them out into empanada wraps.

corn dough balls for vegan empanadas


Place one of the dough balls on a piece of saran wrap. Place another piece of saran wrap over the top. Slightly flatten the dough into a disc by pressing down with your hand. Flatten the dough into 1/4 inch thick wrap y rolling out with a rolling pin. Covered in saran wrap, no part of the dough should actually touch the rolling pin.

small dough on plastic wrap


Remove the top layer of saran wrap and set aside to use again. Handle the dough through the bottom saran, avoiding touching it. Scoop about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling from the pan and the diced plantains onto the rolled out wrap. Fold the wrap in half and pinch the edge in a semicircle to seal the empanada.

vegan empanada before folding


Fold the bottom layer of saran wrap over the empanada pocket. Then, take a 4″ bowl and press it over the edge of the empanada to make a nice, even arc.

4" bowl over empanada


Peel off the rough edges of the dough and press your fingers around the dough to firm up the seal.

touching up the vegan empanada


Oil a fork so that it doesn’t stick to the dough, and use it to make dimples around the rim.

fork makes dimples in corn vegan empanada


Repeat this rolling and folding process using the two squares of saran wrap for all 16 dough balls. Place the uncooked empanadas on a non-stick cooking surface like parchment paper or silicone. Brush them with a bit of vegetable oil.

Bake them at 375 °F for about 22 minutes. This is a much healthier option than deep frying.

corn vegan empanadas on a tray


The finished empanadas will have a crusty outer texture with a more golden color than the raw dough.

Serve warm with your favorite salsas. Enjoy!

corn crusted empanadas

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