Black Bean Empanadas


I was originally going to combine my two vegetarian empanada posts… but that would be such a disservice to their fabulously different flavors!

My husband had to work on Super Bowl Sunday this year. 😦 We don’t usually go to a party, but my husband, kids, and I really enjoy celebrating the big game with a festive menu. I decided that I wanted to be a superstar spouse and deliver a special meal to him at work- just so that he wouldn’t miss everything

My daughter’s special pig “Honey Pie” – another football fan in our house!

If you read my last post, you know how obsessed I am with empanadas- and so you know what a super-special Super Bowl meal this really was!! These black bean empanadas were the second vegetarian empanada version we had for the big game. This filling had a really creamy texture and a spicy bite that held up well to the dough. Great.

Like my “green” empanadas, these empanadas also star Carla Hall’s famous (famous to me, at least!) Cream Cheese Dough. When Carla was on Top Chef, she seemed to be always cranking out both savory and sweet fillings with this wonderful, tender dough. I am SO happy to have my hands on the recipe!! πŸ™‚ I modified her perfect recipe to incorporate whole wheat flour- pretty daring, I know- but it really worked out. πŸ™‚

I cut the dough into 5-inch circles, and we ate the empanadas as a main course with refried beans and brown Basmati rice. (We had chips and guacamole first, of course!!) If the dough is cut into 3-inch rounds, they would be the perfect size for an appetizer. This recipe was adapted from Carla’s Comfort Foods: Favorite Dishes from Around the World by Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko. I also adapted the baking time to use a convection oven.

I am bringing these tasty morsels to share with my friends at Fiesta Friday #54 over at The Novice Gardener. I am co-hosting this week with my friend Sonal of Simply Vegetarian 777. So exciting!! Join the fun- it is a great way to meet other bloggers and increase the exposure of your own blog!Β Click here for the guidelines to join the party.

Yield: 9 (5-inch) empanadas

For the Whole Wheat Cream Cheese Dough:

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 9 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 oz cold cream cheese, cut into 1-inch dice

For the Black Bean Picadillo Filling:

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2/3 cup hot water
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground Mexican chiles, such as ancho
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend
  • 2 T chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Make the Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flours and salt. With your hands, toss the butter and cream cheese in the flour mixture until each piece is lightly coated.
  2. With the paddle attachment, beat on low-speed until the dough comes together and forms a loose mass around the paddle.
  3. On a large piece of plastic wrap, gently pat the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours. (Note: The dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 3 months.)
  4. Make the Filling: In a small bowl, cover the raisins with the hot water. Let soak.
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion just starts to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the ground chiles and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.
  7. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in the beans, corn, and raisins with their soaking liquid.
  9. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
  10. When cool, stir in the cheese and cilantro.
  11. Preheat the oven to 400Β°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  12. To Finish: On a floured work surface (or between layers of plastic wrap), roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Using a 5-inch round cutter (I used a bowl), cut 9 rounds out of the dough, reshaping and re-rolling out the dough as necessary.
  13. Mound 2 tablespoons of the filling on half of the round and fold the other side over to form a half-moon. Press to seal the dough and pinch at intervals to make pleats. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling. (Alternatively, start at one end, pinch one corner between your thumb and forefinger and fold it over the rim. Pinch the dough next to the fold and fold again. Continue pinching and folding to create a decorative rope rim.)
  14. Arrange the empanadas on the prepared baking sheets and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 20 minutes (on convection) or up to 30 minutes in a standard oven, until browned and heated through. Serve the empanadas warm or at room temperature.

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

50 responses to “Black Bean Empanadas

  1. Did you say black beans?! Oh my, I want some of these Empanadas! Yum, yum, yum!

  2. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #54 | The Novice Gardener

  3. Wonderful empanadas Josette, and I find the dough to be most intriguing – cream cheese? I’ll definitely have to try it. I can only imagine how it enhances the flavor of the empanada. Thanks for co-hosting, you’ll have a great time with Sonal. πŸ™‚

  4. 😍😍😍😍😍ohhhhhhhh! This is so on my list Josette! I have been thinking of making these for ever. I wish we were next door neighbors! Really!!!

  5. These look so yummy. I love the cream cheese dough πŸ™‚

  6. These look even better than the green ones, I LOVE black beans!

  7. Mmmm! They look really yummy! Thanks a bunch for co-hosting today! You know that we all appreciate it! πŸ˜€

  8. Everything about these sound great, from the cream cheese dough to the filling–yum!

  9. The dough for these sounds so good!

  10. It looks wonderful and so yummy, Josette πŸ™‚ Happy Fiesta Friday and thank you for co-hosting this weeke FF!

  11. Yum! I love empanadas, Josette. Thank you for co-hosting FF. πŸ™‚

  12. I’ve been following your empanada trail for a while now, Josette – my Chilean mother-in-law is staying with us at the moment, so empanadas are on the menu at least once a week πŸ™‚ But the black bean filling sound absolutely stunning!
    Thank you as well for co-hosting this weekend, it is looking busy already!

  13. Both recipes look so good, I’d be hard pressed to decide which I liked more without a taste of each!! I am partial to anything with Green Chile in it, though!

    I was planning on bring empanadas, too, believe it or not! πŸ™‚ Mine are filled with shredded pork in a kind of piccadilo version…we’ll see if I can get them done!

  14. deliciouslynell

    How fantastic! Let us know if you do do a pulled pork or pulled chicken version!

  15. I love food in small portions for some reason! Empanadas fall into that kind of hand held treat and such a delight to snack on. I like both versions, the green and the bean!

  16. I do like your black bean empanada version – all very good ingredients and I know I would enjoy these. I will have to pass on the green empanadas. I watch Carla on The Chew but have never tried any of her recipes. So, thanks for an introduction to her. Thanks for co-hosting this week with Sonal πŸ™‚

  17. skd

    Hi Josette! I have nominated you for One lovely blogger award. Please collect it at

  18. This is soo good. I never tried mexican dishes with black beans. I saw black bean enchiladas in other blog today. Black beans would be perfect in these dishes huh! Must try!

  19. Dieser Blog gefΓ€llt mir
    Gruß Schnippelboy

  20. Everything about these empanadas sounds great–the dough with cream cheese added in, and the delicious-sounding black bean filling!

  21. Just wanted to let you know that I used this pastry recipe to make some homemade pizza pockets for my kids. It was outstanding! Such a rich, delicious pastry recipe. Thanks for sharing it πŸ™‚

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