So I don’t even pretend not to love all Beyond Meat products, along with a lot of other faux meats. I loved the taste of meat before going vegan, so I personally have been more than excited with all the progress these products have been making over the years. So when my neighbor asked if I had posted a recipe for empanadas yet, I knew I needed to create one, and I knew the needed to be filled with vegan ground meat and chorizo! I am also a super fan of Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo. It is SO GOOD! I actually had never made an empanada before this recipe, but had eaten a plenty. I mean it’s a total meal in the palm of my hand. I am a big supporter of delicious food I can eat on the go, because I am ALWAYS on the go. I was torn between using just chorizo or just vegan ground beef so decided to split the difference and use an equal amount of both. You could just use one or the other if you want, but I like them just they way they are. I also prefer a fried empanada to a baked one because the south runs deep in my veins and we are born loving all fried foods. These vegan empanadas are a little spicy but the cool, tangy, yogurt based dip helps to cut the spice. My only regret is not making a double batch…because thanks to the teenagers, these were gone before I even knew what happened. At least I know they liked them.
Oil for frying, I use grapeseed oil
1/2 lb vegan ground chuck like Beyond Brand or Impossible “meat” (you can also thaw 2 beyond burgers and if you can’t find vegan ground chuck")
1/2 pound vegan chorizo, we used Trader Joe’s brand
1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup cold vegan butter
1 tablespoon tapioca starch plus 3 tablespoons water (a starch egg)
3/4 cups ice water
1/2 cup plain unsweetened vegan yogurt or sour cream
2 tablespoons salsa verde
1 teaspoon chili lime seasoning or just chili powder
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the dough by first mixing the starch and water together. Next add the flour and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times, then add the cold vegan butter. Pulse again to break up the butter into the flour. Add the vinegar, and starch egg mixture, then begin streaming in the water a little at a time until the dough has formed. We used all of the water for our dough, but just add a little at a time until the dough has formed. It will not be crumbly, but a solid dough that you can easily handle. If you do not have a food processor, follow the same instructions but using a bowl and mixing by hand. Wrap the finished dough in some plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least and hour.
While the dough is chilling, begin preparing the filling. In a large skillet over medium heat, add a few teaspoons of oil along with the diced onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook unit the onions are translucent. Add the vegan ground beef, and chorizo, using a spatula to crumble it up in the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the vegan “meat” has cooked though. Set the filling aside and allow it to cool.
Once the dough has chilled, remove it from the fridge. Divide the dough in half. Place half back in the fridge. Roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thick on a clean floured surface. Using a small bowl cut 3 inch circles from the dough. I use a soufflé cup tuned upside down and a sharp knife to trace around the edge. Use whatever you have that is about that size.
Place about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the circles. Fold the dough over forming a half moon shape. Press the edges of the dough to seal them up, then use a fork to crimp around the edges. Place finished empanadas into the fridge and repeat with remaining dough.
Fill a deep cast iron, or other skillet with serval inches of oil and heat over medium/ high heat on the stove top. You will know the oil is ready if you poke a chop stick or wooden skewer into the oil and small bubbles form around it. Once oil is ready, reduce heat to medium.
Line a cookie sheet with some paper towels and place a wire cooling rack on top.
Begin frying empanadas in batches, a few minutes per side, carefully turning them with some metal kitchen tongs until they are golden brown on both sides. Place finished empanadas on the wire cooling rack while you repeat with the remaining process with remaining empanadas.
Prepare dipping sauce by mixing all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
Sever empanadas with dipping sauce or sauce of your choice.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated in the oven or air fryer. They can also be reheated in the microwave but will not remain crispy.
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