Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

by Shelly Guzman, RD, CD

Wanting to make something different for dinner, I stumbled upon this recipe for empanadas on the Cooking Light website. This recipe is vegetarian, but can easily be made with a little shredded chicken or pork. My boyfriend added lean ground beef while I kept mine vegetarian. Boy, did they taste goooood!! The other great thing about these empanadas is that they can easily be frozen and stored for a meal later in the week. Since they are a little labor intensive, this is a fun recipe to make with a friend. A little tip, the recipe calls for egg white to seal the edges of the empanadas, but you will also want to use this egg white to brush over the top of the empanadas so they brown up nicely in the oven. Ours turned out a little pale. If you like spicy, this recipe has plenty of that. I chose to tone it down a little by serving a little sour cream on the side. Add a nice green salad, and you've got a well-balanced and tasty meal!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas


  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten


1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine canola oil, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and egg in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

2. Preheat broiler.

3. Place poblano on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chile; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Finely chop.

4. Preheat oven to 400°.

5. Cook the cumin seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted, stirring constantly. Place cumin in a clean spice or coffee grinder; process until ground. Combine cumin, poblano, sweet potatoes, and next 5 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth.

6. Divide dough into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle on a lightly floured surface. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), spoon 3 level tablespoons poblano mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut 3 diagonal slits across top of each empanada. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.

Nutritional Information

8.4g (sat 0.7g,mono 5g,poly 2.3g)
Jeanne Kelley, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2010

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