Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas – Vegan, Vegetarian or Not

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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These are easy.  Buy pre-made, raw pie crust dough like those above. (UPDATE- Oh, dear!  I just saw there is LARD in that dough.  So – if you are vegan or vegetarian – buy a dough that fits your diet – or make it.   Yikes!)  Make your favorite mashed potatoes  – just make them drier than usual.  Mix in some veggies & vegan ground beef. Assemble empanadas.  Wash with egg or with olive oil or vegan butter and bake for 12 minutes or until they are the color you like.

I used grated Brussels sprouts & some cooked broccoli but corn or peas or anything you want could be used instead.  I used Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles but you could use real meat or no meat at all.  Your call.

The ratio of ingredients is very flexible.  I neglected to measure what I used but I will give you a rough guide.  A lot depends on the size of the potatoes & how thin your dough is, etc.  This is a very forgiving recipe & these guys are really yummy!

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Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas – Vegan, Vegetarian or Not

This made about 2 dozen empanadas (quantity depends on the size you make them)


3 boxes pie crust

9 oz vegan beef

6-8 medium potatoes (you might end up with extra mashed potatoes but I will post a recipe to use them – so never fear)

Vegetables of your choice (I used about 10 grated Brussels sprouts & one large head of steamed broccoli chopped small)

Olive oil

Grated cheese of your choice – (or vegan alternative) – (optional)

1-4 garlic cloves – minced (optional)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

Milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

Butter (or vegan alternative)


2 eggs (for the egg wash on the empanadas) – or vegan butter or olive oil

Parchment paper

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Got a favorite mashed potato recipe?  Make that but keep it on the dry side.  Or –

Peel the potatoes & cut them up.  Boil until soft & drain.

Mash with just enough milk & butter that they come together like VERY thick mashed potatoes – small lumps are fine.  If these are too wet – you will have soggy empanadas and nobody wants soggy fucking empanadas.  Add the onion & garlic powders & some S&P.  Blend well.

If you are using a hard vegetable – like raw carrots or Brussels sprouts – saute them in a bit of olive oil until tender & add them & the beef to the potatoes.  If using frozen of canned veggies – just drain them & mix them into the potatoes and add the beef.

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Heat the over to 350 degrees.

I made two sizes of empanadas (you can see the two sizes below).  I used that black glass to cut these guys that were about 4″ across but the empanadas ended up very small, mostly pastry & I would have ended up with 4000 of them & arthritic hands – so – I used a bowl to cut bigger rounds & the empanadas had a better ratio of filling to pastry.  This is something you need to play around with yourself – and is why I cannot possibly give you any accurate guess at how many empanadas you will end up with.

Roll the dough out on some flour.  Cut the rounds with a bowl or glass, top with a dollop of filling & a small amount of grated cheese (if you are using cheese) & fold over.  Wet the edge to help seal the edge and pinch the edges together.  Place on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper.  When you are ready to bake them, whisk an egg or two & brush the empanadas with egg (or olive oil or melted vegan butter).

Bake about 12 minutes or until they are a nice golden color.


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