These tempeh, sweet potato, and mushroom empanadas are plant-based comfort food at its finest. A filling of onions, garlic, mushrooms, tempeh, Mexican spices, and roasted sweet potato is enrobed in a spelt flour pastry and baked. Topped with avocado, salsa verde, and chipotle mayo or aioli and served with a green salad, these empanadas make a great lunch or dinner.
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:45 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 5 minutes
Yield:6 empanadas 1x
Spelt Flour Dough
2 1/2 cups light/white spelt flour (may sub whole spelt flour)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup chilled coconut oil or grass-fed organic butter
1/2 cup water, as needed
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 tsp fine sea salt, divided
Pepper, to taste
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
12 medium crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 (8-oz) package tempeh, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp tamari
1 cup grated goat cheddar or vegan cheddar cheese*
Chipotle mayo or chipotle ranch dressing**
Make the dough: In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Cut in the butter or coconut oil and incorporate with a pastry blender or fork. Slowly add the water and stir just until a stiff dough forms. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface and mix by hand just until all of the flour is incorporated. Do not overwork. Transfer back into the bowl, cover with plastic-free food wrap like Beeswrap or Abeego, and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the diced sweet potato on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp of the sea salt and a few twists of black pepper on top. Toss to coat and roast for 25 minutes, or until sweet potato is fork tender and browned around the edges. Leave oven on but reduce heat to 375 degrees F.
Warm the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the red pepper and mushrooms, turn up heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring very occasionally, until liquid from mushrooms has evaporated and mushrooms are nicely browned. Add the diced tempeh, spices, pepper, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, and the tamari. Remove from heat. Once sweet potatoes are roasted, add them to the skillet as well.
Remove the dough from the fridge. Divide it into 6 equal balls. To assemble one empanada, roll out one ball of dough into a 7-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place one-sixth of the filling on half of the circle, leaving some space around the edges to allow for crimping. Sprinkle with one-six of the cheese, if using, and fold over. Use a fork to tightly crimp down the edges. Transfer empanada to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining five empanadas.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve with sliced avocado, salsa verde, and chipotle mayo or dressing (see notes).
*I used goat cheddar from a producer that uses vegetarian rennet; i.e. no calves were harmed in the making of this cheese! For a vegan option, I recommend using Daiya jalapeno havarti cheese. **I used Primal Kitchen chipotle mayonnaise. For a vegan option, I recommend this chipotle ranch dressing.