Photo: John Autry; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross
10 servings (serving size: 1 empanada)

Mild sweet potatoes and black beans take on smoky, spicy tastes from cumin and chiles. These pies are great served hot at a party; leftovers also make a tasty room-temperature snack.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 2

Preheat broiler.

Step 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.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

Crowd Pleaser

July 16, 2016
These are the best empanadas ever!  In the last several months, I have made them for three different groups of people and they are total crowd pleasers.  My friends like them more than meat empanadas, which says a lot for my meat-loving friends.  These are going in my permanent rotation.I could not find poblano peppers so I used jalapeno.  I also used regular chile powder.I make the filling and the dough the night before and then everything is easier.  To freeze, I stop before the step of cutting venting slits.  Then I defrost them completely, cut venting slits and bake as instructed.  To up the yum factor, serve with a cilantro cream and sour cream sauce, guacamole, salsa, or a cumin yogurt sauce.

susanfonger's Review

June 03, 2014
Do you freeze the empanadas before or after you bake them? And then how do you reheat them from frozen?

mabrams115's Review

February 21, 2014
This recipe does take a little bit of time to make, but was well worth it. We ate on them for a few days!

Skaliwag's Review

January 14, 2014
I am to bring a Mexican dish to a meeting and had no idea what I could make. I found this recipe but had to play around with the filling on this to get it tasting Mexican! I don't like to roast Poblano peppers so I bought a can of Ortega hot diced jalapenos instead and finally it tastes just right. All other ingredients are the same as listed above. BTW, I cooked the sweet potato in the microwave for 6 minutes, perfect! For tasting purposes, I cooked the filling in a flour tortilla in a skillet with a bit of OO. My husband and I love it!

brighteyes8's Review

August 05, 2013
Crust was tasty but filling was more bland than expected. Perhaps add more spice or heat? Maybe sub or add standard chile powder blend? Lots of work for the result, but still worth experimenting with if you like this sort of food, and particularly if you are looking for good vegetarian versions. And as mentioned, the work invested in empanadas pays off in the leftovers and homemade frozen meals (they freeze great).

NHJustin's Review

May 20, 2013
This was a delicious recipe. I don't want to argue with other posters, but this wasn't a bad recipe to make. It took me a little over an hour to make. I started with the dough, cooled it, and made the filling. I did cheat by using cumin powder, and replaced the pablano with jalapeno. My wife and I loved them.

michkair's Review

March 12, 2013
Made this as written, except I subbed green garlic in for green onion, and 2 jalepenos for the poblano (that's what I had on hand). This turned out great, and the dough worked out perfectly for me. I will definitely make again. I have plenty of leftovers in the fridge, so I hope this reheats ok, I will try the oven.

DestructoAria's Review

February 02, 2013

beezer825's Review

January 02, 2013

sarahleeb2's Review

December 17, 2012