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Italian Recipes

Italian Recipes
Italian Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Dessert Recipes
Dessert Recipes

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

Hurricane Sandy coming by our area last week meant that schools were closed and I had some time on my hands on the rainy days.  I finally dove into magazines I’ve had piling up for the last couple of years. I found these empanadas in a December 2010 Cooking Light

Luckily, we didn’t lose our power or have bad flooding from Sandy. On Saturday afternoon I was craving these empanadas I’ve been wanting to make for a couple of years. No matter how many storms we go through here in South Florida, it always raises my stress level and makes me anxious. It felt good to finally purge through my magazine collection and pull out recipe favorites I’ve been meaning to try. It also felt really good to roll out the dough and create these wonderful little pockets.
Yesterday after a birthday party, we drove by the beach to see what the ocean was like after Hurricane Sandy. Palm Beach is still closed...there is no beach left. We chatted with my mom’s neighbors and surfers checking out the volatile ocean.

Right in front of those people in that photo is about a 5 ft drop where there used to be the beach. The ocean has crashed over those stairs and traveled all the way to the parking lot. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. Flip flops and other debris scattered around the deck and the parking lot. Surfers are cautious to go out in the ocean for the debris that could potentially harm them.

A guy pulled out one of the beach chairs to watch the water. He didn’t stay there too long and left as the water was pounding right below him. I just saw on our local news that FPL (our local power company)has sent trucks up to the Northeast to help restore power for the outages they’re expecting.


For my friends that our in the path of the storm, please stay safe.


A little about the empanadas: I happened to have every thing I needed to make these delicious vegetarian empanadas. I left out the poblano peppers. If you love peppers, I think it would be really wonderful with them. I added a little extra virgin olive oil to the mix and my mom made a wonderful dipping sauce for it with mayonnaise, sriracha hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like), a little lemon juice, and some relish (or chopped pickles). I used my food processor to put this light dough together.  You could also fill this dough with a meat or chicken filling if you are craving. If you are looking for a fun vegetarian idea, this is delicious. 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas
slightly adapted: Cooking Light

2 cups all-purpose flour
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 (I omitted this part-keep it if you like peppers)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
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 (I used a regular chile powder I had here)
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water for egg wash and set aside.

Food processor dough method: Process the oil, vinegar, flour and salt a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add in the egg and pulse a few times. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.

By hand dough method: 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.

*If you are adding chile: Preheat broiler. 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.

Preheat oven to 400°.

In a large bowl, combine cumin, poblano (I omitted the pepper), sweet potatoes, and next 6 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth.
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 about 2 level tablespoons sweet potato mixture into center of each circle (make it where you can close the empanada and not have it squish out).
Moisten edges of dough with egg wash; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal. Brush empanadas with the egg wash. 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. Buon appetito-enjoy!

My friends that are in the path-stay safe and you're all in my thoughts. xo Lora


  1. Love these! yum! These are beautiful! and yes. . to everyone in the path of the storm, please stay safe. praying for safety and that the storm passes quickly!

  2. Had to stop by right away to have a closer look at these empanadas--they are gorgeous! I love the vegetarian versions you made. Making them was a good way to divert your attention from Sandy, I'm sure. Glad to hear your family didn't lose power and more importantly, stayed safe.

  3. Lora, Had to click right over from G+ for a closer look at these beauties. I love the vegetarian aspect of them, lovely work indeed! Best wishes to you & yours in weathering the storm.

  4. These look delicious and so easy. I'm going to try using a whole wheat flour and we'll see how they come out.

  5. Lora, these pretty empenadas were so yummy with the sweet potato and black bean filling. So nice of you to spare half a dozen. I made a simple dipping sauce for it, and gobbled up at least 3 in 'one sitting'. Love the recipe, and thanks for all those extra bunch of cooking magazines that you didn't need/want anymore:) xo
    (I'll be posting my beach photos on my next post; we lost another 4ft of the beach since yesterday)

  6. These empanadas sound so good! We're just waiting for the storm now...very windy and lights flickering.

  7. I love the use of fall veggies & beans with empanadas. I have never had these before but it sounds like samosa- an Indian snack which is so much like samosas.

  8. What a great filling the photos are so yummy!

  9. You stay safe too Lora. I'm sending positive vibes for everyone in the path. So far we just have a little wind and rain. But nothing like most places at this point.

    Love the empanadas. This would be something B-Dude would totally dig. I need to make this when he comes home to visit.

  10. Oh my these empanadas make my stomach turn in pain. That filling popping out made me salivate. Something about Sandy makes me super hungry but seeing these I would be even on a regularly innocent day! Yum & can I have some?!

  11. Like as in I want these empanadas painfulness! Feed me! :)

  12. OK..quick before we lose power again. WOW..I love empanadas. There's something gratifying about eating a savory meal out of hand - no utensils..just flaky crust! I LOVE your meatless version. I sat I LOVE a lot, don't I?'s because I LOVE everything you make! I could live on sweet potatoes and I LOVE the idea of it with black beans ;D

  13. BTW..I'm glad you made it through Sandy safely! The waves down the shore have washed up the beaches!

  14. Love these empanadas Lora, sweet potato and black beans sounds to awesome combo.

  15. Love these healthful ingredients! They look sooooooo appetizing, too!

  16. Your empanadas look so simple to recreate. For some reason I always imagine them being lots of work, but they are sooo good. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    wow that sounds awful, but I am glad nothing more happened with the storm. We have lots of flooding and heavy winds here in the monsoon as well and I always get stressed out when the rains starts to pour in from all kinds of places and when the coconut trees bang against the electricity lines and those sparks fly around. O.O I can't imagine what a hurricane might be!

  17. Mmmmmm it's been ages since I had an empanada! I think I'll try this recipe in the days to come, I have all of the ingredients! Be safe with the storm.

  18. Your empanadas sound amazing! Your mom's dipping!!

    Thanks for sharing those photos...I can't believe the amount of damage this storm has caused :( I am in Indiana and we're about to get pounded with rain. It has been a very windy night and morning, very chilly, and this is only the start of what's to come. blah!

  19. Your clicks are beautiful, these empanadas look crunchy and tasty.

  20. These empanadas look wonderful. Sweet potatoes and black beans are a great combination. We're still reeling from Sandy a bit here, it's been an exhausting 24 hours. But we have power, there was no damage to our home and my friends/family are safe. I've been heartbroken to see the damage in NJ & NYC.

  21. I´m sorry to hear the news after hurricane Sandy, I´m sorry for the victims´families.
    In spain, we make empanadas, and I make one that my children specially love, and very easy, chopped canned tuna, chopped hardboiled egg and tomato´s a keeper.
    Love from the north of Spain.

  22. Yum! These look like our local curry puffs. Love the ingredients for the filling.

  23. I cannot wait to make these - we are having chili today, perhaps these will be a good pairing!

    I am happy to hear you are safe and well - I am praying for those who have been devastated by this.

  24. Two of my favorite foods, and never thought of wrapping them together in pastry! I've been wanting to try some empanadas, I think these will be the ones! They look great, Lora!

  25. Oh my's so crazy that the beach is completely gone. I'm glad you guys are safe!

    These empanadas sound fantastic. Great mix of flavors with the sweet potatoes and black beans.

  26. These empanadas sound great. I love sweet potatoes and black beans.

    Glad ya'll were spared most of Sandy's wrath. Did the beach come back or it is permanent wash out?

    1. Thanks, Addie. we were lucky and my heart aches for those that weren't. I was by the beach today for 1st time since those photos and it was mostly back with very large dunes to get to it.

  27. Sweet potatoes and black beans sound like a phenomenal combination! I totally want these for dinner tonight! :)

  28. I made these yesterday and they were totally awesome. The filling was very flavorful (I'm a big sweet potato fan). I love the pastry and will definitely be experimenting with different fillings too (for variety).