Meatless Monday: Spicy Tofu Empanadas

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Sometimes it’s nice to take on a challenge. Perhaps making homemade empanadas could be your challenge for the evening. You’ll impress your family and friends and you can give yourself a pat on the back when you take a step back and say, “yeah, I made that.”

This dish involves a lot of prep work, but when you actually get down to the actual assembly, it’s a breeze. We wanted to feature a meatless monday dish that would impress your meat-loving friends, and this one is sure to please. The spicy tofu adds some heft, while the flaky crust makes it a perfect comfort food dish. The original recipe called for tempeh, but we stuck with tofu. We love that this dish calls for GF flour, so everyone can enjoy this meatless masterpiece.

Happy eating!

Spicy Tofu and Sweet Potato Empanadas with Pepitas and Spinach

From: The First Mess



  • 3 cups chickpea flour (to make your own chickpea flour, place 4 cups chickpeas in your food processor and pulse into smooth, run through a sieve to remove any large particles)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water (depending on how your dough feels)


  • 1/2 block of tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup grated sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, rough chop
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.

Place the chickpea flour and pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the oil and 1/3 cup of water. Stir to combine. Begin to knead the dough, adding more water as necessary to bring it to the right consistency. The dough should feel slightly tacky and dense. Form dough into disc, wrap and set aside on the counter at room temperature.

Make the filling. Heat the 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the grated sweet potatoes and saute for 1 minute. Add the tofu and start mashing it up with the back of a spoon. Add the garlic powder, thyme, chili flakes, cumin, lemon zest and oregano. Saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add the spinach, pumpkin seeds and raisins. Stir to combine. Season the whole mixture to taste and set aside.

Cut the dough into 7-8 pieces. Form one piece into a circle, trying to avoid little cracks in the dough on the sides. Dust your work area and rolling-pin lightly with chickpea flour. Roll out the circle evenly to 1/4 inch thickness. Spoon about 1/4 cup of filling into the circle of the dough, slightly off-center. Fold the dough over the filling, pinching the dough at the widest point of the circle. Fold all of the edges of the dough over each other to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Place finished empanadas on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush a little olive oil on top if you like. Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are bottoms are slightly browned and dried.

Serve hot or at room temperature!


Written by cscdavis

February 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm

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