Who's in the mood for empanadas? Try my vegan, gluten-free, baked not fried, spinach & cashew cheese empanada recipe! A creative twist to the traditional South American cuisine - inspired by my travels throughout SA. They are filling and delicious! A crunchy outside and a cheezy-creamy-healthy inside! Meet you in the kitchen... let's get cooking! YUM!
Vegan I Gluten Free
Serves: 5 - 6 empanadas
Time: 1 hour
1 cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
125ml water (+ more as needed 1 tsp. at a time)
1 cup raw cashews, soaked
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice (~1/2 a lemon)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
Water as needed
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
4 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
4 large handfuls spinach (can substitute morning glory, kale or alternative leafy green)
Salt & pepper to taste
Add the cashews to a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let soak 30+ minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
To make the dough add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the olive oil and stir. Slowly pour in the water, starting to mix the dough with your hands to feel the consistency. Knead the dough 1 - 3 minutes, until smooth and well combined. Add more water (slowly) or more flour as needed to adjust the consistency. Form the dough into a ball, cover with a breathable cloth, and let it rest 15 minutes.
Prepare the cashew cheese and filling while the dough rests. Drain the cashews and add all the cheeze ingredients to a food processor or blender. Mix until smooth and creamy (like the texture of hummus). Add water slowly, 1 tbsp. at a time to reach the right consistency.
To make the veggie filling add the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Toss in the garlic and onion and sauté 2 -3 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, another 2 -3 minutes. Stir in the spinach and continue to cook until wilted, 2 -3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cashew cheeze mixture. Once everything is well combined, turn off the heat and set the pan aside.
To make the empanadas - On a flat, clean surface sprinkle some rice flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Place your ball of dough in the center of the surface. Use a rolling pin or jar to flatten and thin out the dough, working from the center to the edges. Once you've rolled out an even and thin layer, use a circle cutter or container to stamp the dough out in shape. Continue the process until all your dough is used.
Fill each with 2 -3 spoonfuls of the veggie & cashew mixture. To close the empanada rub the inside edges with a little bit of olive oil. Seal the edges together and use your fingers to pinch and fold - creating a nice outer texture and secure closing.
Bake in the oven 20 - 25 minutes, flipping half way through. They are ready when golden brown and slightly crunchy.
Let cool and serve warm! Store leftovers 1 - 2 days in the fridge. Reheat in a toaster oven or enjoy room temperature.