vegan empanadas on a white plate with mole sauce
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Mexican empanadas have to be the most versatile portable food ever. They are easy to transport and can have savory and sweet fillings. These vegan empanadas are filled with mushrooms sauteed until golden brown and simmered in a mole poblano.

Mushroom in mole sauce in a large saute pan for vegan empanadas

I love mole, so it was only natural to want to fill these baked empanadas with this smoky and sweet Hernan mole poblano. Hernan is a local company that sources sauces and cookware crafted in Mexico, in partnership with artisan groups and producers. Their mole paste is made of 28 natural and vegan ingredients, the combination of 4 kinds of chilies tempered with raisins, nuts, sesame seeds,  cacao, plantains, piloncillo, and other herbs & spices.

Vegan mole chilaquiles are tortilla chips covered in mole sauce and mixed with sautéed greens and black beans, then drizzled with an almond crema, and vegan queso cotija. The combination is seriously good.

Glass bowl filled with flour and oil and water.

Mole empanadas are traditionally filled with chicken or turkey, but mushrooms make an excellent substitute. You can use any kind of mushrooms, but I think maitake or hen of the woods mushrooms give the best texture. I adapted the empanada dough recipe from the Vegan Yack Attack On the Go cookbook, which I highly recommend. It is made with a mixture of whole wheat and white flour, and uses olive oil as the fat. They are definitely on the healthy side and make an exceptionally delicious appetizer.

Glass bowl with vegan empanada dough

A Brief History of Empanadas

Empanada comes from the word empanar, which means to wrap in bread. Empanadas are thought to have originated in Europe, particularly Spain, around the time of the Moorish invasion. The dish was carried to Latin America by the Spanish colonizers, and evolved over time depending on the country. You can find empanadas in Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Belize, Cuba, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines.

vegan empanada dough rolled out and filled with mushrooms in mole

How to make Empanadas

If you don’t know how to make empanadas or have never made them before, you don’t have to worry. The recipe is pretty easy and straightforward, and the dough is easy to work with. First, you make the filling, and let it cool down slightly. While the filling is cooking, you make your dough by combining the dry and wet ingredients and kneading briefly. You don’t want to knead it too much, otherwise, they can come out tough. Once the dough is ready divide into equal balls and roll out into circles. Place the filling on one side of the empanada disc and fold over the other side, seal with a fork, and bake. See?? Super easy!!

vegan empanadas ready to bake on a sheet tray

The Recipe: Vegan Empanadas filled with Mushrooms in Mole

  • If healthy food isn’t your thing or you are looking for a quick version of this, you can buy empanada disks or use puff pastry as the empanada dough.
  • You will have mole leftover, save it to use later, or use it as a dipping sauce for your empanadas.
  • I made this with Hernan mole paste, but you can make your own, or use your favorite mole paste.
  • I do not recommend you fry this dough.
  • You can use any mushroom you like, but I recommend maitake or oyster mushrooms.

vegan empanadas on a white plate with hernan mole

vegan empanadas on a white plate with mole sauce
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Vegan Empanadas filled with Mushrooms in Mole

These vegan empanadas are filled with mushrooms sauteed until golden brown and simmered in a mole poblano.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mole and mushrooms, vegan empanadas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 Small Empanadas
112 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

Sauce:

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp. Olive oil optional
  • ¾ lb. Mushrooms sliced
  • ½ White onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Garlic clove minced

Empanada Dough:

  • ¾ cup AP flour
  • ½ cup Whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup Masa harina
  • 2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • ½ cup Water
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Aquafaba liquid from a can of chickpeas

Preparation

Preparation:

  1. Heat 1 cup of vegetable stock in a medium sauce pot. Add the jar of Hernan mole paste. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the paste. Once the paste dissolves and starts to thicken, add 1 more cup of vegetable stock. Set aside
  2. The sauce thickens as it cools, so if it gets too thick add a little more vegetable stock to thin it out.

Filling:

  1. Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil (or ¼ cup of water) and sauté mushrooms until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add onions to the pan and continue to cook until onions are tender and translucent, about 4-5 min. If the onions and mushrooms begin to stick, add a little bit of vegetable stock to the pan.
  3. Pour in 1 cup of mole sauce, and stir to combine. Set aside.

Dough:

  1. Sift whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Make a well in the center. Add water and olive oil.
  3. Knead for 1 minute. Set aside.

Fill:

  1. Sprinkle flour on your work surface, divide dough into 12 equal balls. Roll out one ball to 3-inch wide circle.
  2. Add 1 tbsp. of filling to the empanada disk and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. Repeat with the rest of the 11 balls. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.
  3. Brush empanadas with aquafaba.
  4. Bake 20 min. at 375F or until golden brown.

Chef's Notes

You can buy empanada disks or use puff pastry as the empanada dough for an easier recipe. • You will have mole leftover, save it to use later, or use it as a dipping sauce for your empanadas. • You can use any mushroom you like, but I recommend maitake or oyster mushrooms.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Empanadas filled with Mushrooms in Mole
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Sodium 239mg 10%
Potassium 212mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 13g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 1.8%
Vitamin C 1.2%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 5.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You can also use Hernan Mole to make mole chilaquiles, and enmoladas!!!