Holiday Vegan Gardein Beefy Argentine Empanadas

As a child, one of my favorite appetizers to eat during the holidays were Argentine empanadas. Sometimes, my mother would make them from scratch, and at other times, we would buy them from the Argentine deli. Either way, they were delicious!

As an ethical vegan, I have missed them because they are meat-filled. Over the last few years, I have attempted to duplicate the taste that I remember from my childhood but was not able to… until now!  I have created a fantastic recipe using Gardein Beefless Ground. (A very special thank you to Gardein for making this possible!)

If you are wondering what Argentine empanadas are, here is a rundown:



Okay, well maybe that is not all of it. Some Argentine empanadas are filled with spinach or potatoes or a combo of both. Sausage is sometimes added. Most of them are filled with meat, however.

I made these on Christmas Eve for my family this year. I just might do it again for New Year’s Day!

Behold my recipe below:

vegan / nut-free


Baking sheets

Parchment paper (optional)


1 large onion, chopped

8-10 Spanish green olives, chopped

½ cup small raisins

3 cups white flour

1/3 cup vegan butter

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1 Tbsp. paprika

½ tsp. thyme

1 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. white pepper

1 tsp. salt

2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil

¾-1 cup Water (depending on how dry your climate is)


Making the Dough: (can be made in advance and refrigerated up to 24 hours)

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt.
  2. Add vegan butter in small pieces and some of the water.
  3. Mix with a mixing spoon until the dough forms into a ball, adding water.
  4. Knead dough for about 10 minutes until it turns into a smooth ball.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 1 hour.

Empanada Ball

Cooking the Empanada Filling: (can be made in advance and refrigerated or put in freezer)

  1. In a large frying pan, cook chopped onions in olive oil until yellow on medium heat.
  2. Add the beefless ground, all spices, and cook according to Gardein’s instructions.
  3. Add the green olives and raisins and toss.
  4. Set aside.

Empanada Meat

Making the Empanadas:

  1. Cut dough into pieces lengthwise.
  2. Roll out each cut piece with a roller into circles. (I suggest using a plate or something round as a circle tracer). You can make the pieces as small or as large as you want. If you want a lot of empanadas, then make the circles smaller. If you want only a few, make the circles bigger.
  3. Coat the circle with a small amount of olive oil.
  4. Add meat alternative into each round piece of dough. How much meat you add depends on how many empanadas you want and how large or small you want them.
  5. Cover the meat alternative with one of the sides of the dough to make a half moon. Moisten the ends with a bit of water. Then crimp the ends with a fork (see image below).
  6. Baste the top of the empanadas with olive oil.
  7. Place the empanadas on a cookie sheet on top of parchment paper (optional) and bake for 15 min at 400 degrees.
  8. Broil for 1 min and serve right out of the oven.

Empanadas 1

Empanadas 3

Empanadas 2


  • You might have some leftover beefless ground. You can freeze for later use or refrigerate it for 48 hours.
  • You can reuse the leftover dough when making your circles; just knead the pieces again to create another empanada.
  • They are best eaten hot right out if the oven.
  • You can reheat them however they will taste a bit dry if you do.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

©2019, Vilma Reynoso,, VEG out: go Vegan. save Earth. be Good to animals

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