Try Vegan Empanadas from Chef Celena


Stop by the West End store foyer to try these delicious vegan empanadas from local chef Celena Pirela. Missed it? Make your own at home!


Sofrito Salsa


1 each red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper

1 Spanish or yellow onion

3 garlic cloves

1 bunch cilantro

1 small tomato

½ cup pineapple

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup alkaline water


Once everything has been rinsed and seeded, blend in small batches in a food processor or blender. (Onions are great on the bottom; they give off a lot of liquid once blended.)

Refrigerate in a sealed container. Freeze any extra in small containers.


Empanada Dough


2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups pastry flour

1 Tbsp olive oil


In a glass bowl, mix yeast and sugar with 1 cup of hot water.

Add salt and flour. Mix with a fork until dough becomes firm. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes into a soft ball.

Pour oil into a separate bowl. Add dough and roll in oil to coat. Let sit until doubled in size.

Roll dough into a large rectangle.

Sazón Seasoning


 1 tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp ground annatto seeds

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp onion powder


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the spices are evenly distributed.

Store in a clean jar at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Beefless Filling


1 package Gardein beefless grounds

2 drops of olive oil 

1/2 tsp of Sazón seasoning, or to taste

1 tbsp of organic tomato sauce


In a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 drops of olive oil followed by the beefless grounds. Then add in all other ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are completely mixed in. If you like it a little more saucy, add additional tomato sauce. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside to cool.

Preparation of empanadas

Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to ¼-inch thick. Cut out 4-, 5- or 6-inch rounds, depending on your preference. Add some filling to each empanada and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.

Heat 2-4 Tbsp olive oil in a hot skillet. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Serve with sofrito salsa.

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