These easy Black Bean Empanadas are ready in about 30 minutes and are a tasty non-sandwich lunchbox idea. They are vegetarian and easily customized with your favorite veggies.
These easy vegetarian black bean empanadas are perfect for an easy weeknight meal or adding to lunches. We used pre-made empanada discs for the dough which made preparing these black bean empanadas super easy. So easy in fact, that the kids can make them! I love getting the kids involved in the kitchen, I have found that they are more likely to try new foods when they have a hand in making them.
During the busy school week, having a lunchbox option on hand that you can make ahead of time is a real lifesaver. My girls love to make empanadas! It’s probably my daughter, Charli’s, favorite thing to make in the kitchen other than her famous salsa (which pairs well with these empanadas!).
What is an empanada?
An empanada is a type of a turnover, they are either baked or fried and can be either sweet or savory.
Key Ingredients to making Black Bean Empanadas
- Dough, we used frozen empanada discs
- Black beans
- Additional veggies for added flavor and nutrients
We also added cheese, but you don’t have to.
What do you serve with empanadas?
- Dips! We love dipping ours in salsa and guacamole.
- When having these for an easy weeknight meal, I recommend beans and rice as a side.
- Fresh salad.
- When including these in a lunchbox, I usually include fresh fruit and some additional fresh veggies. And dip!
Nutrition Tip: Black beans are an excellent source of fiber for kids, who often don’t get enough. The plant chemical that gives beans their dark color is the same disease-fighting antioxidant found in grapes.
These empanadas are full of black beans, tomatoes, onions, mini sweet peppers and cheese for a delicious and filling lunch!
Can you make these empanadas ahead of time?
Yes! Me and the kids usually make a batch on Sunday night and use them in lunches for the next few days. You can store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can also make them and freeze them. I recommend wrapping each one individually so you can take them out of the freezer in the quantity you would like. Once you have them wrapped (I use Press n Seal) then place them in a freezer bag. You can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Here are a few of our other favorite empanada recipes
- Turkey Cranberry Empanadas – perfect for Thanksgiving leftovers
- Apple, Ham and Cheese Empanadas – a delicious mix of sweet and savory
- Mini Apple Pie Empanadas – an easy sweet treat
- Pumpkin Empanadas – Hello Fall!
- Easy Beef & Cheese Empanadas – a family favorite
How do you #PowerYourLunchbox? Show us your healthy lunchboxes on Instagram using #PowerYourLunchbox.
Looking for more lunchbox solutions?
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Black Bean Empanadas
- 12 frozen empanada discs thawed
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 mini sweet peppers finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onions
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup no-salt-added black beans drained, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup shredded lowfat Cheddar cheese
- 1 large egg white beaten
- 2 Tbsp. guacamole
- Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add black beans and taco seasoning. Cook additional 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Lay empanada dough out on parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill with black bean filling and 1 Tbsp. cheese. Fold dough over filing to create a pocket. Use fork to press down on sides to seal. Brush with egg whites.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from over and let cool.
- Serve with guacamole for dipping.