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.

Easy Black Bean Empanadas

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!
Best Black Bean Empanadas

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.

Easy Black Bean Empanadas pin

Here are a few of our other favorite empanada recipes

How do you #PowerYourLunchbox? Show us your healthy lunchboxes on Instagram using #PowerYourLunchbox.

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Tasty Black Bean Empanadas
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Black Bean Empanadas

Amber Gray
These easy vegetarian black bean empanadas are perfect for or easy weeknight meal or as a make ahead lunch option.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Lunchbox Ideas
Cuisine Latin
Servings 6 servings
Calories 80 kcal


  • 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.



Calories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 6gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 277mgPotassium: 205mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 538IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 1mg
Keyword black bean, empanadas, lunchbox, Power Your Lunchbox, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!