Healthy Family Project

Black Bean Empanadas

These easy vegetarian black bean empanadas are perfect for throwing into a lunchbox with your kids’ favorite sides. 

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!).

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!

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

Looking for more lunchbox ideas? We’ve got you covered with 70+ ideas including make-ahead ideas, non-sandwich lunches, ideas for repurposing leftovers, and vegetarian, nut-free and gluten-free recipes.

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Black Bean Empanadas

These easy vegetarian black bean empanadas are perfect for throwing into a lunchbox with your kids’ favorite sides.

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from over and let cool.
  5. Serve with guacamole for dipping.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 10gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 367mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g

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Amanda Keefer

About the Author

Amanda Keefer

Amanda’s marketing, public relations and community outreach experience spans 20 years. She is the mom of two girls and two boxer dogs. You can hear her as the host of the Healthy Family Project podcast, find her cooking alongside her girls in videos on the Produce for Kids Instagram feed or spot her out volunteering with her family. When not in the office, Amanda can be found with her family on the tennis courts or at the dance studio.

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