Pumpkin Chili Empanadas

Not only did I make delicious sugar cookies for my friend’s get-together last Saturday, I also made these tasty Empanadas! Ever since reading about this traditional Chilean dish in my high school Spanish class, I’ve wanted to make a version of my own. I was inspired by the pastry crust folder-over thing (technical term, obviously) that I brought back from my grandmother’s house in Michigan and knew that I had to make something with it and I’m so glad that I did.

Before I get started with the recipe, I’d just like to wish you all a Happy Worldwide Vegan Day! Yay! Now, back to the dish. These pumpkin chili empanadas are filled with delicious black beans, baked shredded pumpkin, lots of spices and fresh produce. I served mine with salsa to really take it to the next level, and a little added heat from some Tapatio. I like my food to make me sniffle when I eat it, so sue me! 😉

Ingredients (makes 10-12 Servings, depending on how big you make them)

-For the Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 1/2 Cup Red or Orange Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 cup Tomato, Diced
  • 2 Cups Cooked Pumpkin, Chopped
  • 1 14 oz. Can No Salt Added Black Beans
  • 1-8 oz. Can Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsp. Pickled Jalapeño, Minced
  • 2 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dried Cilantro
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 Cup Daiya Cheddar Shreds


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium. Once hot place onions and garlic in pan and cook until the onions are clear, making sure to stir almost constantly. Next, add the bell pepper, tomato and pumpkin to the onions; saute together for roughly 5 minutes. Drain the can of black beans and rinse them, then add them to the pan along with the tomato paste, jalapeño, and spices.
  2. Sprinkle the Daiya Cheddar Shreds throughout the pan and stir together so that everything is mixed well, and lower the heat of the pan to low-medium until the shreds are a little melted. We are not introducing extra liquid into the chili so that it does not make the crust soggy or hard to pick up once baked.

For the crust I used a recipe from Chow Vegan called “Super Easy DIY Pockets“, the only changes that I made to the recipe were that I quadrupled the recipe, used whole wheat flour (I would suggest using All Purpose instead) and added turmeric for the orange tint to the dough.

I rolled out the dough into 7″ circles that were about 1/8″ thick, then placed them into my little pastry folder-over and filled them with about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin chili. The one below is a bit too full!

I then proceeded to carve lil’ pumpkin faces into two of them and then I realized I was super short on time so I just punctured three holes in the top of the rest of them. I wish I would have been able to do all of them, look at how cute they are!

Mmm.. the filling. I’ll definitely be making these again, even if the innards are a bit different.

And here is the pumpkin that I carved for Halloween, last night! I got a few compliments from little kids and parents, so that totally made my day. I have a lot of pumpkin seed recipes coming your way in the next week or so!

16 Comments on “Pumpkin Chili Empanadas

    • I wish I had time to finish the rest of them with faces, that would have been ideal! ha ha

  1. What sort of pumpkin did you use? We got a rather small pumpkin this year and I was thinking I could use it for this recipe.

    • Mine was a pumpkin I had from last year that I had carved then baked and froze to preserve it once I had scooped out the meat. I think a small pumpkin would be perfect for this!

  2. Looks really good! I love pastry fold-over thingys. I had Argentine roommates one semester, and they cooked these things all the time! (With meat, of course. I actually never tasted them.) But I’ve made veggie ones that have raisins added for a sweet/savory combo that’s fun.

    • Agh! I definitely need to make a version with raisins in them, they’re so good! I’ll just need to get some raisins into my pantry.. ha ha

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  4. Those look great …I love sweet potatoe black bean combos so I know id love these…..yum
    pickled jalepeno???

    • You could use fresh jalapeno if that’s what’s available to you, pickled jalapeno is just jalapeno in the jars that you can buy at the grocery store.

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