Banana and Black Bean Empanadas Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Banana and Black Bean Empanadas

A more healthful variation on the classic Argentinean pastry, these empanadas call for whole-wheat flour and are baked instead of deep-fried.



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1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
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1 cup all-purpose flour
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1 ½ tsp. salt
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½ tsp. chili powder
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4 Tbs. cold soy margarine, cut into ½-inch cubes
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½ cup unsweetened applesauce
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1 Tbs. white wine vinegar


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1 Tbs. olive oil
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1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
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1 cup cooked black beans
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1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
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2 bananas, peeled and diced (1 cup)
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1 tsp. ground cumin
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¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
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¼ tsp. ground coriander
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2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
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1 tsp. red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco


1. To make Crust: Sift flours, salt, and chili powder in bowl. Mix in margarine with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together applesauce, vinegar, and 1/3  cup cold water in separate bowl. Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture until textured dough forms, adding up to 1/4 cup more water, if necessary. Knead on lightly floured surface until dough comes together. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour, or overnight.

2. To make Filling, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add beans and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in bananas, cumin, cayenne, and coriander, and cook 2 minutes, or until bananas begin to break down and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and red pepper sauce.

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 12 balls. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out each ball to 6-inch round (1/4-inch thick) on lightly floured work surface. Fill with 2 Tbs. Filling, and brush edges of pastry with water. Fold dough circle in half, press to close, and crimp edges with fork to seal. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining dough balls and Filling. Chill 10 minutes. Bake empanadas 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before serving. 

Nutrition Information: 

10 g
Total Fat: 
10 g
Saturated Fat: 
4 g
60 g
0 mg
748 mg
8 g
8 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

these are terrific. a favorite in our house.

These are great--the black beans, bananas, and cilantro complement each other well!

Hi, LOVE your use of seasonal ingredients. Can you tell me how to read what reviewers wrote?

Yummy! The recipe says it serves six, but in my house three of us finished off all 12 empandas with no problem. They're little!

Just made the filling and served it over whole wheat couscous. Fantastic!

This recipe sounds great, would it be possible to use a plantain instead of a banana without altering the taste too much? Or do you need the sweetness of the banana to complete the dish?

These were amazing, and definitely use banana unless the plantain is black and sweet. The combination of these sweet and savory flavors make a great meal, and the empenadas cook very quick. I will make these again!

I personally wasnt a big fan of these, the banana didnt work for my taste... However, I think these would be really great if I substituted with something else... maybe broccoli or potatoes?

These just didn't work for me. Cumin was very strong and then you get this sweet banana taste. Left you feeling like you had mixed your dessert and your entree into a mash. Much too large as well - smaller appetizer size would be better. Great dough however. I could see stuffing them with all savory with better results.

A really fun and delicious combination! Running short on time, we substituted pre-made pie crust dough for the homemade. Turned out just fine.

The process of making these empanadas was so much fun, but i was I did not like the taste. The bananas were too sweet. The combination of bananas and black beans didnt taste right to me.

Love!! Very simple - very tasty. I served it with a kind of plum sauce. yum!!

Delicious. What an awesome combination. And they froze well! So yummy

These were a big hit, even my husband loved them saying they were just as good as if they had meat. I did however tweak the recipe. The thought of sweet bananas wasn't appealing so instead I used a partially sweet plantain. The plantains were yellow but not black, sliced into 1 inch rounds, quickly fried, then I smashed them and folded them into the bean mixture. Another note, they could use an egg wash to give the pastry a nice feel and texture. Baking them left the crust dry and floury. I served them with guacamole...yum

I loved the original filling and my guests had no idea there was banana in it. I've converted the recipe for a gluten free version with great success -- the GF version is just as easy to work with as the original: substitute 2 cups Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose flour and 1/2 cup garfava flour + 2 tsp xanthan gum for the original wheat flours and otherwise follow the recipe. I've been using these for all sorts of different savory empanada fillings. I think using cinnamon instead of chili powder in the sauce would work great for sweet empanadas, too.

This was absolutely delicious. The prep work was fairly involved, but I made it easier by making the dough a day or two ahead. I will definitely make it again!

These were incredible! My family asked if we could have them again tomorrow.

I made these recently and found them fairly easy to put together, especially if you make the dough the day before. I forgot to add the cayenne and cilantro until I had already filled half of the empanadas, so only half had that in there, bummer for me since I really like spicy food! They were definitely better with cilantro and cayenne, but they were good both ways. I really enjoyed them and they were easy for me to pack for lunch and re-heat in the microwave. I will definitely make these again.

We've made these many times, and they are always a big hit. If you want to save yourself some time, use refrigerator pie crust instead of making the dough.

We loved these empanadas! The dough is wonderful with many, many other fillings (including plantains). Try this dough with spinach, onion, and a dash of nutmeg as the filling! I usually double the recipe and freeze a bunch of them to throw into lunch bags. They taste BETTER the day after cooking, and they are great at room temperature. Just transfer a few from the freezer to the fridge the night before you want to eat them. Drop them into the lunch bags in the morning, and they will be ready to eat at noon. In response to comments suggesting pre-made pie crust substitution... if you have time, I would recommend bothering to make the dough. It's as easy as pie -- actually easier -- and it's fragrant and sweet because of the apple sauce and wine vinegar. Can anybody explain why the recipe directs us to chill the empanadas for 10 minutes before baking them? I have been skipping that tedious and refrigerator-crisis-causing step, and as far as I can tell no harm is being caused. (I can't tell the difference in texture or taste.)

This is a favorite recipe! I however prefer to substitute yellow plantains which give a less sweet flavor and it seems more filling.