Nitty Gritty Vegan

Vegan Oil-Free Apple Empanadas

Oil-free means that these are healthier, right? We’ll just pretend that they are healthy. For the dough, I followed Caitlin Shoemaker’s recipe in her Easy Vegan Corn Empanadas. I’ve made the corn version of these, and they are delicious. Pictured below all are all of the dough ingredients. And yes, that is a can of beans that you see. If that grosses you out, then you will need to prepare yourself for the black bean brownies that I will be posting soon.  No matter what, I would highly recommend that you try out Caitlin’s savory corn empanadas. If you don’t recognize Caitlin’s name, then maybe you know her by her Instagram and Blog name, From My Bowl. If you haven’t head or that either, then you definitely need to check out her recipes and YouTube videos. Everything she makes is oil free and healthy, it’s quite inspiring. You need a food processor or some type of blending device to make this recipe.


There was one mistake that I made last time that I ended up making again this time because I am forgetful. I rolled my dough too thin, which results in a crunchy edge and isn’t ideal. The circle cutter that I used was too small, so I rolled out the dough to have enough space to fold them. The lesson learned is that I need to find a bigger circle cutter. Maybe use a small bowl or a big cup. Otherwise, this recipe is great. Below you will see some of the major steps to the empanada making process. I am by no means a professional, so with practice, your empanadas will probably look far better than mine. I haven’t even eaten a traditional empanada before.


*Costs listed are my personal costs, they will differ upon availability, location, brands, and sales.

Vegan Oil-Free Apple Empanadas

Servings: 20 (I made about 35, but you won’t get that many with thicker dough, which you should use)



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour $0.20
  • ¾ cup full-fat canned coconut milk $1.00
  • 2/3 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained $0.69
  • 2-4 tsp water, if necessary
  • 1 tsp salt $0.05
  • 3 tbsp almond milk *(optional) $0.10

Apple Filling

  • 2-3 apples, diced $2.10
  • 2-3 tbsp light brown sugar, for desired sweetness $0.20
  • ½ tsp cinnamon $0.10
  • 1 tbsp Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk $0.09
  • ¼ tsp allspice $0.10
  • ¼ tsp vanilla $0.30

Total Cost: $4.93

Cost per empanada $0.25


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. In a food processor, add the cannellini beans and the 3/4 cup of coconut milk. Blend for a minute or so until there is a smooth liquid.
  3. Pour the liquid bean mixture into the flour. Use a fork to combine, then knead the dough with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add small amounts of water until the dough becomes soft and barely sticky.
  4. Divide the dough in two and roll each out to 1/8″ thin. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper, wax paper, or silicone baking mat. Put the dough in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
  5. To a non-stick skillet, add the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, coconut milk, allspice, and vanilla. Heat over medium heat and stir to combine. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, lowering the temperature if needed. (My stove isn’t very dependable when it comes to temperature accuracy)
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  7. Roll the dough again to ensure that it is still 1/8″ thick. Use a large circle cookie cutter, small bowl, or large cup to cut out the shapes for the empanadas.
  8. Use your fingers to thin the middle of the dough for the filling to fit, but leave the outer edge a little thicker. Place the desired amount of filling, however much will fit, in to the dough. Fold the dough in half, over the filling, then press the edges with your fingers. Seal the edges with a fork by pressing down with the fork on the edges.
  9. Place the empanadas on a lined baking sheet and brush them with the plant based milk.
  10. Bake the empanadas for 30-35 minutes at 350° F, or until golden brown.

If you end up making this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @nittygrittyvegan

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