Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Chili Empanada

Every year as the holidays approach I search though all my recipes, cookbooks, and magazines looking for inspiration on the snack of the season. As I wondered though Pike Place Market the other day I was drawn to one of the Latin vendors. They have everything in this little place: a variety of dried beans, different kinds of rice, spices, chilies, fruit…they even have Annoto Seeds (something you do not see very often). In one of their cases they had Empanada dough. AHHAA! A light bulb went off. Although I did not want to purchase the dough; I knew I could make my own. But, my new recipe for the season was on its way. I picked up some dried New Mexican chilies and my mind was working through a recipe the whole way home.  

Empanadas with Black Bean, Sweet Potato, & Chili Filling (makes 12 or more)

1 can of Black Beans, rinsed and drained

1 Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed small

1 small Onion, chopped

2 New Mexican Dried Chilies

½ tsp of dried Oregano

½ tsp of dried Chipotle Powder

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste


1 recipe of Empanada Dough (to follow), cut into rounds

1 Egg, for egg wash


First, in a pan steam your sweet potato until cooked through; drain and place aside for latter. In a pot place your two New Mexican chilies, onion, oregano, and chipotle powder with enough water to barely cover and bring to a simmer. Cook your mixture until onions are cooked through and the chilies have plumped up. Once chili mixture is cooked, place aside to cool.

Next, once your chili mixture is cool; remove the stems from the chilies (seeds will most likely come off with the stem, that s fine). Place the chili, onion, and a bit of the spiced water in the picture of a blender. Puree it all together, using extra water to thin out if you feel it is too hick.

Then, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl combine the black beans, sweet potato, and chili puree. Taste your mixture and season with your sea salt and black pepper to taste. With your prepared empanada dough rounds trim the edges with a bit your egg wash.  Scoop a small amount of your black bean mixture on the center on your dough. Seal the edges of your dough shut. I find it is best to crimp the edges with a small fork to ensure they are sealed.

Finally, place your prepped empanadas on a sheet tray. Brush them with the remainder of your egg wash and sprinkle with more Sea Salt and Black Pepper. Place in your oven and bake about 25 minutes, rotating them half way through. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Note: You wll have more then enough filling then that needed for 12 Empanadas. I like to keep the filling and serve over rice for another meal, but you can do with this as you please.