Jim’s Kidney Bean Empanadas


This kidney bean empanadas recipe was created by Jim Leahy, the store manager of Debra’s Natural Gourmet, and featured in their newsletter. Debra’s Natural Gourmet is an organic and natural food store in Concord, MA. Jim says, “I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s great in winter or summer, and my wife and I, and my book group (five hungry men), love them. The combo of organic grains, beans and vegetables satisfies. Which beans to use? Eden beans are cooked with kombu, which makes them more digestible, and Eden doesn’t use bisphenol-A to line their cans. Lin’s Farm tahini is made from whole sesame seeds so you get a lot of calcium. For the pie crust (I first discovered this basic pie crust recipe in 1976), add water to the dough until it reaches earlobe consistency. The result: a great pie crust and a pair of sticky, doughy ears.”

Special Diet Notes: Kidney Bean Empanadas

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Jim’s Kidney Bean Empanadas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12-14 servings
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 large parsnip, diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup Earth Balance spread [dairy-free margarine]
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 cans Eden kidney beans, drained
  • 10 tablespoon cold water
  • 2-3 tablespoon tamari
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Chop and dice veggies. Sauté them slowly and gently in 2 Tbsp EVOO to bring out their sweetness. When veggies are tender, add drained kidney beans and 2-3 Tbsp (to taste)) tamari. Simmer while you make the crust.
  3. Mix the whole wheat flour and salt and cut in the Earth Balance and tahini. Mix well by hand. Add approximately 10 Tbsp water and knead well. Adjust by feel (earlobes if necessary) to get good elasticity. Roll out the dough. You can either roll out the entire batch or divide batch in half and do one half at a time. I roll it between two sheets of wax paper to make it easier to handle.
  4. Cut into circles about 4¾” in diameter. I use an upturned jar to make the circles. Remainders can be re-formed and re-rolled until all dough is all used up. Spoon about three Tbsp of filling onto each circle and fold over into a crescent. Press empanadas closed with your finger and thumb. Press with a fork to make a decorative edge. Lay empanadas onto shallow, greased pan (or two). Put in 350 degree oven, and bake for about 25 minutes.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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