Baked Empanadas with Spiced Cauliflower & Peas and Middle Eastern Spinach (Gluten Free)

Slightly spiced empanadas that are both vegan and gluten-free. Filled with cauliflower and spinach that makes a great snack or light lunch.

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This recipe is one that was swimming around my head for weeks. I actually trialled them on Instagram first and everybody loved them.

I actually had to ask for some help in naming this recipe because it’s not following the traditional empanada style.

They are more baked and pie-like, but the final consensus was to call them empanadas.
The jury is still out a little on the name – but the flavour is absolutely on-point.

What they actually are… are delicious parcels encasing spiced vegetables inside their crisp and crunchy casing.

I actually use two different fillings for these: a slightly spiced spinach mix; reminiscent, to me, of Middle Eastern flavours through the use of fragrant sumac and allspice. And second, a classic Indian cauliflower and pea combination.

Ensure both fillings are not too wet, as this will cause them to ooze out of its case. But they need to have some liquid so they don’t dry up. It’s a fine balance between the two. But after you have made them for the first time, you will know exactly how much is too much!

You can actually use any type of vegetable you like for these. I love using up leftover roasted cauliflower, but they’re just as delicious with potato, onion or even mixed peppers. So don’t be afraid to get super creative with your fillings. I’ve even added leftover curry or chilli inside them before!

They are perfect on their own, served with a variety of dips, but even better when served with pickles, tahini dressing or alongside a big salad.

Love Niki xxx

baked-empanadas-with-spiced-cauliflower-peas-and-middle-eastern-spinach-vegan-gluten-free 1a

Baked Empanadas with Spiced Cauliflower & Peas and Middle Eastern Spinach

Slightly spiced empanadas that are both vegan and gluten-free. Filled with cauliflower and spinach that makes a great snack or light lunch.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
2-4 servings
No ratings yet

Ingredients

For the spinach filing

  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp black onion seeds
  • 5 big handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Black Pepper

For the cauliflower filling

  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower
  • 1 cup peas defrosted
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1/2 tbp sea salt
  • Pepper

For the cases

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • Twist of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

To make the spinach filling

  • Add oil and chopped onion to a large frying pan and cook on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until soft.
  • Add in the spices and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the spinach, stir until wilted down.
  • Remove from the heat and season well.

To make the cauliflower filling

  • Add oil and chopped onion to a large frying pan and cook on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes until soft.
  • Add in the spices and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the cauliflower, peas, lemon juice and coriander and stir to combine well.
  • Remove from the heat and season well.

To make the cases

  • In a bowl, mix the flour, oil, baking powder, salt and pepper and then add the water (add a little more water/flour if needed).
  • Mix to form a dough and knead for 2-3 minutes so that it comes together.
  • On a floured chopping board, roll out the dough.
  • Divide into four and then roll into balls.
  • Roll the first ball out to a small circle.
  • Place a few tsps of the spinach filling in the middle and carefully fold the dough over the filing by pressing the edges together. You can crimp if desired.
  • Place on a greased baking tray.
  • Roll out the next dough ball following the same method as before and fill with a few tsps of the cauliflower filling.
  • Repeat until all the dough is filled and placed on a baking tray.
  • Bake for 15 minutes on a medium heat until slightly crispy on the outside.
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More Recipes with Cauliflower, Peas, or Spinach

Discuss this Recipe with Niki
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3 Responses

  1. Hi Niki and or Andrew, what nice little pies your Empanadas are. May I suggest that in your Middle Eastern Spinach, you substitute the Allspice, as it is not used in the Middle East, for Camoum or Cumin which is used constantly, even on fried eggs. Since similar little pies are called ‘Samboosas’ in the Middle East (and Samosas in the Indian subcontinent) you might consider naming them ‘Samboos’ as a quirky but identifiably Middle Eastern savoury pastry. Best regards, Cee

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