I’m assuming by now you possibly have realized that I have an obsession with chipotle flavored items (Soup, Salsa), especially chipotle seasoning with sweet potatoes. I actually made these before the sweet potato fries which led me to try the chipotle on the fries. 

When I’ve traveled to Central and South America there is one thing (of many) I’ve discovered: a love of pastries.  There is something special about these pastries and empanadas are something I’ve seen in passing over a few blogs and finally when I landed on Andrea’s blog over at Bella Eats, her empanadas look so delicious that I couldn’t resist making them. 

If you don’t like giant chunks of sweet potatoes you can cook them, mash them, and then add the remaining ingredients.  I also left out cheese (which I was severely disappointed when I realized and while they were still good without cheese, I would suggest sprinkling cheese on top before folding the pastry over.)

I also plan on making mini-empanadas and using as an appetizer.


Chipotle Black Bean and Sweet Potato Empanada

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pieces


  • Dough
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I mixed 1/2 unbleached all purpose and half wheat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup butter cold and cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Filling
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 mediums sweet potatoes peeled
  • 1/2 medium white onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 medium red pepper diced
  • 1 cup black beans drained and rinsed if using canned
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • paprika for topping


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut butter into flour mixture with either a pastry blender or your hands (my preferred method) until butter is in small pieces- about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, water, and vinegar. Pour over dry and ingredients and mix with a fork until dough begins to come together (yet will still look quite shaggy.) Dump out onto a slightly floured surface and knead dough together. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
  2. While dough chills, heat oil over medium heat and begin by sauteing onions and peppers. Once onions begin to cook through, about 4-5 minutes, stir in garlic. Continue to cook for 1-2 more minutes. Next, add in sweet potatoes (should be in small 1/2″ chunks) and water. Still occasionally and let cook until sweet potatoes begin to soften. If you find the water drying out too fast, add a little more water.
  3. Once sweet potatoes have cooked through, stir in remaining ingredients and cook for another 3-4 minutes until everything is heated through. Set-aside and begin to roll out empanada dough.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 400˚.
  5. Whisk together egg and water. To assemble empanadas, divide the dough into 12 pieces (this dough will freeze if you don’t feel like making all 12- however you will have left over filling.) Roll each piece of dough out into 6″ circles that are about 1/8″ thick. Place 1/3 cup of filling inside the circle, brush the edges with the egg wash, fold over and crimp the edges together. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with paprika. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until empanada is golden brown. Serve with your favorite salsa or sauce.


*Inspired by Andrea over at Bella Eats and the Empanada Dough Recipe is from the 2004 issue of Gourmet.