Mushroom and Capsicum Empanadas with Mango Dipping Sauce

I love a challenge—especially in the kitchen. If something scares me, then I know it’s worth trying. While empanadas may be staples in some homes, I have never dared to make them; always believing they were out of reach for my skill level. I’m by no means an expert on Spanish delights, but I’m always keen to expand my knowledge. How else are you meant to learn?

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These Mushroom and Capsicum Empanadas are great for serving at parties or as starters for a dinner party. The filling is packed with so much flavour making every bite a pleasure to eat. I’m always generous with cumin, which is no surprise given it’s one of my favourite spices. It’s an absolute must for this dish, but you can feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste buds!

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My least favourite part of the empanada process? The pastry. While it’s not hard to make, the rolling process is one hell of an arm workout. I could certainly feel my muscles working with every roll, and may have been sweating slightly towards the end! On the other hand, it’s always nice to work up a sweat in the kitchen, given recipe creating and testing takes up so much of my time that getting the gym isn’t always practical.

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One of my favourite parts of this recipe is the Mango Dipping Sauce. It’s simple to make and gives the empanadas a much needed kick. Mangoes have fast become one of my favourite fruits, and their flesh is just perfect in a sauce. The adobo gives the dip a real edge, and if you like spice, then you could even add a sneaky chipotle chilli like I did.

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If you can refrain from inhaling the whole tray, be sure to snap a pic for Insta with the hashtag #thehungrypiggy. I can’t tell you how much it would make my day to see you enjoying these!

Mushroom and Capsicum Empanadas with Mango Dipping Sauce

  • Servings: 20 small empanadas or 10 large
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

PASTRY INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 9 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 6-9 tablespoons of ice cold water

EMPANADA FILLING

  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed and chopped)
  • 2 red capsicums
  • Sliced button mushrooms (about 3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • 2 vegetarian stock cubes
  • ¾ cup vegan cheese (grated)

MANGO DRESSING INGREDIENTS

  • Flesh of 2 mangoes
  • 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. To make the dipping sauce, place an ingredients in a blender and process until fully combined. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. To make the pastry, mix flour, salt, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add butter and using a pastry cutter, incorporate until there are just small bits of butter left, and the mixture holds together between your fingers. Add ice cold water and incorporate fully. Mould pastry into a ball and tightly wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. While the pastry is chilling, make empanada filling by heating 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add onion and garlic and heat for a few minutes. Once softened, add capsicums and mushrooms. Add salt, pepper, spices, and stock cubes. Once vegetables have softened, remove from the heat. Let mixture chill completely before adding grated vegan cheese (about 1 hour).
  5. Remove chilled pastry from fridge. Roll out on a floured surface using a rolling pin. You’ll want the pastry to be reasonably thin to make enough empanadas but not so thin that the pastry will break once filled. Create 20 small or 10 large circles using a round cookie cutter (I used a round container lid).
  6. Fill about 1 tablespoon of filling to each empanada (more if you’re making large ones). You’ll have to gauge the amount of filling you’re comfortable with adding while still being able to seal the pastry. It takes practice but it gets easier! Seal the empanadas by lightly wetting the edges with water and pressing together with a fork (or your fingers if you know how to do a traditional seal).
  7. Place empanadas on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with mango dipping sauce.