#MeatlessMonday: Banana Black Bean Empenadas & Mexican Sweet Potato Mash

#MeatlessMonday Banana & Black Bean Empenadas with Mexican Sweet Potato Mash

I made these empenadas last week for the first time. They were a huge hit with everyone, so I thought that when I made them again today, they’d be the star of the table. However. I added a side of Mexican Sweet Potato Mash tonight, and it blew me away. I almost ate half the pot before it hit the table. This is such a tasty meal with complex layered flavours that your family won’t even notice that there’s not meat on their plates.

#MeatlessMonday Banana Black Bean Empenadas, baked or fried

These empenadas are really quite easy to make. I start out by making the dough, and while it’s chilling in the fridge, I put together the filling. I used this recipe here for the dough, posted on About.com.

#MeatlessMonday Banana Black Bean Empenadas, baked or fried

For the filling, I was inspired by this recipe on VegitarianTimes.com, and adapted it based on our tastes & likes. This is what we ended up with.

Banana Black Bean Empenadas:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 15oz can / 2 cups of cooked black beans (I buy my black beans dried in a bag, and about once a month cook up a huge lot in the slow cooker, then freeze in 2 cup batches.)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 bananas, peeled & chopped
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or 1 Tbsp cilantro paste
  • 1 tsp red pepper sauce (like Tabasco) 
  • 1 batch of Empenada dough, chilled


  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions, turn heat down to low. Caramelize onions, adding extra water as necessary so onions don’t burn (will take 10-15 minutes). 
  2. Add beans, garlic, and lime juice, turn heat up to medium, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in bananas & spices, and cook for 2 minutes or until bananas begin to break down and spices are fragrant. 
  3. Remove from heat, stir in red pepper sauce.
  4. Roll dough out on lightly floured surface, until dough is about 1/4″ thick. Place a bowl with a 6-8″ diametre rim-down on dough, and trace around with a dull knife. Repeat until you can’t fit any more circles on rolled out dough. Remove the odds & ends of dough, roll up in a ball, and roll out dough again and repeat process above. 
  5. Put 2-4 Tbsp of filling in the centre of each circle. Brush edges of circle with water, fold dough over on top of filling so that you end up with a half-circle, and crimp edges with a fork. 
To cook:
#MeatlessMonday Banana Black Bean Empenadas, baked or fried
 I’ve baked the empenadas, and I’ve also fried them – the family consensus in our family is that, while the fried empenadas don’t look as nice as the baked empenadas, they taste WAY better. I use coconut oil for frying, so I figure it’s not all that unhealthy to fry, right?! :)
#MeatlessMonday Banana Black Bean Empenadas, baked or fried
In a large skillet / cast iron pan, heat 1/4 inch of oil until it sizzles when a drop of water lands on it. Place 2 prepared empenadas (carefully!) into the oil, and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until dough is golden brown. Transfer to paper towel, serve hot.
Preheat oven to 400F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and place empenadas on prepared sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown & crusty.  Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before serving.
#MeatlessMonday Mexican Sweet Potato Mash #Sidedish

For future reference: if you don’t have 45-60 minutes to roast a sweet potato in the oven for your sweet potato casserole or mash, cook it in the microwave! I poked mine several times with a fork, and then cooked 2 in the microwave for 11 minutes on high. I let them rest for a few minutes, then sliced them open and scooped out the flesh. So easy, so fast! And, you actually almost all of the flesh off of the peel, unlike using a potato peeler to peel it first!

Cook a sweet potato in the microwave!
Roast your sweet potato / cook it in the microwave. While it’s cooking, prepare your cilantro sauce with a hand blender. 
#MeatlessMonday Mexican Sweet Potato Mash #SideDish

Scoop the cooked sweet potato out of the skins with a spoon and into a mixing bowl with butter & cilantro sauce. Blend thoroughly with an electric mixer (I love my KitchenAid for this sort of thing – we haven’t mashed potatoes by hand in two years!), and transfer to small greased baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through. Head over to Allrecipes.com for full list of ingredients for this Mexican Sweet Potato Mash. Note: I used 1 small can of Green Chilies instead of the jalepeno, because, as always, that’s what we had on hand. I also added a touch of lime juice.

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Jenn vanOosten

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, and love my city. I'm a Netflixer, choral music geek, bookworm, inventor of recipes (I take Artistic Licence on EVERYTHING that I make), wife of one, mother of two, and owner of a neurotic Schnauzer. I respect people who respect others. I love good food that's well done, but my favourite lunch is KD & hotdogs. With ketchup. I'm addicted to Clearance Shopping. I will ALWAYS get the product that I want at the price that I want, eventually.


  1. I’m a huge fan of sweet potatoes and these look awesome together!

  2. Empanadas are great!

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