Picadillo Empanadas

Some of you might be wondering what in the world is “picadillo?” Well, my friends, picadillo is a common meat dish in Puerto Rico, where you cook the meat with some olives, onions, garlic, red bell pepper or pimientos, some potato and other yummy spices. So, here, I’ve adapted the recipe to make it vegan and rather than serve it with a side of rice as it’s typically eaten, we’re using the picadillo as the delicious filling to create these savory empanadas.

Just like the breakfast empanadas found in my blog, these picadillo empanadas are a great idea for meal prep, if you have some time on the week/weekend to assemble them. You can store them in the fridge for 3-4 days unbaked and bake them as you go OR you can freeze them for a month or two, thaw and bake when you’re ready. I find them to be a nice lunch option and most popularly, a big hit as a dinner party appetizer!

My recommendation is to serve these empanadas with a side of chimichurri sauce. You can find my recipe for easy homemade chimichurri sauce under the “sauces” section if you’re interested. Another option which you just can’t go wrong with is to serve them with some guacamole. Your choice!

Picadillo Empanadas

Serving Size: 8-10 empanadas

Cook Time: 60 minutes


  • 1 pack of frozen (vegan) puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup any vegan ground beef
  • 1/4 chopped purple onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 2 small golden potatoes
  • dash of red cayenne pepper
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 fresh lime (juice)

Optional: serve with homemade chimichurri sauce (find recipe under “sauces”).


  1. Take out puff pastry from freezer and thaw for at least 25-30 min (until soft). You can do this while you are cutting up all the chopped ingredients and cook the picadillo.
  2. Chop up your onion, bell pepper, green olives and potatoes.
  3. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
  4. Next, in a saute pan, add your olive oil, onion and minced garlic. Saute for 1-2 mins.
  5. Add your bell pepper and potato to the pan and saute for 5 min.
  6. Add in your vegan ground beef , green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh lime juice, dash of red cayenne pepper and dash of salt. Saute another 3-4 min. Just be sure your potatoes are soft! Set aside your picadillo.
  7. Lay out your puff pastry sheets and cut out med circles 2-3 inches in width. (I use the “med” sized round pastry cutter from my set of 3).
  8. Take each circle pastry and add 1-2 tbsp full of the picadillo.
  9. With a fork, press the edges to make closed ridges.
  10. With coconut oil spray (or whichever you prefer for baking) spray the non-stick baking pan. I like to use Trader Joe’s easy spray coconut oil.
  11. Transfer all your assembled empanadas to the baking pan and spray them all as well with a little coconut oil on top.
  12. Bake empanadas for 25-30 min until golden flaky brown color achieved.
  13. Buen Provecho!

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