Chickpea and Asparagus Empanadas ~ Traditional Spanish Pasties

Chickpea and Asparagus Empanadas ~ Traditional Spanish Pasties

When I first decided on the collection on Tapas recipes, I knew these would be first on the list. These are a MUST make. If there is only one thing you make, these have to be tried. The texture of the pastry combined with an amazing filling is heavenly. Lightly fried and then oven baked, these will be a winner in your house for sure.

Originally posted as part of the “Saturday Night Takeaway” feature, but The Gourmet Vegan

save_time60 Minutes servesServes 5-6
nut? kcal per serving


For the pastry

3 cups plain flour

1.5 tablespoons vegetable fat, I used Trex

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

For the filling

1 medium onion, finely chopped

100 g ( 4 oz ) asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1 pinch salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 clove garlic, minced

200 g ( 7 oz ) tinned chopped tomatoes

1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree

1.5 teaspoons agave nectar

2.5 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

200 ml ( 7 fl oz ) water

120 g ( 4.5 oz ) chickpeas, lightly crushed

Oil for frying ( you will need a good 2cm of height of oil in the pan ) , or these can cooked in a deep fat fryer


Begin by preparing the pastry.

Place the flour into a bowl and make a well. Place all of the ingredients, except the water, into the well and then pour in the warm water.

Mix well with your hands until the pastry starts to come together. If you feel it is a little too dry add a splash of water until you get a good pastry texture.

Remove from the bowl and kneed for for about 5 minutes. This keeps the pastry warm and allows it to become soft and elastic.

Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and leave in a warm place until you are ready to use it.

Now start the filling.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions and asparagus with a pinch of salt for 4-5 minutes until the onions start to soften and slightly caramelize. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.

Now add all of the other ingredients with the exception of the chickpeas.

Cook on a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, frequently crushing the tomatoes and asparagus with the back of a spoon so that they break down. As the mixture starts to become dry, add the chickpeas and continue to cook for a few more minutes, stirring until you have the constancy of a pasty filling. Not too wet, but not too dry. Allow the mixture to cool down.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius ( 400 F ) Gas Mark 6

Now prepare the empanadas

Cut the pastry into sections that are roughly the size of a lemon.

Roll out the pastry to approx 2mm thickeness and place a saucer on the pastry. Cut around the saucer to get a good round shape.

Place 2 big spoons of the mixture into the middle of each round, wet the sides of the pastry with a little water, and fold over to create a half moon. Be sure the sides are sealed and use a fork to decorate and crimp the edge of the empanada.

Heat the oil in a pan, and when hot enough for frying, place the empanada base down and fry for approx 45 seconds until the base is golden brown. Turn over and do the same for the other side. When the empanada is golden all over place on kitchen towel to drain and then place on a baking tray.

When all of the empanadas have been fried and placed on a baking tray, place in the oven for 10 minutes.

These can be served hot or cold.

If you wish to reheat, they can be placed back in the oven for another 10 minutes to heat through.


Prepare the filling in advance to speed up the preparation of the recipe.


Once fried, drain on kitchen towel immediately. This keeps the pasties nice and crisp.


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