Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

Perfect for picnics, BBQs, potlucks, and packed lunches, these sweet potato and black bean empanadas are a flavorful, vegetarian recipe!

Last week I told you all about my new obsession: homemade empanada dough made with Greek yogurt instead of butter/shortening.

Well it wouldn’t have been fair to give you the dough recipe without at least one filling option.

Greek yogurt empanada dough cut into circles

Sweet potato black bean empanadas are a healthy, non-traditional twist

An empanada is a pastry that’s made by folding dough over stuffing and then baking or frying.

The stuffing varies greatly from more traditional meat and beans to more Americanized buffalo chicken.

These empanadas are a little of both. In fact, they were inspired by one of my go-to vegetarian meals: black bean and sweet potato burritos.

How to top these empanadas

Usually I like to put BBQ sauce on my black bean and sweet potato burritos (not traditional I know, but so good!). But, I decided to keep things a bit more traditional by topping these empanadas with spicy hatch green chili salsa.

You can use any dipping sauce that you like. The key is just having something to dip these into!

Sweet potato black bean empanadas with salasa

Tips for making the black bean and sweet potato filling

For the filling, I wanted these to have some texture to them. So, I roughly diced the sweet potato and then steamed them until just slightly soft.

However, I think these would be even more delicious if you took the time to dice them a bit smaller and then roast them in the oven until soft.

For the cheese, I went with 3-oz of shredded cheddar, which made these nice and cheesy. But feel free to adjust the amount depending on how cheesy you like yours.

More filling ideas

Want even more flavor and texture? Here are some more ideas for ingredients to add:

  • Fire-roasted corn kernels.
  • Hatch green chiles or jalapeños.
  • Shredded chicken or jackfruit.
  • Sautéed spinach.

Leftover filling can be re-purposed

I ended up having some leftover filling, which I used to make quesadillas. But it also would have been delicious as a breakfast hash with eggs. You’ll have to let me know how you end up using your leftovers!

Hope you all had a good weekend! We took Bry’s mom and stepdad up to my family’s cabin in the mountains.

It was so nice just spend time relaxing, eating, and catching up. Next weekend is the Grand Lake Buffalo Festival. So you can bet I have a good bison recipe coming up for you later this week !

So here’s a toast to cheesy sweet potato empanadas for the win!

Want more healthy empanada recipes?

Why make just one flavor? Instead, I love to make a variety of empanadas. Here are some more healthy empanada recipes for inspiration:

Plate of sweet potato and black bean empanadas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

Perfect for picnics, BBQs, potlucks, and packed lunches, these sweet potato and black bean empanadas are a flavorful, vegetarian recipe!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Homemade, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Kelli


For the filling:

  • 1 cup diced sweet potato cooked (steamed or roasted)
  • 1 15- oz can beans of choice I used pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3- oz shredded cheddar cheese

For the dough:

  • 1 cup 5-oz unbleached all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling out dough)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 cup 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg beaten and placed in a small bowl


  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees and line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine filing ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Next, make the dough by combining flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a fork (or your hands), mix in Greek yogurt until crumbly. From here, use your hands to knead the dough into a ball. You want the dough to still have moisture, but not stick to your hands.
  • Sprinkle extra flour on a clean surface and roll out dough until it’s very thin (as if you were making a thin-crust pizza). Using a glass, small bowl, or cookie cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can. Roll remaining dough back out and form into more rounds (like you would when making Christmas cookies). I got 14 rounds using a tall pint glass.
  • Fill each circle with ~2-3 tablespoons of sweet potato mixture, then brush edges of dough with the egg wash. Fold one edge over to the other and crimp with a fork to seal.
  • Place assembled empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops of empanadas with remaining egg wash, then bake for 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve with salsa or other dipping sauce of choice. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato and Black Pean Empanadas Pinterest image

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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