Air Fryer Venezuelan Vegan Empanadas

Eleven from “Stranger Issues” is to Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles as I’m to Venezuelan-style empanadas—which is to say that I’m completely and completely obsessive about them. They’re crunchy on the skin, full of nearly any filling on the within, and could be made savory or candy. What’s to not love?

Rising up, my Venezuelan mother would put together this half-mooned-shaped dish utilizing corn meal dough and stuff the empanadas with recent cheese, plantains, beans, or my all-time favourite, seasoned shredded rooster. Then, I’d rigorously craft my DIY condiment concoction, aka salsa rosada, which is principally a heavenly combination of ketchup and mayo (IYKYK) swirled collectively till child pink.

Historically, Venezuelan-style empanadas are fried, however I’ve found which you could obtain related crispy and crunchy outcomes utilizing an air fryer slightly than fussing with a deep fryer. Study extra about what makes this gluten-free, excessive fiber, and protein-packed South American staple a must-try dish for breakfast (or, frankly, all instances of day) under.

What makes Venezuelan empanadas the world’s most excellent meals (IMHO)

Briefly, empanadas have all of the elements you need from a fast and straightforward snack. They’re crunchy, handheld, filled with protein and fiber, and are made with just a few easy elements. It is easy to see why they’re one of the standard and commonly-consumed Venezuelan dishes.

The important thing to creating the proper empanadas comes right down to the dough, which is constructed from precooked corn flour, like Harina P.A.N. This corn-derived product is of course gluten-free, vegan, and has about tons of vitamins together with fiber, protein, iron, thiamin, niacin, and folate. Better of all, the dough requires solely two elements—precooked cornmeal and salt—along with water to make. Any extra flavoring elements are purely non-obligatory.

As for the filling, the choices are actually countless. You possibly can simply adapt this recipe to make it in any type you favor. Cheese (or vegan cheese), plantains, beans, shredded rooster, you title it—all the things tastes scrumptious when tucked inside an empanada. Relying on the elements you select to stuff it with, you’ll be able to add much more sources of protein, fiber, and vitamins to fit your preferences. Within the case of this vegan empanada recipe by Ela Vegan, for example, they’re stuffed with a scrumptious mixture of veggies like beans, potatoes, bell peppers, and peas. Mainly, think about this the proper excuse to dump all the about-to-turn produce in your crisper drawer into one dish.

The key to nailing Venezuelan empanadas

Though there are numerous several types of empanadas worldwide, what makes the Venezuelan model distinctive is the kind of dough used and their form. In contrast to different empanadas, like Argentinian ones which can be flour-based, Venezuelan ones are made utilizing corn, which provides it extra of a crunchy, crispy texture, versus a comfortable and flaky one.

When making the dough, it’s just like how you’ll make Venezuelan arepas; nevertheless, the empanadas are formed, cooked, and stuffed slightly otherwise. When you’ve combined the dough, you’ll need to roll it out right into a flat disk between two items of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then, you’re taking the filling of your selection and unfold it within the very heart of the dough, leaving just a few inches to spare across the perimeter.

Utilizing the underside sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper, fold the empanada to kind a half-moon form and press alongside the highest to seal the sides. To get that excellent empanada crescent, I all the time make use of my grandmother’s genius trick: Use the sting of a spherical bowl to chop the surplus dough, which provides you with a super uniform, well-rounded crust.

Historically, the following step can be to drop the ready-to-go empanadas right into a scorching pot of frying oil, however you may also obtain related outcomes utilizing an air fryer. To realize the identical crispy motion with out deep frying them, coat the empanadas with a skinny layer of oil, after which air fry them for 15 to 18 minutes at 390°F. Put together for bliss. (And do not forget the salsa rosada!)

vegan empandas
Picture: Getty Pictures/ Jeanny Palma

Venezuelan-style vegan empanadas recipe

Yields 10 servings

For the dough:
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 cups precooked cornmeal (ideally Harina P.A.N.)
Oil, for greasing

For the filling:
2 cups vegan cheese

1. Preheat your air fryer to 390°F. In the meantime, mix the salt and water in a big bowl. Then, pour within the cornmeal and knead the elements collectively till the dough is comfortable to the contact and doesn’t keep on with your fingers (however not too dry that it cracks). If it’s too dry, add slightly extra water; if it’s too moist, add extra flour. Put aside to relaxation for 2 to a few minutes, coated with a moist paper towel.

2. Divide the dough into 10 equal parts, and kind a spherical ball together with your fingers. Place every ball between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and roll them into flat disks, about 5 inches in diameter.

3. Within the heart of every disk, add the fillings of your selection, like vegan cheese. Then, use the underside sheet to fold every empanada right into a crescent form. Seal the open edges collectively, and minimize any extra dough away utilizing the rim of a bowl.

4. Frivolously grease the empanada with oil, and air fryer them for 15 to 18 minutes, or till golden-brown and crispy. Serve instantly.

Cannot get sufficient corn? Do this vegan Mexican corn salad subsequent: 

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