Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Empanadas

It’s pumpkin fever around here (and everywhere). Actually, we bought too many pumpkins and have decided the only logical thing to do is to have a pumpkin marathon. We are hoping there is no possible way we will get sick of all things pumpkin….pancakes…sauces… keep tuned for the pumpkin recipe extravaganza, coming up on restorative raw!

Pumpkins, a fall essential, fun to decorate, and bursting with nutrition.  

The unsuspecting pumpkin rules with only 30 calories per cup, a good amount of fiber, lots of vitamins A (over 200% of your daily intake in one cup of pureed pumpkin!) and C, and antioxidants including lutein.

Lutein is part of the carotenoid family (coloured pigments found in plants- think beta-carotene!) and is widely known for its ability to improve vision and prevent eye diseases such as cataracts. In addition, lutein is thought to prevent buildup of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, atherosclerosis, which is the condition inducing heart attacks.

These empanadas are fun to make, once you’re organized and prepped with your dough, things will start running smoothly. A nice pairing with these little guys could be a creamy dip such as a vegan cashew-based garlic sauce… try it out!


Makes: ~25 empanadas Servings Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 cups whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups All Purpose flour, more for rolling
  • 2/3 cup + 2TBSP of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup of water


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (we used la Costena brand- found in the international section- alternatively you could use two dried ancho or chipotle peppers soaked in water for a couple minutes and diced)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 bunch black (lacinato) Kale
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup diced vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ¼ cup water
  • optional squeeze of lime juice


  1. To make the crust, add all crust ingredients, except for water, in food processor and combine.
  2. With the food processor running, add 1/4 cup of water and process just until combined. Make sure the dough is not too wet, it should crumbs that stick together easily when pressed.
  3. Put crumbly dough onto a well-floured surface and collect crumbs into a ball and knead a couple of times. Put ball in bowl and prepare filling while it rests.
  4. If you are using dried chilies, soak them for five minutes in water and dice.
  5. Sautee onion in vegan butter or coconut oil until translucent.
  6. Add in garlic and spices and coat onions, cook for one minute.
  7. Add the pumpkin, black beans, tomatoes, raisins, chilies (from can or diced), water, and chopped kale and stir.
  8. Cover and let the filling cook for about 10 - 15 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Add salt to taste preference and a squeeze of lime, if using. Let it cool while rolling out the dough.
  9. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you can (~ 1mm). Use a mug or large cup to make circles in the dough and cut out with knife. Collect remaining dough, roll again, and repeat the process until you have roughly 14 empanada rounds.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  11. Mash the filling with a fork but keep chunky.
  12. Add around 1 TBSP filling to empanada rounds, maybe even less, you will be surprised by how little you need!
  13. To make empanadas, brush the outside of half each circle with a little bit of water and fold it in half, squeezing the round edge with your fingers. I used a fork to make a pattern but you could get crazy and apply whatever artistic little design you’d like!
  14. Grease a baking sheet, place empanadas on, brush top with melted coconut oil or vegan butter.
  15. Bake them for 20 - 30 minutes, until dough is cooked.