vegan picadillo

All posts tagged vegan picadillo

Ty’s Super Awesome Vegan Empanadas / Picadillo

Published February 23, 2011 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

So, I’m a half Cuban, half  Honduran vegan. Why should you care? Well, because as a cuban raised in South Florida, I can tell you confidently that I know a thing or two about empanadas, and these are like [vegan] heaven deep fried in dough.

Coincidentally, I’ve been making these for years. Way before I was vegan. When I was still eating meat even! (Only I was making them with Boca Burger crumbles then.) It never occurred to me that they were vegan until after I made the transition and checked out all my ingredients.

Mary & Bobby love these, and I thought I’d suck it up and make them since they were coming over. I probably only make them once a year (or two!), and I even bought a deep fryer last year specifically for this purpose. If you’re too lazy to roll out the thawed frozen dough and shape and fry these ( As I have been on many occasions), it’s still a delicious picadillo that you can serve with some brown rice. Which is actually what I brought to Thanksgiving a year and a half ago and all the meat eaters ate it, and loved the flavors. ; )

$$$      If you don’t wanna deal with rehydrating the TVP, you can use vegan burger crumbles instead, but just a warning, TVP is 3 billion times cheaper! For example, the TVP necessary for this recipe cost just over $1. Equivalent amount of vegan crumbles would have cost $9-10! You can use veggie broth in place of the water and bouillon cubes too, if you have it on hand. But again, the bouillon cubes are another great way to stretch your dollar.

Ty’s Super Awesome Vegan Empanadas / Picadillo

1 recipe for rehydrated TVP (below) or 2 lb equivalent of vegan burger crumbles

2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes (with green chiles or habaneros if you like it hot!)
1 c. water
1 vegan bouillon cube, crumbled
1/3 c.  tomato paste
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar or cooking sherry
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I like to use a little extra)
2/3 c. raisins
1/2 c. sliced olives with pimentos
1/2 c. slivered almonds
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
cayenne pepper to taste (leave it out or amp it up!)

your favorite empanada/turnover dough recipe, enough for 20! or 2 packages of frozen vegan empanada dough circles, thawed

Rehydrated TVP:

2 c. of TVP granules
2 c. of water
1 vegan bouillon cube
4 tsp. liquid smoke
4 tsp. vegan worcestershire

Makes 20 empanadas or 6-8 servings of picadillo


1. To rehydrate TVP, bring stock, liquid smoke and worcestershire up to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in TVP. Cover and set aside.

2. In a large skillet, cook onions on medium heat until translucent, about five minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add TVP and all other ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes to let flavors combine. Let it cool if using for empanada filling. If using as picadillo, serve with some hot brown rice and skip step 3.

3. Roll out empanada dough circles lightly with rolling pin, and place about a 1/4 cup of filling in half of the circle and fold to close. Use a fork to crimp the edges closed and deep fry until golden brown. Drain on paper bags or paper towels. These are great served with vegan sour cream for dipping!

Prepare your broth to hydrate the TVP.

Hydrate begin.

I totally didn’t feel like chopping that much onion. A few quick pulses minced them.

Subsequently, I minced the garlic in there too while the onions cooked.

This left me time to slice up my olives and have the rest of my ingredients ready to go.

Simmer and cool. That’s a lot of filling!

About a 1/4 cup in each should do it.

Fold in half and press closed.

I like to fold the edges over to make sure it stays closed.

And then crimp the edges with a fork to seal it tight.

20 empanadas, ready for frying.

Drained empanadas and waiting on the last couple batches to plate.

I served these with a very lightly and simply dressed red cabbage slaw. (agave, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper.)

cuban shepherd’s pie/ tambor de picadillo

Published April 24, 2010 by Vegan Derby Cat Party

my first meal in my new kitchen!

oh, by the way, i have to tell you… if you do not have at least one nice all-purpose knife (i use a wustof classic santoku, and i use it for everything. ) you really need to get one! chopping onions and peppers with the chef knife from my $15 chefmate block set was awful. i can see why people hate to cook.  even if you cook occasionally, it’s worth it; a sharp knife makes chopping a pleasure.

so this is a little different from regular shepherd’s pie in that it has picadillo (beef hash) sandwiched between 2 layers of mashed potatoes, instead of topped with just one. this is my vegan version of Tambor de Picadillo. literally it means, drum of beef hash, which makes sense when you think about it, because it’s supposed to be made in a round casserole. however, i could not find a round 3 qt casserole at Target yesterday, so mine bears little resemblance to said instrument, and is made in a familiar 9×13 dish instead. besides making it vegan, i made some other adjustments for flavor and personal taste, but this is still a pretty authentic recipe, well,  authentic minus the meat, eggs and dairy. i may make a few more changes in the future when i have full access to my pantry staples. here is the recipe as of last night : )

you will need:

large skillet
large pot
9×13 pan or 3 qt. round casserole

Ty’s cuban shepherd’s pie/ tambor de picadillo


3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped (traditionally they use green, i like red, any color will do)
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bag of vegan crumbles or other substitute for 1 lb ground beef
1/4 c. cooking sherry
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vegan worcestershire
hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste, optional

1/3 c. pimento stuffed green olives, halved
1/4 c. raisins

Mashed Potatoes:

3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (i used yukon gold because of their excellent reputation for mashing)
3 tbsp. vegan butter, plus more for greasing casserole
1 c. soy milk or soy creamer (add more a couple of tbsp. at a time if needed)
salt & pepper to taste

1/4 c. vegan parmesan
1/4 c. nutritional yeast


1. Pre-heat oven to 350*. Place potatoes in large pot and cover with cold, salted water. Bring up to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. When you are ready to mash them drain well, and return to pot.

2. After starting potatoes, heat olive oil to medium in large skillet. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic, and cook for 7 minutes, stirring often. Add beef substitute, and stir frequently until cooked through, about 7 minutes, or according to package instructions. Add sherry, worcestershire, hot sauce, tomatoes, tomato paste and salt to pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add olives and raisins and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid is mostly absorbed.

4. While picadillo is simmering you can mash your potatoes. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper and mash with fork or mixer only until smooth. do not over mix!

5. Spoon half of mashed potatoes into the bottom of greased casserole dish. follow with all of the picadillo as one layer, and top with remaining mashed potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and top with vegan parm & nutritional yeast, and place under the broiler until the top is golden brown, about 5 minutes.


Preparation variation: you can prepare the picadillo the day before, if you wish. you will need to bring it to room temperature as the potatoes cook and then bake for 30 minutes, covered before topping and placing under broiler.

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