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Lentil Stuffed Empanadas 

Micah Siva



You may not believe me, but there’s more to Purim than hamantaschen cookies. Queen Esther, the main character of the Purim story, was known to be a vegetarianand beans are often found at the Purim table. The tradition of eating stuffed foods that are “hidden,” like kreplach (dumplings) or hamantaschen, also play into the story of Purim, from Queen Esther having to hide her identity to the tradition of dressing up for the occasion. 

I’ve taken these two pieces of the Purim story and created a spiced lentil empanada, packed with hearty lentils, sweet raisins and warm spices, baked in a flaky dough.  These empanadas celebrate Purim with Spanish cuisine. Another way we’re celebrating Jewish Spanish families is with stories like this one about an inclusive Jewish Mexican wedding. If you’re looking for more support around wedding planning, read about how this couple planned a beautiful Jewish Catholic Spanish wedding.

Feel free to use your favorite pie or empanada dough in this recipe, or if you’re short on time, add pre-rolled pie crust or empanada dough to your shopping cart for a quick and easy plant-based recipe. 

Ingredients for 16 empanadas


Tbsp. olive oil 

Tbsp. tomato paste 

¼ white onion, finely chopped 

1 clove garlic, minced 

1 medium carrot, chopped 

1 tsp. paprika 

1 tsp. cumin, ground 

½ tsp. coriander, ground 

½ tsp. cinnamon 

Pinch red chili flakes 

1 cup canned lentils, rinsed and drained 

Tbsp. raisins 

1/3 cup vegetable stock 

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped 

Sea salt and pepper, to taste 



2 pieces store bought pie crust, or empanada dough 

¼ cup milk  

  • Preparation Time
    30 minutes
  • Cooking Time
    15 minutes


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a tray with baking paper.  
  1. Heat oil in a medium fry pan. Add the tomato paste, onion, garlic, carrot, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and red chili flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until onions begin to soften.  
  1. Add the lentils, raisins and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.  
  1. Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro.   
  1. Meanwhile, cut 3-4 inch circles out of the dough, and transfer to the baking tray.  
  1. Add 1 scant tablespoon of lentil filling to one side of the dough. Fold in half, and crimp using a fork.  
  1. Brush with milk.  
  1. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until golden.  
  1. Enjoy!  
Lentil empanadas

Micah Siva

Micah Siva is a trained chef, Registered Dietitian, recipe writer, food photographer, and Jewish cook. Her love for food began in her grandmother’s kitchen, where she learned about the importance of food in celebrating holidays, bringing family together, and keeping traditions alive. She strives to modernize the foods she grew up on, adding her own unique spin on everything from matzah balls to latkes. Through her personal blog, (Nosh with Micah), she shares delicious, plant-forward recipes that are chef-created , dietitian approved, and guaranteed delicious.