Diane Brown Savahge of Los Angeles, California, writes: “I’m a part-time restaurant manager and food writer, and occasionally I teach cooking classes. One piece of advice I always share with my students is to keep the ingredients list short — you don’t need to empty out your refrigerator to make a great meal. You just need a few quality ingredients with bold flavors.”
These Latin American turnovers work as appetizers or as a vegetarian main course when served several to a person.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 firm medium-size banana, diced
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over high heat. Add banana and sauté until golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer banana to paper towels to drain. Add onion to skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add beans, cilantro, cumin, and cayenne; cook until mixture is hot, about 3 minutes. Using back of fork, mash bean filling to coarse paste; season with salt and cool.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on floured surfaceto 14-inch square. Cut each into 9 squares. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of 12 squares (reserve remaining squares for another use). Sprinkle each mound of filling with cheese, then top with bananas, dividing equally. Brush edges of squares with glaze. Fold 1 corner over filling to opposite corner, forming triangle. Using fork, seal crust edges. Arrange on rimmed baking sheet; brush with glaze. Bake empanadas until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.
How would you rate Banana-Black Bean Empañadas?
Made these as part of a nibbles menu for New Year’s Eve, with some adjustment, and my husband and I both enjoyed them. Rather than the puff pastry, I used the empanada dough recipe from elsewhere on this site. Minced a large clove of garlic and sautéed it with the onion, doubled the cilantro, and added a splash of banana vinegar (ranchogordo.com) at the end. The only thing I’ll do differently next time is to use a ripe plantain rather than a banana.
I have been looking vegetarian empanada options, and this one is a keeper. I cooked the filling exactly as the recipe described and it turned out great. The banana flavor is subtle but I think is what makes this dish special. Meat eaters loved it too. I used the epicurious recipe for empanada dough. Highly recommend.
We love bananas (and platanos) and black beans and empanadas, but did not love these. My kids liked them (go figure!), but my husband and I did not. The banana was odd and puff pastry just doesn’t work for an empanada.
I made this for a wine and appetizer fundraiser. We made 108!! they we a huge hit!! A favourite of the 5 countries that we did. We had our very own wine sommelier pair this with an Agentinian Malbec called Kaiken. Argentina makes 75% of the worlds Malbec. It is a great pairing. I read the comments here and decided to take the time to carmelize the bananas. it was the right thing to do. Guests commented on the balance it created. I also reduced the onions to 1/2 cup and added 2 cloves of garlic. The mixture seemed a bit dry in my test run so I added 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and finally I doubled the cilantro. I used the previous suggestion of sour cream and fresh lime juice and topped with lime shavings. Amazing!!
I thought these were delicious. Added two cloves garlic. The seasonings were perfect, but we don’t like overly hot. Easy, fun food
Happened to have a brand-new nonstick pan so I fried a diced green banana in that with just a wipe of oil. The final mix seemed to need more sweetness so I added a second banana – wouldn’t have objected to one more, but I think that was cause it wasn’t ripe. Guests loved them & they were even better reheated in the toaster oven a couple of days later. Thanks for the lime/sour cream dip suggestion, that made them perfect.
Very easy and filling. Instead of the mini phyllo creations, I used 1 whole sheet and made a turn over. I doubled the cilantro and used a skim cheese (Jarlsberg) for a little spark, but only 1/2 the banana called for. Might use 3/4 next time but otherwise seemed too sweet. Like others, I didn’t bother frying bananas beforehand. Turned out great. FrancisHaydee is correct, the spelling is wrong, it’s spelled and pronounced ’empanada.’
Made for a Latin themed birthday party. Love them!
Wonderful recipe and
pretty easy. I used
instead of bananas,
added lime juice and
instead of onions.
this seems like a delicious dish but please revise your title-correct Spanish spelling for your dish is “empanada”, not empañada, eliminate the “Ñ”. thanks.
I made this for a potluck, and these
were a hit. I bought some frozen
empanada discs (small size) instead
of the puff pastry, and was suprised
at how easy it was to make this.
The tops of the empanada crescents
were brushed with egg wash to give
it color. Also, I had to use
shredded mozzarella at the time, but
I didn’t think there was a
difference. I had to make a second
batch on the fly, and didn’t get to
saute-ing the bananas, but don’t
think there was much of a difference
when I subbed with just plain mashed
bananas. Definitely a fast and easy
dish to make. Great for prepping
ahead and popping in the oven as well
I’ve made these many times and they’re a great addition to a cocktail party or dinner. I’ve made them different ways (being crunched for time) and don’t think the extra step of cooking the bananas separately is necessary. I add very hot jerk spice instead of the cayenne and add nutmeg, too, about 1/2 tsp. Lots of cilantro and a sour cream/lime dip, as someone else mentioned, make them super. Prepare for extra filling – I use it in place of refrieds in burritos. yum.
Not my favorite of the night, but pretty popular amongst our guests. It is a bit bland. The addition of sour cream does improve things
I’ve made these for
a summer outdoor
party and a winter
holiday party and they’ve been a big hit. The bananas
add such a wonderful
element of surprise
and complexity to
this recipe. A
little goes along
way for the bananas,
since they are
them sweeter than
they would be when
not sauteed. The
spice is just enough
to counter the
sweetness. I’ve also
tried serving with a
salsa verde dip which is a
nice fresh contrast
to the richness of
This was a fantastic
recipe! I added a
Jalapeno pepper to
the filling and
served with low-fat
sour cream that had
lime zest and lime