Sweet Potato Empanadas: A Delicious and Healthy Recipe

What’s up, food lovers? It’s your main man, Gary Vee, and I’m here to share with you a recipe that will have your taste buds dancing the salsa! Get ready for Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas – a dish that is part Brazilian, part American, and 100% awesome!

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why sweet potato empanadas when there are so many other types out there? Well, let me tell you – these empanadas are not your average stuffed pastry. They’re not just savory or salty. Oh no…these babies are perfectly balanced with sweet and savory flavors that’ll make your mouth water.

Plus, they’re versatile. You can have them as a snack, an appetizer or a full-blown meal. Whatever the occasion, Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas will fit right in. And to make it even better – they’re easy to make! Yes, my friends – easy AND delicious – the ultimate combination of culinary awesomeness.

So get ready to indulge in some Latin American flavors and experience the best of both worlds with this recipe! Trust me – once you take a bite into these empanadas, you won’t look back. Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Xochipilli's Sweet Potato Empanadas
Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas

Buckle up and get ready to experience epic flavor explosions with Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas recipe. These tantalizing empanadas will make your taste buds dance like never before, with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy elements that will leave you yearning for more.

One of the key reasons why you’ll fall in love with this recipe is its versatility. You can satisfy your sweet tooth cravings, while also enjoying a savory delight. The mashed sweet potato is combined with black beans and perfectly seasoned pork or beef, depending on your preference. This, in turn, creates a sensational filling that’s bursting with delectable flavors.

But what sets these empanadas apart from the rest is the added sweetness. We use fresh pineapple combined with honey and pureed chipotle chile to create a syrupy glaze that oozes out of every bite, complemented by a sprinkle of cinnamon for that ultimate burst of flavor.

What’s more, these empanadas are suitable for a variety of occasions. They make for perfect party snacks or exciting meals for family dinners. You can serve them as appetizers or main courses. And if you’re vegetarian or you have guests who avoid meat, then switch up the filling with cheese or any other vegetarian option.

Overall, Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas are bound to leave you enchanted, so don’t hesitate to give it a try.

Ingredient List

 Perfectly crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside!
Perfectly crispy on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside!

Sweet potato filling:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle chile
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cooked and drained canned black beans

Empanada Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces vegetable shortening, chilled and chopped into small pieces
  • Cold water

Pork Filling:

  • 1 lb boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Note: You can use either the sweet potato or pork filling for this recipe, depending on your preference. You can also make vegetarian empanadas or cheese empanadas.

The Recipe How-To

 A bite of these empanadas will transport you to the streets of Brazil!
A bite of these empanadas will transport you to the streets of Brazil!

Now that you have all the ingredients ready, it’s time for the fun part- cooking! Follow these simple steps to create delicious Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas.

Step 1: Making the Dough

First, prepare the empanada dough. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. salt.

Next, in a small bowl, mix together ½ cup cold water and ½ cup vegetable shortening/ coconut oil. Gradually pour this mixture into the bowl containing dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Knead the dough lightly until it becomes smooth.

Cover the dough with a cling film and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.

Note: If you want to save time, you can use store-bought puff pastry instead of making your dough from scratch.

Step 2: Preparing the Filling

Once the dough is ready, it’s time to make the filling.

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients: 2 cups mashed sweet potato, 1 can drained black beans, 1 finely chopped red onion, 2 finely minced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp. honey, juice of 2 limes, chopped leaves of fresh cilantro and salt to taste.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly until they are well-incorporated.

Step 3: Assembling and Baking

Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about ¼-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or an overturned wide drinking glass to cut out round shapes from it.

Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto one half of each dough circle. Fold over the other half of the dough, using a fork to press and crimp the edges together.

Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until they become golden brown.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Now that your Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas are cooked, serve them hot and enjoy with your favorite dip or salsa.

Note: You can experiment with different fillings such as beef, cheese or vegetarian options to create your variation of this recipe. So, get creative and have fun!

Substitutions and Variations

 These little pockets of heaven are filled with a sweet potato filling that will make your taste buds dance.
These little pockets of heaven are filled with a sweet potato filling that will make your taste buds dance.

Are you a fan of experimenting with your recipes? Then you’ll love this section because it’s all about substitutions and variations to the Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas Recipe.

Firstly, for a vegetarian option, you can replace the boneless pork shoulder with black beans. These will give you the same delicious protein-rich filling, but without the meat. It’s a great option for those who prefer a plant-based diet.

Additionally, if you want to spice things up, try adding pureed chipotle chile to the mashed sweet potato filling instead of just using cinnamon. This will give your empanadas an extra kick of heat that will have everyone talking.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could swap out the sweet potato filling for a pineapple and beef filling or even a cheesy filling. Another way to mix things up is by using puff pastry instead of making your own empanada dough. The store-bought version saves time and still tastes amazing!

Lastly, if you’re looking for a healthier twist on this recipe, try using coconut oil instead of shortening in the dough recipe. You can also use maple syrup instead of sugar for a more natural sweetener.

Get creative with these substitutions and variations and customize this recipe to make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Mouth-wateringly delicious, these empanadas are the perfect snack or meal for any time of day.
Mouth-wateringly delicious, these empanadas are the perfect snack or meal for any time of day.

When it comes to serving and pairing the Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas, there are a few options that will take your meal to the next level. One option is to serve them as an appetizer or a party food, so they can be enjoyed by all.

If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, pair them with a simple salad made with fresh greens, avocado, red onion, and a squeeze of lime. The acidity of the lime will balance out the sweetness of the empanadas nicely. You can also pair them with roasted vegetables or a bowl of hot soup.

For a refreshing beverage, consider serving them with a fruity cocktail or freshly squeezed juice. Pineapple or mango juice would complement the sweet potato well. Alternatively, try serving them with a cold lager or even a spicy margarita if you’re feeling adventurous.

Finally, if you have any leftover empanadas, they make for great snacks or lunchbox additions. Simply reheat them in the oven for 5-10 minutes and they’ll be good as new.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair these delicious Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas, they’re sure to be a hit at any table or gathering.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The combination of flavorful spices and creamy sweet potatoes is a match made in food heaven.
The combination of flavorful spices and creamy sweet potatoes is a match made in food heaven.

When it comes to make-ahead options for these Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas, I highly recommend preparing the empanadas ahead of time and storing them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can also freeze them for up to a month if you’re looking to prepare them even further in advance.

To reheat your sweet potato empanadas, I suggest reheating them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes, or until they’re heated through and the crust is crispy once again. Alternatively, you could microwave them on a microwave-safe plate for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

If you have leftover sweet potato empanadas, they will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply place them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, reheat using one of the methods mentioned above.

These sweet potato empanadas are perfect as a make-ahead meal option or for taking with you as leftovers throughout the week. Their delicious flavors only get better over time, making them a great option for meal prep or busy weeknights.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't let their tiny size fool you - these empanadas pack a big flavor punch
Don’t let their tiny size fool you – these empanadas pack a big flavor punch

Hey, fellow food enthusiasts! Now that you have learned how to create the perfect Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas recipe, let me give you some tips on how to make it even better. These tips will help you achieve the perfect texture and flavor for an unforgettable dining experience.

Tip #1: Keep it Cold

The key to a flaky and crusty empanada dough is by keeping the pastry dough cold. Make sure to chill your dough beforehand as this can help avoid a greasy texture after baking your Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas. When making dough, I recommend using cold water instead of warm water, and chill your shortening in the fridge for at least an hour to ensure that it is cold.

Tip #2: Balance Your Flavors

Your sweet potato filling should have a balance of sweet, sour, and smoky flavors. In order to achieve this, adjust the amount of honey, pureed chipotle chile, fresh cilantro leaves, limes, red onion, or pineapple according to your taste preferences. A pinch of ground cinnamon adds a layer of depth to your filling as well.

Tip #3: Experiment with Fillings

If you’re feeling adventurous, try substituting other ingredients for sweet potato to create different types of empanadas. Adding black beans or boneless pork shoulder would give a twist in its flavor. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find your favorite combination!

Tip #4: Baking Time and Temperature

For best results, preheat your oven for 20 minutes before baking your Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown. If you want more of a crispy texture, brush with melted coconut oil and sprinkle a little sea salt over them after they come out of the oven.

These are just a few tips that will help you achieve perfect results for your Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas. Remember to have fun while cooking and always be open to new ideas and flavor combinations. Happy cooking!

Bottom Line

This Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas recipe is a true winner, jam-packed with flavors that come together perfectly in every single bite. Impress your family and friends with this unique take on traditional empanadas! Not only is it an excellent vegetarian option, but it’s also a great way to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet.

By using high-quality ingredients such as fresh cilantro leaves, pureed chipotle chile, and mashed sweet potato, you’ll have an empanada recipe that will become a go-to for years to come. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients or the steps involved – trust me, it’s worth the effort.

With the help of the tips and tricks provided in this article, you’ll find it easy to make delicious Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas that will impress even the toughest food critics. Whether you’re preparing a quick snack for yourself or hosting a dinner party, these empanadas will not disappoint.

So go ahead and give it a try! Follow the recipe instructions step by step, let your creativity fly with the fillings and variations suggested, and enjoy this delicious masterpiece that brings together two incredible cuisines – Brazilian and American. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Xochipilli's Sweet Potato Empanadas

Xochipilli’s Sweet Potato Empanadas Recipe

The wonderful recipe is from a local Mexican/Central American restaurant near my hometown. Can be made vegetarian by leaving out the pork.
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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 703.8 kcal


Pork (Can be made ahead)

  • 1/4 cup granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika (Spanish)
  • 1/4 cup cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into large cubes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup cold water


  • 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato, about 1 large
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


  • 1/2 cup pureed chipotle chile
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • oil, for frying


  • Combine the spices in a medium bowl. Rub 1/2 cup of spice mixture all over the pork until completely coated, and let marinate for 2 hours. (Reserve the remainder of the spices for another time.).
  • In a large pot, add the pork and enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the meat pulls apart easily. Set aside to cool. Shred with a fork. Chill until ready to use. (can be made ahead).
  • In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the salsa. In a separate bowl combine the ingredients for the glaze. Chill. (can be made ahead).
  • In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and shortening and mix. Add small amounts of the water at a time until the dough forms. Knead for a few minutes, and then wrap the dough in plastic and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  • After the dough rests, on a floured table roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut 4-inch disks and set aside in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. Excess scraps can be rolled again for more disks, just allow the scrap ball to rest before rolling.
  • When ready to make, combine the pork with the filling mixture. Mix well. If available, use a food processor to puree the mixture. Set aside.
  • Mix equal parts cold water and flour to use as a binder for the empanadas. Fill the dough disks with a generous spoon of the filling, brush the outer edges with the flour and water mix and then fold over so it looks similar to ravioli. Crimp the edges with a fork and set aside for frying. (can be frozen at this point).
  • Preheat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. Fry the empanadas for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  • Brush the empanadas with the chipotle honey glaze and serve on a bed of the salsa.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 259gCalories: 703.8kcalCarbohydrates: 93.5gProtein: 23.3gFat: 29.3gSaturated Fat: 8.5gCholesterol: 53.7mgSodium: 5085.3mgFiber: 10.7gSugar: 32.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Deep Fried, From Scratch, Lunch, Meat, Mexican, Pork, Savory, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.