Portobello and Asparagus Empanadas

Portobello and asparagus empanadas are a vegetarian version of a classic empanada which usually involves meat. They are easy to make ahead of time, freeze and then just re-heat when it comes time to serve. You can serve these as an appetizer or double up and serve them as a main meal with a side salad.

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Portobello, Asparagus and Queso Fresco Empanadas

  • Prep Time: 30 m
  • Cook Time: 14 m
  • Total Time: 44 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ onion finely diced
  • 2 large Portobello mushrooms stems and gills removed and caps finely chopped
  • 10 stems asparagus finely sliced
  • ½ to 1 red chili or Jalapeño pepper minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 package of 6-inch empanada discs thawed
  • olive oil
Cilantro Sauce
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Pre-heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and sauté the onion until it starts to soften – about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the Portobello mushrooms, asparagus, chili pepper and thyme and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the two cheeses.
  3. Place the empanada discs on a flat surface and brush the edges with water. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each disc. Fold the dough over the filling to form a half moon. Crimp the edges shut with the tip of a fork or pinch them together with your fingers and brush both sides of the empanadas with olive oil.
  4. Pre-heat the air fryer to 370ºF.
  5. Depending on the size of your air fryer, place 3 to 5 empanadas into the air fryer basket. Air-fry at 370ºF for 8 minutes. Turn the empanadas over, spray with oil again and air-fry for another 6 minutes.
  6. While the empanadas are cooking, make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and puréeing. Serve warm with the sauce on the side.
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