Chilean 'Vegan Soy Meat Empanadas with Pebre'

By Isidora Sotomayor


This dish is typically eaten by Chileans mostly in September, when we celebrate our Independence Day. There are a lot of different fillings - cheese, spinach, corn etc., but the typical filling is made with meat. However, this recipe presents the vegan version with soy meat and "Pebre", which is a Chilean salsa.

We learned to do this recipe with my family in a cooking course we took in the north of our country. All the ingredients were organic. It was a beautiful experience and we learned how we can change ingredients and cook traditional Chilean food with a healthy veggie twist.

Ingredients for the Empanada filling

  • 500 gms. soy meat
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup coriander, chopped
  • Olives (as many as you like)
  • Raisins – a handful (optional)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the crust

  • 2 frozen vegan pie crusts
  • Soy creamer, for glazing

Ingredients for Pebre

  • 7 finely chopped tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Red Vinegar
  • Half onion - finely chopped
  • Green chili 1-2, diced
  • 2 tsps. washed, chopped coriander leaves


For the vegan empanada

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add diced onion and sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining filling ingredients, including soy meat (previously soaked for 30 hours and squeezed to remove moisture), tomatoes, olives, oregano, salt, pepper, and raisins (soaked and drained) if you prefer a slight sweet flavor. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool, covered, in the refrigerator for ½ hour until easy to handle.
  5. Cut dough into 5" diameter circles. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in center and fold over, sealing the edge with a fork.
  6. Place evenly spaced on baking sheet. Brush with soy creamer.
  7. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown.
  8. Cool for 5-10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Can be served warm or cold with Pebre.


To make pebre

  1. Peel the  tomatoes and chop them into fine cubes.
  2. Chop the onion in fine little cubes.
  3. Dice green chili very small.
  4. Mix everything together.
  5. Add chopped coriander, salt, red vinegar and olive oil. Add a spoon or two of water if you prefer it a little moist.