A healthy twist on classic and delicious Empanadas? Yes please! Enjoy this recipe for Sweet Potato and Spinach Empanadas from the new cookbook Sweet Laurel Savory: Everyday Decadence for Whole-Food, Grain-Free Meals: A Cookbook.

Find the recipe for Sweet Potato and Spinach Empanadas below.


Claire and her now husband, Craig, had been dating only for a few weeks when he left for South America to study Spanish. He came back six months later longing for empanadas—explosively flaky, stuffed turnovers. Craig loves sweet potato and spinach empanadas, but the filling is endlessly customizable. The best part is that they freeze well, so make a double batch and freeze a bunch for a last-minute gettogether or a snack with one of our salsas (see page 150) for an extra kick!


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
10 ounces fresh spinach or frozen, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons unsated ghee
3 cups diced peeled sweet potatoes or yams
1½ cups thinly sliced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 recipes Savory Tart Dough (page 34)
Arrowroot powder, for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF with one rack in the upper third of the oven and one in the lower third. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment with olive oil.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the fresh spinach. (If you are using frozen, you can skip this step.) Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted and excess liquid has come out. Let cool, then squeeze the spinach until very dry, setting it aside on a plate lined with paper towels. Clean the skillet, return it to the stove, and melt the ghee and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil together over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes, followed by the spinach, about 2 minutes more. Stir in the paprika, mint, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Pour the filling into a medium bowl and let cool to room temperature.

3. Place one disk of the tart dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly dust the top of the dough with arrowroot and place another sheet of parchment on top. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about ⅛ inch thick, sprinkling with more arrowroot as needed to prevent sticking. Using a 4-inch round biscuit cutter or the mouth of a jar, cut out 32 rounds from the dough.

4. Moisten the edges of one dough round with warm water. Add about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable filling to half of the round and fold the unfilled half over the filling. Pinch the edges together to seal and create pleats. Don’t worry if it cracks—just press the dough back together with a wet finger. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling.

5. Arrange the empanadas about 1½ inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, until browned all over. Serve the empanadas warm or at room temperature.

Tip: Reuse your scraps! If you have excess dough, reroll it, and cut out more rounds. If you have leftover filling, reserve it for another use.


Reprinted with permission from Sweet Laurel Savory. Copyright © 2021 by Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Claire Thomas. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

*If you liked this recipe, take a photo or video of you making it and tag us on Instagram or Facebook and use the hashtag #WAMRECIPE.