Empanadas filled with Sauteed Swiss Chard Stems, Green Olives and Roasted Red Peppers (Gluten-free or not)

What do you do with swiss chard stems?  It is an ongoing question in my kitchen.  I eat about two bunches of sautéed swiss chard a week year round.  In the winter though, I find that the stems overwhelm the greens both in flavour and texture.  So, I cut out the stems and use them to in Easy pasta with Oregano and Goat Cheese or Swiss Chard Stem Gratin.  When I still ate gluten, I used to make Feta and Swiss Chard Stem Phylo Triangles.  All of these dishes are delicious, but  I eat A LOT of swiss chard, and I needed a new recipe.  I recently figured out how to make good gluten-free  empanadas, so I made this swiss chard stem filling with caramelized onions, green olives and roasted red peppers.  It’s good!  I will re-post the gluten-free empanada dough here, but if you are not gluten-free, I highly recommend using the dough from this Baked Samosa post.  It’s easy and excellent.


  • Olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • a bit of salt
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • The stems from 2 bunches of swiss chard, strings removed and then sliced
  • oregano to taste
  • cinnamon to taste
  • ground cumin to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 roasted red peppers, seeded and minced (with their juices)
  • 1/2 cup pitted, sliced manzanilla olives (or some other mild olive that you like)
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
  1. Heat some olive oil in a very large skillet and add the onions with a tiny bit of salt.  Cook the onions on medium heat, stirring occasionally for about half an hour or until they are nice dark golden brown and quite soft.
  2. Turn the heat up to high and add the raisins and the red wine.  Let the wine reduce by half and then add the garlic, swiss chard stems, oregano, cinnamon, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.  Turn the heat to medium high and cook until the stems are soft.  If the mixture becomes dry you can add some of the juice from the roasted peppers or some brine from the olives.
  3. When the stems are soft stir in the roasted red peppers, sliced olives and chopped toasted almonds and remove from the heat.
  4. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning.
adapted from http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/
  • 1 1/4 cups  brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup  sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp potato flour
  • 1 tsp  xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  1. Mix all of the flours and the xanthan gum together.  Measure out 2 and 1/4 cups of the flour mixture into a large bowl.  Reserve the rest for rolling the dough out.
  2. Add the salt to 2 and 1/4 cups flour.
  3. Use your fingers of a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of peas.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, ice water and vinegar.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry using a fork to combine them
  6. Dust a clean surface with some of the reserved gluten-free flour mixture.  Turn the dough onto the surface and knead it just a few times.
  7. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 15 minutes to let the fat harden up again.
  8. The recipe recommended rolling the dough out between two sheets of plastic wrap.  I was out of plastic wrap so I rolled it out on board dusted with some more of the gluten-free flour mix.  It worked just fine!
  9. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  10. I used a bowl as a cutter and placed about 1/4 cup of filling in the center of each circle.
  11. Wet half of the outer edge of the circle with water and fold the dough in half.  Press the two edges together with your thumb.Wet the edge of the half circle again and fold the edge back on itself.  Crimp it with your fingers as shown below.Transfer the empanadas to a baking tray.  Because the dough is tender, most of the empanadas had a little tear at the fullest spot.  You can see it in the picture above.  I cut little hearts out the leftover dough and used them to patch these little tears.Brush the empanadas with a bit of heavy cream or an egg wash (1 egg whisked with  a1/4 cup of water).  Bake them for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden.


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