Chicken Empanadas



2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

Pinch granulated sugar

¾ cup unsalted butter melted

½ cup cold water

Chicken filling:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions diced or thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves minced

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground red chili

1 cup hot water


1 egg beaten


To make the empanada dough:

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Slowly add in the melted butter, followed by enough water to create a soft and smooth dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the empanada filling:

Drizzle the oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, 15-20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Stir in the shredded chicken and season with the paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and ground chili. Add the water, bring to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. At this point, the filling can be refrigerated until the next day if desired.

To assemble and bake the chicken empanadas:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin sheet. Use 4 ¾ inch circular cutter to cut out circles of dough.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the cooled chicken mixture in the center of each circle. Brush the edges lightly with a little beaten egg, fold the dough over the filling, and press the edges together to seal.

Seal completely using the tines of a fork or create a rope appearance by pulling the edge out slightly and folding over, starting from one end and finishing at the opposite side. Repeat with remaining empanadas.

Place the empanadas two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops with beaten egg and bake until golden, 20-25 minutes.


Be careful not to overfill the empanadas or the crust may become difficult to close and even break open while baking.

To seal the empanadas, I made a rope appearance by pulling the edge out slightly and folding over, starting from one end and finishing at the opposite side. You can also use a fork to crimp the edges.

Whichever technique is used, the important part is to make sure the empanadas are completely sealed along the edges to keep the chicken filling inside while baking.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 213kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 1.6mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I Use Pre-made Dough for the Empanadas?

Yes, you can use pre-made empanada dough if you prefer to save time.

Look for empanada dough discs in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

Thaw them according to the package instructions before using.

What Can I Substitute for Chicken in the Filling?

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, you can replace the chicken with cooked and shredded vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms, seasoned with your choice of spices.

You can also use ground beef, pork, or a combination of meats as an alternative filling.

How Do I Seal Empanadas to Prevent Leaks During Baking?

To seal empanadas effectively, use a fork to crimp the edges firmly after placing the filling on the dough circle.

This will help prevent the filling from leaking out during baking.

Alternatively, you can create a rope appearance by folding and twisting the edges to seal.

Can I Make Empanadas Ahead of Time and Reheat Them?

Yes, you can make empanadas ahead of time and reheat them when ready to serve.

Store the baked empanadas in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

What Are Some Popular Dipping Sauces for Empanadas?

Empanadas pair well with various dipping sauces.

Some popular options include chimichurri sauce, salsa, sour cream, or a spicy tomato-based sauce.

You can also create your own signature sauce by combining ingredients like mayonnaise, lime juice, and hot sauce for a tangy kick.

Can I Use Store-Bought Empanada Dough Instead of Making the Dough from Scratch?

Yes, you can use store-bought empanada dough discs or pastry dough to save time.

Make sure to follow the package instructions for thawing and handling the dough.

What Variations of Filling Can I Use for Empanadas?

Empanadas can be filled with various ingredients.

You can use alternatives like ground beef, shredded pork, cheese, vegetables, or even seafood.

Be creative with your filling choices to suit your taste.

Can I Freeze Uncooked Empanadas for Later Use?

Yes, you can freeze uncooked empanadas for later.

Arrange them on a baking sheet, freeze until solid, and then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag.

When ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw; simply add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

What’s the Best Way to Ensure the Empanadas Stay Crispy After Baking?

To maintain crispiness, it’s essential to bake empanadas in a preheated oven and avoid overcrowding them on the baking sheet.

Proper sealing of the edges also prevents filling from leaking and making the dough soggy.

What Dipping Sauces Pair Well with Chicken Empanadas?

Chicken empanadas pair well with various dipping sauces, such as chimichurri, salsa, guacamole, or a simple yogurt-based sauce with herbs and spices.

Choose a sauce that complements the flavors in your empanadas.

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