Delicious and Easy Cheesy Chicken Empanadas Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite recipe creations: Cheesy Chicken Empanadas. These savory treats are perfect for a quick bite, a snack, or even as an appetizer at your next party.

As a chef who specializes in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I love combining flavors and experimenting with ingredients to create something unique and delicious. This recipe is a perfect example of that fusion – the crispy pastry crust meets the savory chicken and oozy melted cheese filling for an explosion of flavor in every bite.

The great thing about this dish is that it’s easy to make, requires few ingredients, and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like by adjusting the amount of chili powder you add. You can also switch things up by using different types of cheese or adding fresh cilantro for a burst of freshness.

So whether you’re looking for a new weeknight dinner idea or an impressive party appetizer, these Cheesy Chicken Empanadas are sure to hit the spot. Trust me, once you’ve tasted them, they’ll become a regular on your menu rotation!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas
Cheesy Chicken Empanadas

Are you in the mood for a savory, cheesy snack with a Latin American twist? Look no further than these savory Cheesy Chicken Empanadas! These empanadas are an excellent fusion of flavors that will satisfy your taste buds and keep you coming back for more.

Filled with juicy shredded chicken, melted cheddar cheese, and a hint of smoky chili powder, these empanadas are packed with flavor. The empanada dough is baked to crispy perfection, creating a satisfyingly crunchy exterior that contrasts nicely with the soft filled interior.

One of the best things about this recipe is how versatile it is. It’s easily customizable with different proteins, cheeses, and spices to suit your preferences. You can even experiment with different dipping sauces or use store-bought pie crust or puff pastry if you’re short on time.

Not only does this recipe deliver on taste and flexibility, but it’s also surprisingly easy to make. With just a few simple steps and some basic ingredients, you’ll have delicious empanadas ready to share with friends and family in no time!

So, whether you’re looking for a tasty appetizer to share at your next get-together or a quick meal to enjoy at home, this Cheesy Chicken Empanada recipe has got you covered. Try it out today and see why it’s sure to become a go-to favorite!

Ingredient List

 The crispy, golden-brown crust on these empanadas is perfectly irresistible.
The crispy, golden-brown crust on these empanadas is perfectly irresistible.

Here is what you will need to gather before starting your Cheesy Chicken Empanadas recipe:

Empanada Dough (Store Bought or Homemade)

  • Filo, Puff Pastry, or a Filipino Empanada Dough Recipe
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Water

Cheesy Chicken Filling

  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 can Kraft Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese Blend (3 cup)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 4 ounces fresh cilantro chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 package Kraft Mayo Chipotle Flavored Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
  • Fresh Cilantro

These empanadas include ingredients such as cooked chicken, shredded cheddar cheese or cream cheese. Make sure that the dough is cooked all the way through so that it is crispy and delicious. The dipping sauce has a creamy texture and a spicy taste that perfectly complements the cheesy filling of the empanadas.

The Recipe How-To

 These cheesy chicken empanadas are perfect for anyone who loves bold, savory flavors.
These cheesy chicken empanadas are perfect for anyone who loves bold, savory flavors.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this cheesy chicken empanadas recipe. Cue the mouth-watering anticipation. Here’s what you’ll need to do to bring this dish to life:

Making the Filling
Step 1: Cook and Shred Your Chicken

Start by cooking your chicken breasts until fully cooked through. You can either bake or boil the chicken, depending on your preference. Once it’s cooked, let it cool for a few minutes before shredding it using a fork.

Tip: Use pre-cooked shredded chicken to save time.

Step 2: Mix in Ingredients

In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups of cooked shredded chicken, 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 cup Kraft Mexican-style finely shredded Four Cheese, and 2 teaspoons chili powder. Stir until fully combined.

Tip: You can add some fresh cilantro or ground cumin for extra flavor.

Assembling and Baking Empanadas
Step 1: Prep Your Dough

Get your empanada dough ready according to your preferred recipe. If you don’t have one, you can use store-bought pie dough or puff pastry.

Step 2: Add Filling and Seal

Roll out the dough and cut into circles (use a cookie cutter or any round container). Spoon in about a tablespoon of the filling onto the center of each circle. Moisten the edges with egg wash (1 egg + 1 teaspoon water, beaten) and fold over, pressing the sides down with a fork.

Step 3: Bake Your Empanadas

Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C. Bake the empanadas in batches for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Tip: For crispy empanadas, brush them with some melted butter before baking.

Dipping Sauce
Chipotle Mayo Dipping Sauce

A perfect pairing for these cheesy chicken empanadas is a Chipotle Mayo Dipping Sauce. Mix together 1/4 cup Kraft Mayo Chipotle Flavored Reduced Fat Mayo and 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped.

Tip: You can also try hot sauce, salsa, or guacamole as dipping options.

Substitutions and Variations

 Looking for a quick, easy meal that's full of flavor? These empanadas are the answer.
Looking for a quick, easy meal that’s full of flavor? These empanadas are the answer.

Nowadays, it seems like there are endless choices when it comes to cooking ingredients, and our Cheesy Chicken Empanadas Recipe is no exception. Here are some of the substitutions and variations you can make to take your empanada game to the next level:

1. Meat Substitutes: You can switch up the chicken with beef or pork for a different flavor profile. For a spicy kick, try using buffalo chicken.

2. Dough Alternatives: If you don’t feel like making your own empanada dough, you could use store-bought pie crust or puff pastry instead. This will save you time and still give you a delicious result.

3. Cheese Choices: We used Kraft Mexican Style Four Cheese in this recipe, but you can use any type of cheese that melts well like cheddar, mozzarella, or monterey jack. Shredded cheese will give you the best results.

4. Dipping Sauce Options: While these empanadas are great on their own, they’re even better when paired with a tasty dipping sauce. You can use ketchup or hot sauce, but we recommend trying a chipotle flavored reduced-fat mayonnaise like Kraft Mayo.

5. Filipino Empanadas Twist: Looking for an exotic twist? Use filipino empanada dough recipe for a different taste experience.

Just like in life, experimenting in the kitchen is about exploring new flavors and having fun. With these simple substitutions and variations to our cheesy chicken empanadas recipe, you’ll have endless possibilities to customize them to your liking!

Serving and Pairing

 There's something special about a hot, freshly-baked empanada that's filled with deliciousness.
There’s something special about a hot, freshly-baked empanada that’s filled with deliciousness.

When I make these cheesy chicken empanadas, I like to serve them as a casual snack or as a main dish paired with a light side salad. They are perfect for game nights, outdoor picnics or any casual gatherings. You can make them ahead of time and simply reheat before serving.

To take these empanadas to the next level, I recommend serving them with a variety of dipping sauces. My personal favorite is a classic salsa or homemade guacamole, but you can also try spicy mayo or sour cream mixed with fresh herbs like chives or cilantro.

For pairing, I suggest serving these empanadas alongside a crisp white wine, like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, which pairs well their mild yet zesty flavor. Alternatively, you can opt for an ice-cold beer such as pale ale or pilsner for a more casual vibe.

The beauty of these cheesy chicken empanadas is that they are versatile and go with just about anything. Experiment with different sides and beverages to find your perfect pairings!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These empanadas are so cheesy and delicious, you won't be able to resist grabbing another one.
These empanadas are so cheesy and delicious, you won’t be able to resist grabbing another one.

If you want to plan ahead and save time in the kitchen, these cheesy chicken empanadas can be made-ahead and stored in the freezer or refrigerator before baking. This recipe is perfect for meal prep, parties, or a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

To make-ahead, shape the empanadas as directed in the recipe but do not bake them. Instead, put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for at least 1 hour. Once they are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or sealable plastic bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you are ready to bake the empanadas, remove them from the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If you are in a hurry, they can also be baked straight from the freezer but may require additional baking time.

Once baked, these cheesy chicken empanadas can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

These empanadas are also great for reheating in an air fryer. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and cook each empanada for 4-5 minutes or until crispy and heated through.

Whether you make these cheesy chicken empanadas ahead of time or need to store leftovers, knowing how to properly manage their storage and reheating will help ensure that they remain deliciously fresh and crispy every time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 With a combination of
With a combination of

Making cheesy chicken empanadas can be a fun and exciting experience, but it requires some attention to detail to achieve perfect results. Here are my tips for making the best empanadas ever:

1. Use shredded cooked chicken: One of the keys to success in this recipe is to use shredded cooked chicken, whether it is baked or boiled. This will save you time and give your filling the right texture.

2. Add fresh cilantro: For that extra bit of freshness and flavor, don’t forget to add fresh chopped cilantro to your filling.

3. Don’t overfill your empanadas: It’s crucial not to overfill your empanadas; otherwise, they will explode during baking or frying. Follow the directions for how much filling to use in each batch.

4. Use chilled dough: It’s best to use chilled empanada dough or pie crusts as they will hold their shape better while baking.

5. Seal your empanadas well: To ensure your empanadas remain intact while cooking, you need to seal them firmly but gently by pressing the edges together with a fork or using a special empanada press.

6. Bake them instead of frying: Although frying gives that crisp texture, baking is a healthier option that still provides good flavor and crunch.

7. Make dipping sauce for extra flavor: Whip up some homemade dipping sauce like buffalo sauce or chipotle mayo for an added burst of flavor.

8. Experiment with different fillings: Don’t be afraid to switch up the chicken with beef, spicy chicken or even veggies like mushrooms and cheese for a different spin on this recipe.

By following these tips and experimenting with different fillings, you’ll soon be making delicious cheesy chicken empanadas like an experienced professional!


Before you dive into making these delicious Cheesy Chicken Empanadas, let’s answer some commonly asked questions. From the best way to store leftovers to how to make this recipe gluten-free or spicy, I’ve got you covered with these expert tips and frequently asked questions.

Should empanadas be baked or fried?

Empanadas are an incredibly tasty snack that can be prepared through two different cooking methods. You can either bake them in the oven for a healthier version or fry them up if you are in a hurry. Both options result in delicious empanadas that are perfect for any time of day.

What are 3 types of empanadas?

When it comes to the Tucumán region’s cuisine, the renowned National Empanada Festival is a testament to the empanada’s popularity in the area. The festival highlights the three distinct fillings that define the region’s empanadas, namely beef, tripe, and chicken, which are carefully wrapped in dough and cooked in beef fat using a traditional clay oven.

What kind of sauce goes with empanadas?

I will provide instructions, tips and recommendations for creating an array of delicious dipping sauces to accompany empanadas. These sauces include the sweet and tangy Salsa Criolla, my all-time favorite Chimichurri Sauce, the savory Salsa Verde, the classic Honey Mustard Sauce, the nutty Romesco Sauce, the spicy Anaheim Chili Sauce, the Italian-inspired Marinara Sauce and the rich and complex Mole Sauce.

Is empanada dough the same as pie dough?

When it comes to making delicious empanadas, the dough plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect texture and flavor. While frozen pie crust dough can be used as a substitute, it’s important to note that empanada dough has a unique and more tender texture that perfectly complements the filling without becoming soggy. Whether you prefer baked or fried empanadas, this dough can be used for both, making it the perfect choice for an irresistible handheld dish.

Bottom Line

in the style of Chip Heath:

In conclusion, these Cheesy Chicken Empanadas are a mouth-watering delight that everyone should try. With its easy-to-follow recipe and simple ingredients, this dish is perfect for any busy weeknight or appetizer for your next game night. And with the added bonus of being able to bake or fry them, you can choose your preferred method of preparation based on your taste.

Perfect for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or a complete meal, this empanada recipe is sure to satisfy any craving. The mix of creamy cheese, flavorful spices such as chili powder and ground cumin, and fresh cilantro makes for a truly magical combination.

The versatility of this dish allows for creativity when it comes to substitutes and variations. Buffalo chicken empanadas? Filipino-inspired with homemade dough? Puff pastry instead of pie crust? The possibilities are endless!

In addition to being delicious, these empanadas can easily be made ahead of time for convenience or stored and reheated for a quick snack on the go. And with the help of my expert tips and FAQ section, you too can create the perfect cheesy chicken empanadas every time.

So what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients and get cooking! You won’t regret making these delectable treats for yourself or sharing them with friends and family. Trust me, they will thank you for it.

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas

Cheesy Chicken Empanadas Recipe

Shredded chicken, chipotle-flavored mayo, melty cheese and fresh cilantro taste even better when tucked into pockets of empanada deliciousness.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 16
Calories 166.6 kcal


  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Kraft Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Kraft Mayo Chipotle Flavored Reduced Fat Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 (14 1/8 ounce) package ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  • Heat oven to 375ºF.
  • Combine first 4 ingredients. Whisk egg and water until blended.
  • Unroll 1 pie crust on lightly floured surface; roll out to 12-inch diameter with rolling pin. Cut into 8 (4-inch) rounds with biscuit cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary; place in single layer on parchment-covered baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pie crust.
  • Spoon 2 tablespoons chicken mixture onto center of each dough round; brush edge with egg. Fold in half. Gently press tops to remove excess air; seal edges with fork. Brush with remaining egg. Sprinkle with chili powder.
  • Bake 15 minute or until golden brown.
  • This recipe was shared by Kraft.
  • Tips.
  • How to cut circles without a biscuit cutter.
  • If you don't have a 4-inch biscuit cutter, use a 4-inch diameter glass to cut out the rounds of dough.
  • Special extra.
  • Serve with guacamole, TACO BELL® Thick & Chunky Salsa, and BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 46gCalories: 166.6kcalCarbohydrates: 14.2gProtein: 7.3gFat: 8.8gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 26.3mgSodium: 136.6mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 1.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, For Large Groups, Lunch
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.