Delicious Chicken Empanadas Recipe for Foodies

Greetings, food lovers! Today, I am thrilled to share with you my latest creation: a scrumptious recipe for chicken, bean and cheese empanadas. As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I’ve always been a huge fan of empanadas. These little pockets of dough filled with deliciousness are popular in many countries, from Mexico and Costa Rica to Argentina and beyond.

My chicken, bean and cheese empanadas combine the best of both worlds: the savory, spicy flavors of Latin America with the comforting familiarity of good old American comfort food. Imagine biting into a crispy empanada crust filled with savory baked chicken, creamy cannellini beans, tangy cheddar cheese and sizzling bell peppers – all seasoned to perfection with a blend of herbs and spices.

But these empanadas aren’t just tasty; they’re also easy to make. You can use store-bought pie crust or puff pastry for the dough and mix-and-match different fillings to suit your taste buds. Plus, they’re perfect for parties, picnics or simply as an appetizer or snack any day of the week!

So why settle for boring old snacks when you can treat yourself—and your loved ones—to these mouth-watering chicken, bean and cheese empanadas? Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas
Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas

You’ll want to make this empanada recipe over and over again once you take a bite. It’s my personal favorite because of its flavorful combination of chicken, beans, and cheese. Picture biting into a crispy pastry shell and discovering a treasure trove of savory fillings inside.

One of the things I love most about this recipe is its versatility – whether you’re in the mood for baked or fried empanadas, you can’t go wrong with either. For those who want to avoid deep frying, try making them in the oven with puff pastry. It yields a flakier crust texture that is addictively delicious.

And let’s not forget about those ingredients – juicy baked chicken mixed with tender black beans, sweet red bell peppers, onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil, and stretchy cheddar cheese – all wrapped up inside a pie crust or puff pastry shell. Imagine taking that first bite and tasting the myriad of flavors and textures with every chew.

The recipe’s spiciness factor is also adjustable depending on your taste preferences. You can add a kick of chipotle sauce to make it more Mexican-style, or sprinkle some oregano on top to add some extra zest.

Not only does this recipe takes less than an hour to prepare from start to finish, but you can also store any unused empanadas in the fridge or freezer for later consumption. And if you’re looking for a way to add some excitement to your lunch or snack time, this empanada recipe is definitely worth trying out.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy-to-make yet versatile dish that combines amazing flavors and two cultures into one tasty pastry treat, then this chicken-bean-cheese empanada recipe is just what you need.

Ingredient List

 Golden brown and crispy on the outside, savory and cheesy goodness on the inside.
Golden brown and crispy on the outside, savory and cheesy goodness on the inside.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make these delicious empanadas:

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of cooked and shredded chicken
  • ¾ cup of canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup of canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

For the pastry:

You can use either store-bought pastry dough or homemade pastry dough for this recipe. Here are options for both:

Store-bought pastry dough:

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry (thawed according to package instructions)
  • 16 empanada discs (to make things easier and more authentic!) We recommend Old El Paso brand!

Homemade pastry dough:

You can make the dough from scratch using this easy recipe:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¡ cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced into small pieces
  • ¼ – ½ cup of cold water

Optional ingredients/add-ins:

If you’d like to add some extra flavor to your empanadas, here are some additional ingredients you can use:

  • Salsa (to serve on top)
  • Cream cheese (add with the shredded cheddar cheese)
  • Chipotle chicken (substitute for the regular chicken)
  • Spicy black bean and corn mix (substitute for all beans)

Go ahead and gather your ingredients so you’re ready to start cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 What's better than a meal in a pocket?!
What’s better than a meal in a pocket?!

Now, it’s time to get cooking! Follow these simple steps to make delicious chicken, bean and cheese empanadas!

Step 1: Preparing the Filling

  • In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1/4 cup of chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until they become translucent.
  • Then, add 2 cloves of minced garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Next, stir in 2 cups of cooked chicken, 1 cup of drained and rinsed canned cannellini beans, and 1/2 cup of black beans.
  • Season with 1 teaspoon of oregano, 1 teaspoon of salt, and any other spices you prefer.

Tip: If you want some extra spice, try adding some chipotle seasoning or diced jalapeños.

Step 2: Assembling the Empanadas

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • On a clean surface, flatten out your store-bought pie crust or homemade empanada dough.
  • Using a cup or cutter, cut out circles that are approximately 4 inches in diameter.
  • Place a spoonful of the filling mixture onto one half of each circle.
  • Top the filling with a small handful of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Fold the other half of the circle over to create a semi-circle shape. Press down the edges with a fork to seal the filling inside.

Step 3: Baking the Empanadas

  • Place each assembled empanada on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.
  • Brush each empanada with egg wash before placing them in the oven.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown and crispy.

Pro tip: For extra crunch, you can brush the unbaked empanadas with beaten egg whites and then cover them in Panko bread crumbs before baking.

Now that you have followed these easy steps, take your homemade chicken, bean and cheese empanadas out of the oven and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Loaded with seasoned chicken, creamy refried beans and gooey melted cheese.
Loaded with seasoned chicken, creamy refried beans and gooey melted cheese.

This recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Meat: You can replace the chicken with ground beef or shredded beef. If you prefer a vegetarian option, substitute the meat with firm tofu or vegetables such as mushrooms, zucchini or eggplant.

– Cheese: While cheddar cheese gives a nice tangy flavor to these empanadas, you can also use other types of cheese such as mozzarella, pepper jack or even cream cheese for a creamy filling.

– Beans: Experiment with different types of beans such as kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas or chickpeas. You can also use refried beans instead of whole beans for a smoother texture.

– Vegetables: Add more veggies to your empanadas by including diced bell peppers, corn, sweet potato or spinach in the filling. This will not only add more nutrition but also make your empanadas more colorful and flavorful.

– Spices: If you like things spicy, try adding some diced jalapeños or canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. You can also use different herbs such as cilantro, parsley or basil in the filling for extra freshness.

Remember to adjust the seasoning accordingly if you make any substitutions. Don’t be afraid to experiment and create your own twist on this classic dish!

Serving and Pairing

 These empanadas may be small in size but they pack a big flavor punch!
These empanadas may be small in size but they pack a big flavor punch!

The great thing about these chicken, bean and cheese empanadas is that they’re a complete meal on their own, but they’re also quite versatile, which makes them perfect for any occasion. You can serve them as an appetizer at a party, as a quick snack before dinner or even as the main dish.

If you want to serve the empanadas in a traditional way, I recommend pairing them with some salsa. The acidity of the salsa cuts through the richness of the empanadas and balances the flavors beautifully. A mild tomato-based salsa is perfect for most people, but if you like it spicy, go for a chipotle or jalapeño-based one.

For a more substantial meal, you can add some sides to the empanadas. One of my favorite sides to serve with empanadas are black beans and rice. The flavors of the beans and rice complement the filling and make for a delicious combination.

If you want something lighter, a side salad is a great option. A simple mixed greens salad with a vinaigrette dressing will work well here. The freshness of the greens will balance the richness of the empanadas and make for a satisfying yet light meal.

When it comes to drinks, beer is definitely my go-to choice when serving empanadas. A crisp lager or pilsner pairs exceptionally well with these savory treats. If you prefer wine, go for something light and refreshing like a white wine spritzer.

Overall, these chicken, bean and cheese empanadas are incredibly versatile and can be paired with almost anything. Whether you’re having them as an appetizer or making them into a full meal, you’re sure to impress your guests with this tasty treat!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The perfect handheld snack for any occasion.
The perfect handheld snack for any occasion.

When it comes to make-ahead meals, these chicken, bean and cheese empanadas recipe is definitely a winner. The good news is that you can make the empanadas ahead of time, store them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. This means that you’ll always have a delicious meal ready to go when you’re short on time.

To store the empanadas, first let them cool down to room temperature. Then pack them tightly in a freezer-safe container or plastic bag, label and date it. This will help you keep track of how long they’ve been stored in the freezer.

When you want to enjoy these tasty treats again, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort before. Reheating these Chicken Bean and Cheese Empanadas is easy and hassle-free. Simply preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) degrees and place the frozen empanadas directly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

If you’re short on time or don’t feel like using your oven, you may want to opt for microwaving instead. To do this, remove the empanadas from the freezer and let them thaw for about 15 minutes. Next, place them in a microwave-safe dish with a lid, add 1 tablespoon of water, cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes per empanada or until heated through.

No matter how you choose to reheat these chicken, bean and cheese empanadas, they are sure to still taste freshly baked and crispy as if they were just taken out of the oven!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A twist on classic Latin American street food with an American twist.
A twist on classic Latin American street food with an American twist.

As a chef who has prepared countless empanadas over the years, I have learned a few valuable tips to ensure that they are cooked to perfection every time. Here are some tips that will help make your Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas recipe a hit:

1. Keep your ingredients as dry as possible

Moisture is the nemesis of good empanadas. Try to keep the filling ingredients as dry as possible so that the empanada dough won’t get soggy during cooking. If you are using canned beans or salsa, a quick drain before adding them to the filling mixture can help.

2. Seal the edges properly

One of the biggest mistakes people make when making empanadas is not sealing the edges properly. When filling your empanadas, be sure to leave enough space around the edges so that you can crimp them together properly without any filling leaking out.

3. Preheat your oven (or oil) well ahead of cooking

Empanadas should be baked or fried at high temperatures so that they become crispy and golden brown. Be sure to preheat your oven (or oil if frying) well in advance so that it’s ready when you need it.

4. Use a flour dusted work surface when rolling dough

To prevent your empanada dough from sticking to your work surface, sprinkle some flour on it before rolling out the dough.

5. Use egg wash for a golden brown crust

For an attractive and delicious golden brown color, brush the empanadas with an egg wash before baking.

6. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving

Empanadas should be allowed to rest for at least 5 minutes after baking or frying so that they can cool down and set properly. This will prevent steam from escaping too quickly and ensure that the filling stays put.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making delicious Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas that your friends and family will love!


Now that we have covered the essential details and steps in preparing chicken, bean, and cheese empanadas, it’s time to answer some commonly asked questions about this recipe. Below are some of the concerns that you might have or issues that you might encounter while preparing this delectable dish. Read on and gain more insights into the proper execution of this recipe.

Should empanadas be baked or fried?

Empanadas can be prepared in two ways, each resulting in a delectable outcome. Opt for a healthier snack by baking them in the oven or indulge in a crispy, quick treat by frying them up.

What kind of sauce do you put on empanadas?

Empanadas can be elevated with the addition of a delicious marinara sauce. Simplicity meets flavor in this classic tomato-based accompaniment that perfectly complements the taste of empanadas.

Is empanada dough the same as pie dough?

When it comes to making empanadas, the dough is key. It’s not quite as flaky as pie crust, but it has a tender texture that’s perfect for soaking up all the delicious filling without turning into a soggy mess. If you’re in a pinch, you can use frozen pie crust dough as a substitute. And whether you prefer baked or fried empanadas, this dough will work perfectly for both.

What are empanadas usually filled with?

Empanadas are delicious, savory pastries consisting of a crescent-shaped dough shell filled with a variety of flavorful ingredients, which can range from meats such as beef, chicken, and pork to seafood like shellfish, even to cheese and vegetables. These delectable treats are then cooked to a crisp texture by either baking or frying methods.

Are empanadas usually corn or flour?

One popular snack that can be found on the streets of Colombia is the empanada. This deep-fried corn dough treat is traditionally filled with a combination of meat and potatoes.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas recipe is simply divine. The mixture of crispy pastry with the hot, savory filling creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth that will leave you wanting more. This dish is perfect for a family dinner or to impress guests at a party.

The recipe can be easily customized by adding additional ingredients such as corn or bell peppers. It can also be made spicier with the addition of chipotle or chili peppers. No matter how you prepare it, this dish will always make a great impression and leave everyone feeling satisfied.

I highly recommend trying out this recipe and experimenting with your own variations to create the ultimate empanadas experience. Trust me when I say that you will not regret making this recipe – it is sure to become one of your go-to dishes!

Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas

Chicken, Bean and Cheese Empanadas Recipe

I made these for a party and they were gone in 20 minutes. Seems hard but was very easy!
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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 1 empanada
Calories 108.7 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken legs with thigh
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (1/2 ounce) packet sazon goya
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 15 1/2 ounces cannellini beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 20 empanada wrappers (goya discos)


  • In a large saute pan, brown chicken in heated olive oil.
  • Add sazon, oregano and fill with water until chicken in half covered.
  • Cook Chicken thoroughly, about 30-40 minutes. Drain water.
  • Let cool until easy to handle.
  • Remove skin and shred chicken.
  • Mix into chicken balance of ingredients, except for discos. Let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Thaw discos if frozen.
  • Take mixture and add 1-2 tbsps and put on center of disco.
  • Fold into half moon and secure edges with fork tongs.
  • Ley empanadas on a baking sheet and brush top with butter.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until top is brown.
  • Serve warm and enjoy.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 55gCalories: 108.7kcalCarbohydrates: 5.8gProtein: 7.7gFat: 6.1gSaturated Fat: 2.2gCholesterol: 24.8mgSodium: 190.1mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 0.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Beans, Chicken, Chicken Thigh & Leg, For Large Groups, Meat, Potluck, Poultry, South American
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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.