Savory Chicken Empanadas: A Flavorful Spanish Treat

Are you ready to take your taste buds on a journey South of the Equator? Look no further than these mouthwatering Chicken Empanadas! As a chef who specializes in Brazilian and American cuisine, I have always been drawn to the delightful tastes and flavors of empanadas.

Empanadas are a type of pastry that can be found in many regions of the world, from Colombia to Argentina, Spain to the Philippines. Each country has their own unique style and filling, but they all have one thing in common: flaky, crispy pastry filled with flavorful goodness.

In this recipe, we will be making authentic Chicken Empanadas from scratch. We will be using boneless skinless chicken breasts that are cooked until tender along with red bell pepper, garlic cloves and other special seasonings. The filling is then wrapped in a deliciously flaky dough made with flour, baking powder and butter for perfect texture.

Don’t let the word “dough” intimidate you – this recipe is easy to follow and produces mouthwatering results that will impress your friends and family. These empanadas are perfect as an appetizer or main dish, served with a side of salsa or cheese for dipping fun! Are you ready to make unforgettable chicken empanadas at home? Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken Empanadas
Chicken Empanadas

Are you a fan of mouthwatering chicken dishes? Do you find yourself always craving for something unique and flavorful that will satisfy your taste buds? If so, then this chicken empanadas recipe is definitely a must-try for you!

Let me tell you why you’ll love this recipe. First of all, it’s an easy and simple recipe that anyone can follow. You don’t need to be a professional chef or have fancy cooking equipment to make these delectable empanadas. All you need are the ingredients, a little bit of time, and the eagerness to try something new.

Another reason why you’ll love this recipe is that it’s versatile. You can customize the filling according to your preferences. Whether you prefer shredded cooked chicken, cheesy chicken, or chipotle chicken, there’s always an option that will suit your taste. And if you’re feeling experimental, you can even try adding other ingredients like beef or vegetables to mix it up.

Moreover, the combination of flavors in this recipe is simply amazing. The buttery and flaky empanada dough combined with the savory filling of cooked chicken, cheese, garlic, and bell peppers makes for an unforgettable taste experience. You won’t be able to resist taking another bite!

Lastly, this chicken empanadas recipe is perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a special dinner with family or friends, or just a quick and easy snack on a lazy afternoon. It’s also great for party platters or meal prep since you can make them ahead of time and freeze them for later use.

So what are you waiting for? Give this special and authentic recipe a try! Trust me; once you taste the deliciousness of these chicken empanadas, you’ll never want to go back to your regular meals again.

Ingredient List

 Sink your teeth into the crispy, golden-brown crust of these delicious chicken empanadas.
Sink your teeth into the crispy, golden-brown crust of these delicious chicken empanadas.

Let’s dive into the ingredient list for these savory chicken empanadas. This recipe ingredients will make approximately 12 empanadas.

  • 1 pound cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the empanada dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For the cheesy chicken filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

The Recipe How-To

 Forget the fork and knife, these handheld treats are perfect for on-the-go snacking or party appetizers!
Forget the fork and knife, these handheld treats are perfect for on-the-go snacking or party appetizers!

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to get cooking. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create mouthwatering chicken empanadas.

Step 1: Preparing the filling

Start by heating up olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add onions, garlic, and bell peppers, and sauté until they are softened. Add cooked chicken, chicken bouillon, salt, and pepper, and stir until well combined. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes then set aside to cool.

Step 2: Empanada Dough

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cold butter using a pastry cutter. Once combined, add cold water slowly until the dough forms into a ball. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it is smooth and elastic.

Step 3: Shaping the Dough

On a floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter or cup (about 4 inches in diameter), cut out rounds from the dough.

Step 4: Filling

Place about a tablespoon of filling on each circle of dough leaving at least half an inch of border around the edge of each circle.

Step 5: Folding and Sealing

Fold one side of each empanada over the other side to make a half-moon shape. Seal the edges with a fork by pressing them together. Repeat for all empanadas.

Step 6: Baking

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Brush each empanada with some egg wash made with beaten egg yolk and water. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Enjoy your easy chicken empanadas with a side of salsa or some shredded cheese.

Substitutions and Variations

 One bite and you'll taste the savory blend of braised chicken, sautéed onions, and aromatic spices inside.
One bite and you’ll taste the savory blend of braised chicken, sautéed onions, and aromatic spices inside.

Are you looking to personalize this chicken empanadas recipe and add your own twist? Here are some substitution ideas and variations that will turn this classic recipe into a unique and mouthwatering dish!

– Meat: instead of using boneless chicken breasts or thighs, you can swap with beef, pork, lamb, or even seafood. For the vegetarians out there, you can substitute the meat with mushrooms or tofu for a savory option.

– Cheese: while cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese are commonly used in chicken empanadas, try using feta cheese for a Mediterranean-inspired version, queso fresco for an authentic Colombian-style empanada, or cream cheese for an extra creamy filling.

– Vegetables: add more veggies to your empanadas such as spinach, corn, peas or carrots. For a kick of heat, consider using diced jalapeños or chipotle peppers.

– Dough: if you don’t feel like making your own dough from scratch, it’s perfectly fine to use pre-made empanada dough available at most grocery stores. In place of the traditional flaky dough, consider using puff pastry for a buttery and crispy shell.

– Sauce: skip the tomato salsa and try pairing your chicken empanadas with a sweet mango chutney or guacamole for a refreshing and zesty taste.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and finding what works best for you. Have fun with these substitutions and variations to make this chicken empanadas recipe special and authentic to your style!

Serving and Pairing

 Buttery and flaky, the empanada dough is the perfect canvas for the rich and flavorful filling.
Buttery and flaky, the empanada dough is the perfect canvas for the rich and flavorful filling.

Your mouthwatering chicken empanadas are now ready to be served! One of the best things about chicken empanadas is that they are incredibly versatile and can be served as an appetizer, a main course or even a snack. Empanadas are a popular street food in many Latin American countries such as Colombia, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic.

To serve your empanadas, you can pair them with a homemade salsa sauce for a tangy kick of flavor. Simply mix together diced tomatoes, chopped onions, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper to make a zesty and refreshing salsa that will perfectly complement your chicken filling. You could also sprinkle some shredded cheese over the top of the empanadas while they’re still warm from the oven for added gooey deliciousness.

If you want to take it a step further, try pairing your chicken empanadas with a side dish. A crisp salad or sautéed vegetables would make a perfect side dish for these flaky and cheesy empanadas. Additionally, rice or beans would make a hearty side dish that would add some substance to your meal.

If you are making these empanadas for a party or gathering where there will be other foods served as well, consider making mini-sized empanadas. These smaller-sized servings are perfect finger foods and easy to grab. Pair them with other party appetizers like chips and dip, guacamole, or even some sweet treats like churros to round out your Latin-inspired menu.

Whether you’re making these chicken empanadas for yourself to enjoy or to share with friends and family, this special authentic dish is sure to please everyone’s taste buds.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be afraid to dip these hot and fresh empanadas into your favorite sauce!
Don’t be afraid to dip these hot and fresh empanadas into your favorite sauce!

The best part about making chicken empanadas is that they can easily be prepared ahead of time and stored for later enjoyment. If you’re planning on serving them at a party or gathering, this is a great opportunity to get ahead and minimize stress on the day of the event.

To make ahead, prepare the chicken empanadas as directed in the recipe instructions, but do not bake. Instead, wrap each prepared empanada well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When it comes time to serve, preheat your oven to 375F and lay out each empanada on a baking sheet. Brush with egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water) to create a golden-brown crust and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

If you have leftovers, chicken empanadas are still delicious when reheated in the oven. Simply place them on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes.

For an alternative reheating method that’s faster, try using a microwave. Place the chicken empanadas onto a microwave-safe plate and heat them up in 30-second intervals until they’re hot throughout.

Overall, making chicken empanadas ahead of time is the perfect way to take some pressure off when planning a big event. And with simple reheating options available, it’s easy to enjoy these flavorful snacks anytime you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

While making chicken empanadas may seem like an easy task, there are a few tips that can make all the difference and ensure that your results are perfect every time. Here are some tips I’ve gathered from my experience as a chef:

1. Bake Instead of Fry

While fried empanadas have a crispy texture, baked ones are healthier and easier to make. Baked empanadas are also less likely to burst during the cooking process.

2. Seal Properly

A properly sealed empanada will prevent the filling from leaking out while baking. Seal the edges well by pressing down with a fork or crimping them together.

3. Brush with Egg Wash

For a beautiful golden finish, brush your chicken empanadas with an egg wash before baking. Whisk an egg in a bowl and then use a pastry brush to evenly coat each empanada.

4. Use Cold Water

When making the dough, use cold water instead of room temperature or warm water. This helps create a flaky texture in the dough.

5. Keep the Dough Chilled

Working with chilled dough is much easier than working with warm dough, which can become sticky and unmanageable. Chill your dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out and assembling your empanadas.

6. Experiment with Fillings

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your fillings! While this recipe calls for cheesy chicken, there are countless other fillings you can try such as beef, chipotle chicken or even vegetarian options like spinach and feta.

7. Don’t Overstuff

Overstuffing your empanadas can cause them to burst open while baking. Make sure to leave enough space around the edges when adding the filling so that you can easily seal them shut.

8. Serve with Salsa

Serve your chicken empanadas hot out of the oven with a tangy salsa on top for added flavor. You can make your own salsa or use a store-bought one, but either way, it’s a perfect accompaniment to this mouthwatering dish.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to create perfect and authentic chicken empanadas that are sure to impress your friends and family.


Now that you have all the details on how to make these mouth-watering chicken empanadas, let’s move on to some frequently asked questions. These questions often come up when making or serving empanadas, and having the answers will help ensure you get perfect results every time you make them. Read on to find out more about common queries related to this authentic recipe.

Are empanadas best fried or baked?

Empanadas can be cooked using two different methods, both yielding delicious results. Baking them in the oven is a great option for those looking for a healthier merienda. However, if you’re short on time, frying them is a quicker alternative.

Which dough is best for empanadas?

In order to create empanadas, using pre-made pie dough is a popular option for many people. This is because the ingredients required for most dough recipes are quite similar, consisting of flour, butter, salt, water, and occasionally egg. Interestingly, these ingredients are also required for this empanada recipe as well.

What are empanadas usually filled with?

Filled with a range of ingredients and shaped like crescent moons, empanadas are delicious savory pastries made of dough. Depending on your preferences, the filling could include either protein (such as beef, chicken, pork, or shellfish), cheese, vegetables, or all of the above. The filling is typically seasoned brilliantly, then either baked or fried until golden perfection is attained.

Are empanadas usually corn or flour?

A savory Colombian street snack known as empanadas is made up of fried corn dough enveloping meat and potatoes.

Bottom Line

Are you feeling adventurous and want to try a recipe that is packed with flavor and unique flair? Then, you must give the Chicken Empanadas Recipe a try! These empanadas are a delightful mix of cultures, blending the traditional ingredients found in Brazilian and American cuisine.

Not only are these chicken empanadas mouthwateringly delicious, but they are also straightforward to make! You only need a few simple ingredients which can be easily found at any grocery store. The recipe includes tips for substitutions if needed and variations to create different styles like Filipino, Colombian, Argentinian, Spanish, Dominican, and Cuban.

Moreover, these chicken empanadas are perfect for parties or family dinners. They’re quite versatile and pair perfectly with various sides like salsa or a colorful salad. And best of all, they can be made ahead of time, stored in the fridge or freezer and reheated before serving.

In conclusion, whether you’re an experienced chef or not, this easy chicken empanada recipe is worth trying out. If you have some free time and want to indulge in special authentic food that has flaky dough filled with mouthwatering chicken filling – give our Chicken Empanadas Recipe a chance. I guarantee it will become your new favorite dish in no time!

Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Empanadas Recipe

I know this looks like a lot to do but it is SO worth it!! It's super tasty and you can toy with the recipe to fit the picky eater in your family, the occasion, or the number of people you're feeding!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer or snack
Cuisine Latin American
Calories 595.2 kcal



  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 5 -6 tablespoons cold water


  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 -3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 -2 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • garlic, cloves-to taste
  • bell pepper
  • 12 ounces cheese
  • salsa


  • Dough: Mix the dry ingredients for the dough and cut in the butter.
  • Mix the cold water in, while tossing the mixture, one tablespoon at a time until dough-like; allow to cool 30 minute.
  • Filling: Cut up the chicken in small cubes and brown in butter over medium heat.
  • Add the chicken bouillion(I use the kind you're suppose to add water to but I don't add the water).
  • I have a handy-dandy garlic press which gets more than enough use with this recipe -- just get some garlic in there whichever way fits you best.
  • I will either finely chop some peppers or use a small can of chiles for some bite.
  • After the chicken is cooked through add the cheese and mix.
  • Add a little salsa if you like spice otherwise it goes very well over the empanadas.
  • Cooking: Roll the dough slightly less than 1/4".
  • Cut in circles (the size will depend on the occasion, for small snacks or a party do smaller circles, for a meal go larger).
  • Place some filling in the center of the circle and fold one half to the other.
  • Make sure you press down firmly to seal the ends together or THEY WILL LEAK! It's just a mess and a pain when that happens.
  • Bake at 350 degrees.
  • Optional: You can brush on either egg whites or butter to the tops, it helps seal them and the butter adds a little flavor, I like to apply it a couple times before and during cooking.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 98gCalories: 595.2kcalCarbohydrates: 37.3gProtein: 25.7gFat: 37.9gSaturated Fat: 22.2gCholesterol: 118.1mgSodium: 1148.8mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 0.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Lunch
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Recommended Recipes Just For You

None found



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.