Savory Chicken Empanadas Recipe | Delicious and Easy

Are you tired of the same old recipes in your weekly meal rotation? Ready to spice things up with a new and exciting dish? Look no further than my Speedy Chicken Empanadas recipe! As a chef specializing in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I have crafted a recipe that fuses the best flavors of both cultures.

Empanadas are a savory pastry found in many Latin American countries, valued for their versatility and portability. My recipe features a hearty chicken filling mixed with creamy cheeses, red bell peppers, and spices like cumin and black pepper for a bold taste explosion. And the best part? They’re baked instead of fried, making them a healthier option without sacrificing any of the flavor.

These empanadas are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or as an appetizer for your next party. And with easy-to-find ingredients and simple instructions, you’ll be serving up piping hot empanadas in no time.

Try my Speedy Chicken Empanadas recipe for a delicious twist on traditional Latin American cuisine. Your taste buds will thank you.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Speedy Chicken Empanadas
Speedy Chicken Empanadas

If you’re on the lookout for a recipe that’ll make your taste buds dance with joy, then look no further than these speedy chicken empanadas. Not only are they quick and easy to put together, but they’re also packed with flavor and cheesy goodness that’ll keep you coming back for more.

The empanada dough is made using a store-bought pie crust, which means you won’t have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen making the pastry from scratch. The filling is made up of shredded chicken, cream cheese, colby-monterey jack cheese, petite diced red bell pepper, and ground cumin, among other spices. The result is a mouth-watering and comforting dish that’ll leave you feeling both satisfied and comforted.

What I love about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. You can switch up the filling with different types of meat, such as beef or pork, or even make vegetarian empanadas using beans or mushrooms. You can also experiment with different types of cheese or add more spice if you prefer things on the hotter side.

Another thing I love about this recipe is that it’s perfect for meal prep. You can make a big batch of empanadas ahead of time and store them in the fridge or freezer for an easy lunch or dinner during the week.

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s both delicious and versatile, give these speedy chicken empanadas a go. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredient List

 Baked to golden brown perfection
Baked to golden brown perfection

Now, let’s take a peek at what you’ll need to make these Speedy Chicken Empanadas. Here’s what you’ll require to make six servings:

For the Empanada Filling:

  • 2 lbs cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, petite diced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup colby-monterey jack cheese, shredded

For the Pie Crust:

  • 2 pie crusts
  • Water

All these ingredients are readily available at your local grocery store. Check your pantry before heading out!

The Recipe How-To

 The flaky crust is to die for
The flaky crust is to die for

Now that we have all the ingredients ready, it’s time to put them all together and make these delicious Speedy Chicken Empanadas!

Step 1: Preheat Oven

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Make Empanada Filling

In a large bowl, combine 2 lbs cooked shredded chicken, 1 cup diced onion, 1/4 cup petite diced red bell pepper, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1 tsp chicken bouillon, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix all the ingredients together until everything is evenly distributed.

Next, add in 6 oz cream cheese, 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, and 1/4 cup water. Mix thoroughly so that the filling mixture is smooth.

Step 3: Assemble Empanadas

Roll out your empanada dough or pie crust on a floured surface. You can either make your own empanada dough or use store-bought pie crust for a quick and easy option.

Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut out circles in the dough. Place some of the chicken filling mixture onto each circle, using about 2 tablespoons for each.

Fold the empanada over into half-moon shapes and press down along the edges with your fingers or a fork to seal them shut. Make sure there are no air pockets inside.

Step 4: Bake

Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between each one. Brush each empanada with some olive oil and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until they turn golden brown on top.

Let them cool for a few minutes before serving, then pair them with fresh fruit slices or some spicy salsa for a tasty snack or meal!

Substitutions and Variations

 Authentic Brazilian flavor in every bite
Authentic Brazilian flavor in every bite

For those who prefer different flavors or have specific dietary restrictions, there are a few substitutions and variations you can make to this recipe.

Firstly, if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, simply replace the chicken with your favorite vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or mushrooms. Alternatively, you can use beef, pork or ground turkey as a protein substitute.

To add more heat to the dish, try adding some diced jalapenos or chipotle peppers with the filling mixture. This will give the empanadas a spicy kick and a smoky flavor.

If you are lactose intolerant or chose to avoid dairy products, replace the Colby-Monterey Jack cheese with vegan shredded cheese or nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor without the dairy.

Additionally, for those who want to cut down calories, use reduced-fat cream cheese and replace the standard white flour pie crust with whole wheat pastry dough.

Lastly, experiment with different dipping sauces such as guacamole, salsa, sour cream or hot sauce to pair these empanadas with your favorite flavors.

No matter which substitutions and variations you choose, these savory and crispy empanadas will always satisfy your taste buds with its delicious combination of imperfectly chopped veggies and juicy baked chicken inside warm and flaky pie crust dough.

Serving and Pairing

 Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside
Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside

Are you looking for a tasty and quick appetizer or snack? Look no further than these scrumptious chicken empanadas! These cheesy chicken-filled pastries are perfect for serving as finger food at parties or gatherings, and will surely impress your guests.

For a complete meal, pair these empanadas with a fresh salad or some seasoned rice. They also pair well with a side of guacamole or salsa for dipping. If you’re feeling adventurous, try drizzling them with a spicy aioli or crema for an extra kick of flavor.

For drinks, these empanadas go well with a cold beer on a hot day or a glass of refreshing iced tea. You can even serve them with a fruity sangria or margarita to add some fun to your party.

To serve, place the empanadas on a platter and watch them disappear! They are easy to eat and hold, making them the perfect party food. And if you have any leftovers (which is unlikely), they reheat well in the oven for a quick snack or lunch the next day.

Overall, these chicken empanadas are sure to please any crowd and are perfect for serving as an appetizer or light meal at any occasion. So get ready to impress your guests and serve up some deliciously cheesy chicken empanadas!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A crowd-pleaser for any party or gathering
A crowd-pleaser for any party or gathering

Planning ahead is always a great idea, especially when it comes to making meals. This chicken empanada recipe can be made ahead and easily reheated for later use. I must warn you, though – these empanadas are so delicious that there may be no leftovers! However, if you are fortunate enough to have some leftover empanadas or want to make ahead for meal prep, here are some tips on storing and reheating them.

To Store: Allow the baked empanadas to cool completely to room temperature. You can store them in an airtight container or freezer bag in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To Reheat: Preheat your oven to 350°Fahrenheit/176°Celsius. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake at this temperature for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave the empanadas for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or until heated through.

If you have frozen the unbaked empanadas, you will need to thaw them completely before baking according to the recipe instructions. You can also freeze the baked empanadas by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and storing them in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat using one of the methods mentioned above.

Keep in mind that reheating already cooked food may cause it to lose some of its crispness, but these cheesy chicken empanadas will still be absolutely delicious! You could even add some fresh salsa or sour cream on top for an extra kick of flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Quick and easy to assemble, perfect for beginners
Quick and easy to assemble, perfect for beginners

Making chicken empanadas requires attention to details if you want to achieve perfect results. Here are some tips that can help you:

1. Preheat the oven: Make sure you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F before baking the empanadas. This ensures that they cook evenly and turn out crispy and golden.

2. Don’t overfill the empanadas: Be careful not to overstuff your empanadas with filling to prevent them from bursting open while baking. Leave enough space around the edges for crimping.

3. Use the right cheese: The best cheese for chicken empanadas is a combination of colby-monterey jack cheese and cream cheese, which gives the filling a creamy consistency.

4. Seasoning matters: Spice up your chicken empanada filling with ground cumin, salt and pepper. These spices add depth of flavor to the dish.

5. Cook the chicken in advance: Use cooked and shredded chicken for the filling rather than raw chicken breast. It saves time and ensures that everything is well-cooked before placing it in the oven.

6. Seal the edges tightly: Seal the edges of your empanadas well to prevent them from opening up during baking.

7. Experiment with different fillings: Try using leftover beef, vegetables or fruits as filling for your empanadas rather than just sticking to chicken all the time.

8. Be creative with your shapes: There’s no right or wrong shape for an empanada, so feel free to experiment with different shapes and sizes.

By following these tips, you can make cheesy, spicy and delicious baked chicken empanadas that will leave everyone wanting more!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Speedy Chicken Empanadas Recipe is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that will satisfy your hunger in no time. With its flavorful and cheesy chicken filling wrapped in crispy pie crust, these empanadas are perfect for a quick and easy meal or as a party snack. You can also customize the recipe by adding your favorite vegetables or spices to make it even more enjoyable.

Additionally, by using basic ingredients such as chicken, cream cheese, and bell pepper, you can easily create an inexpensive yet delicious meal that your whole family will love. Whether you are a seasoned cook or just starting out, this recipe is sure to impress everyone with its speed and simplicity.

So why not try making these chicken empanadas today? With just a few simple steps and some easily accessible ingredients, you can create a mouthwatering dish that will satisfy any craving. So go ahead and make this tasty recipe – you won’t regret it!

Speedy Chicken Empanadas

Speedy Chicken Empanadas Recipe

This recipe I borrowed from Paula deen and tweaked it to make my own. My whole family, even the picky 3 year old loves it!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 15 empanadas
Calories 277.9 kcal


  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded colby-monterey jack cheese, blend
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 85gCalories: 277.9kcalCarbohydrates: 14.8gProtein: 12.6gFat: 18.5gSaturated Fat: 8.1gCholesterol: 42.8mgSodium: 541.2mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 1.4g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Cheese, Chicken, Easy, For Large Groups, Kid-Friendly, Meat, Mexican, Oven, Peppers, Poultry, Spicy, Vegetable, Weeknight
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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.