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Baked Chicken Empanadas

Baked Chicken Empanadas. A baked and not fried version of this popular Latin American street food, with a slightly spicy chicken filling that everyone will love. Freezer friendly too!

Baked Chicken Empanadas. Full flavour without frying!

Baked Chicken Empanadas. Full flavour without frying!

Empanadas are a very popular street food in many Latin American countries and in Spain and it is so easy to see why. These flaky, savoury little turnovers can make a quick snack or a meal on the run.

They are often filled with spicy beef or vegetables but I decided to make a spicy chicken version.

They are traditionally fried but I’ve adapted this recipe to a baked version. I can guarantee does not suffer without a visit to the deep fryer.

Today’s version includes tender chicken and a quickly sautéed and reduced tomato sauce. The sauce is spiced with chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika.

Deboned chicken breasts for Chicken Parmesan Lasagna.

Deboned chicken breasts for Chicken Empanadas.

NOTE: I like to debone my own chicken breasts so that I can roast the bones and skins for stock later. I freeze them until I have enough to cover a baking sheet then use the instructions in my post on making Chicken Stock here.

I’m not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best things I’ve eaten this year. If I must make a full disclosure, then I’ll have to admit that I warmed up the leftovers for breakfast this morning… and I don’t do leftovers!

I saved 3 uncooked empanadas to see how well they go from freezer to oven…I don’t expect they’ll survive in the freezer for very long.

Baked Chicken Empanadas. Full flavour without frying!

Baked Chicken Empanadas. Full flavour without frying!

Update: I took my empanadas out of the freezer a couple of weeks later and let them thaw in the fridge overnight. In the fridge they were loosely wrapped in parchment paper.

I then baked them for lunch the next day for lunch and they were still outstanding. The crust held up very well and the filling was terrific too. 

fresh red organic tomatoes on the vine

Vine ripened tomatoes are great for this recipe but you can use the same amount of canned tomatoes out of season.

Making a big batch and freezing them is definitely a good idea! Make them in much smaller versions for terrific finger food at parties.

Like this Baked Chicken Empanadas recipe?

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Baked Chicken Empanadas. Full flavour without frying!

 
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Baked Chicken Empanadas. Full flavour without frying!
Yield: 10 large empanadas

Baked Chicken Empanadas

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Baked Chicken Empanadas - a baked and not fried version of this popular Latin American street food, with a slightly spicy chicken filling that everyone will love. Freezer friendly too!

Ingredients

For the Empanada Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup very cold butter, , cut in cubes
  • 2/3 to 1 cup ice cold water

For the Filling

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 3 breasts
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to season
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups tomatoes, well ripened and diced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold water

Instructions

To prepare the filling

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into small cubes and saute them in the olive oil and garlic until just cooked through. You do not want to overcook the chicken at this point. It will be baked again in the oven so don't dry it out.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pan immediately and set aside to cool completely.
  3. To the saute pan, add the tomatoes, spices and brown sugar and saute on high stirring constantly until the sauce reduces to almost a thick paste. Set aside to cool thoroughly before mixing with the chicken and refrigerating until well chilled. The filling needs to be quite cold when added to the pastry.

For the Empanada Dough

  1. In a food processor add the flour & salt.
  2. Pulse in the cold butter until well combined and there are still pea sized pieces of butter in the mixture.
  3. While still pulsing the processor, slowly add the water;  enough to bring the mixture together into a ball of dough.
  4. Separate the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1/2 hour or longer. It is fine to make this dough a day or two in advance.

To make the empanadas

  1. Divide the dough into golf ball sized pieces and roll each ball out to about 6 inch circles on a well floured board.
  2. Spoon about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the filling onto the dough circle.
  3. Brush the edges of the dough with an egg wash made from whisking together the 1 egg + 1 tbsp cold water/
  4. Fold the pastry over the filling and seal the seam by pressing the edges together with a fork.
  5. Lightly brush the egg wash over the completed empanadas as well.
  6. Chill the pastries for 20-30 minutes before popping them into a preheated 425 degree F oven for about 25 minutes or until evenly golden brown.
  7. I use a silicone lined baking sheet or parchment paper when baking these.
  8. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

10

Serving Size

empanada

Amount Per Serving Calories 421Saturated Fat 13gCholesterol 109mgSodium 523mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 19g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.

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Jo-Ann

Wednesday 29th of January 2020

Such a good recipe! Easy to do but takes a bit of time with a few rounds of chilling. Full recipe makes 9-10, could do a half recipe easy enough or just freeze the, - they are worth it!

Janet

Tuesday 23rd of July 2019

Can you use canned tomatoes ?

Karen

Wednesday 23rd of May 2018

If in a hurry - do you think frozen puff pastry would work?

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