Semi-homemade baked chicken empanadas are a mess free, flaky hand pies stuffed with ground chicken. It is a great finger food, a starter and also a meal.
Empanadas are stuffed pastries, also known as hand pies or turnovers. Empanadas are semi-circle in shape, with sweet or savory filling and are either baked or deep fried. These are very popular in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean. Many countries have their own versions and are known by different names.
Three steps to prepare
There are three components to preparing baked empanadas. Prepare the dough, prepare the filling and, shape & bake.
The main ingredients of empanada dough are flour, butter and egg. Dough is similar to pie dough and is easy to prepare from scratch. Store bought pie crust and canned crescent dough also works great. These pre-made dough alternatives are very convenient and cuts down on some prep time.
I usually use refrigerated pie crust and never made the dough from scratch for empanadas. Empanada discs are also available in Latin American stores and in some supermarket in international freezer isles. However, to make the dough from scratch, check how to make empanada dough for baking on Laylita's Recipes.
There are many choices to use for the filling. We prefer ground chicken and husband would not mind beef either but I usually avoid cooking beef at home. If using beef, substitute ground chicken with ground beef or follow this sauteed ground chicken recipe.
Other options for the filling are shrimp, vegetables and fruits with or without cheese. Mushrooms and cheese is a good filling for non meat eaters. Try this mushrooms and cheese open sandwich filling or ham mushroom cheese puff filling without ham for vegetarians.
Filling for Indian style sweet empanadas are a mixture of
- desiccated coconut + sugar
- sesame seed powder + sugar or jaggery
- sweetened cream of wheat + desiccated coconut.
Indian hand pies however are usually deep fried. Be as creative as you can for some interesting fillings.
Shaping & Cooking
To shape the hand pies, roll out the dough, cut into discs using a cookie cutter and place filling in the center. Then fold the disc into a semi circle and seal it with some water. To make a design on the edges, press the edges with a fork or pinch the edges between two fingers and twist a bit. Bake in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes at 400F or deep fry.
This post was first published in Feb 2014, republished in 2020.
Baked Chicken Empanada Recipe
Baked Chicken Empanada
- Rolling Pin
- Cookie Cutter
- Frying Pan
- Baking Sheet
- 1 ½ tablespoon Oil
- ½ tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 small – Medium Onion sliced
- 5 Green Chilies chopped
- 1 medium Vine Ripe Tomato diced can use any variety of tomato
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds powdered
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 lb Ground Chicken
- ½ teaspoon Tabasco Hot Sauce
- 2-3 tablespoon Chopped Cilantro
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
- 1 packet refrigerated Pie Crust I used Pillsbury brand and each box comes with 2 unrolled 9” crusts
- Remove the pie crust from the refrigerated and leave it on the countertop to bring to room temperature or follow instructions on the package.
- Heat oil and fry ginger garlic paste for a few seconds.
- Then saute onion, tomatoes, green chilies, pepper powder, salt, cumin powder a couple of minutes until tomatoes are mushy.
- Add ground chicken and stir constantly to avoid lumps of ground chicken.
- Cook for 5- 10 minutes until chicken is cooked and all the juices evaporate. It usually takes about 7 minutes on medium high – high flame.
- Taste chicken and adjust seasoning accordingly. I found the filling a bit bland and added ½ teaspoon Tabasco Hot Sauce.
- Turn off the flame, add cilantro mix properly.
- Once the chicken cools or just before filling the empanadas, add cheese and mix properly.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- You need to bake in two batches. Prepare empanadas with one crust and while those are baking, prepare the second batch using other crust.
- Unroll the pie crust onto a clean surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out a little. The pie crust is 9” and roll it to 12” – 13″. You need not flour dust the surface but can do so if you feel the crust will stick to the surface.
- Using a 3” round cookie cutter or a biscuit cutter cut the crust into small circles/discs. I was able to cut out 11 circles from each crust. Keep the crust scrapes aside for reusing.
- Place about ½ tablespoon of chicken filling in the middle of the circle and wet the edges of the disc with water or beaten egg. I used water. Fold the circle to make a half circle and seal the edges.
- To Curl Seal – Hold the empanada in one hand, starting from one corner, using two fingers of your other hand, press or pinch the sealed edges slightly and fold back. Right next to the folded edge / curl, repeat pinching and folding to curl empanada all around.
- To Seal with Fork – After filling and sealing the edges of the empanada, using the tines of the fork, press it on the edges of the empanada to make straight line marks.
- Place the empanada on a baking sheet. Repeat the above steps to fill and shape the rest.
- Scrapes the crust can be reused though I did not need to for the above quantity of filling.
- Egg wash the surface of the empanadas and bake for 18 minutes in a preheated oven.
- While the first batch is baking, prepare the second batch.
- I served the empanadas hot with some red chili sauce.
- We like fully stuffed empanadas and sometimes the filling leaks.
- Dough Options -Canned crescent dough and empanada covers/shells are other options to use instead of pie crust.
- Pie Crust Scapes - Pie crust scapes are reusable. Scrapes from both the pie crusts is enough to prepare at least 10 empanadas. If not using the scapes right away, roll it out into an 11” – 12” circle, place it on a wax paper and roll it with wax paper and refrigerated for later use.
- Filling Suggestions: Shredded chicken, seafood, beef, vegetables and fruits are other options.
- Indian style sweet empanadas filling options are desiccated coconut + sugar, sesame seed powder + sugar or jaggery or sweetened cream of wheat + desiccated coconut + sugar
- Nutrition:details are approximate values.
This is my post for this week's Global Cuisine theme. Check out the Blogging Marathon Page to see what my fellow marathoners are doing this BM.
Chicken empanadas looks great. I loved that you baked it than frying. This is a great appetizer or snack otpion.
Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey says
These empanadas looks so good and perfectly made. The stuffing sounds so flavourful and easy to make.
Sapana Behl says
Love the vrstality of these empanadas and how we can fill them with any variations of our choice. Love the idea of baking them instead of frying.
Padma Veeranki says
Perfectly made chicken empanadas. I love empanadas. Loved the recipe and making it with fresh homemade dough gives good flaky crust. Looks so delicious & absolutely tempting me to make them soon!!...It's been a while I made them!! Yummy share!!
Uma Srinivas says
This is one hard work recipe for me. We make this with vegetables and now your recipe reminded to make some soon... Looks neat and appetizing!
That's a cute and delicious pie. I love pie recipes. I have been trying out different varieties currently. Glad I stopped by your posts. It looks so good and flaky. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing.
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
I love baking empanadas and they come out so well. Love the recipe and making it with fresh homemade dough yields the best flaky crust.
Lata Lala says
Baked chicken empanadas remind me of our very own sweet karanji. This is wowsome idea to fill it with chicken.
They have turned out perfect golden and with flaky top.
Mayuri Patel says
Perfectly made Usha. I love empanadas but use a veggie filling. I've tried both fried and baked ones and love both. Such a delicious meal to enjoy with a bit of salad on the side.Beautiful clicks.
hem lata srivastava says
Just like gujhiya,.perfectly baked with tempting filling, saved in my wish list and will surely try it with some vegetables.
Bless my food by Payal says
This reminds me of Indian karanji. You have given a great idea of making it with some savoury filling. Too good.
Suma Gandlur says
Beautifully captured empanadas.
Harini Rupanagudi says
Beautiful pictures. I usually fill them mixed veg curry and the readymade crescent roll dough and they are my kid's fav.
Usha Rao says
Mixed veg curry is a nice idea Harini. I have to try crescent roll dough next. Thanks.
Readymade dough helps making empanadas so easy! The choice of fillings are so many for vegetarian and non vegetarian options. These look like a perfect treat with tea or even a meal.
Usha Rao says
Yes Rajini. This is one of those recipes where you need not look for substitutes to replace meat.
Perfectly baked , they must have been a treat for the chicken lovers . I am
Sure we can stuff paneer instead of chicken .
Sandhya Ramakrishnan says
Lovely presentation and looks wonderful!
perfect empanadas one of my fave street foods. There is mexican lady who sells them by the train station near my house and I love when they are so hot and fresh!
Awesome looking empanadas. Clicks are awesome. One of my ex-coworker used to make vegetarian empanadas with soy granules and they used to be sooo yummy. Reminds me to make some soon.
Very well explained and detailed recipe.
Such laborious efforts right, the dish has come out so well Usha..very nicely done, this always reminds me of our kajjikayalu..:)
Super tempting and delicious empanadas,perfectly made...
look very delcious just like indian Gujias/ Karanji