Chicken Empanadas

Is there ever a time you think about a certain meal you recently had or just out of the blue have a taste for something? This was definitely the time I was craving something from my cultural roots. Chicken empanadas! That buttery, flaky shell with a warm and tasty filling you just have to pick up another as soon as you finish the first. Well, sometimes I experiment and it comes out tasting awesome. Other times the food comes out tasting blah, needing more or less of a particular ingredient. I’m my harshest critic but for the food blog I think it deserves a chance. Here is how this all went down.

For the dough you’ll need flour, unsalted butter, an egg, sugar, water, salt and baking powder.

For the filling you’ll need diced carrots, sweet peas, diced potatoes, garlic, onion and diced chicken. Have your mise en place set so that adding your ingredients is a breeze!

Use some olive oil and heat up a 12.5in saute pan. Put down your garlic first and get that nice and brown but not too brown.

Next add your onions

Chicken is next. This is where you want to season so use salt and pepper.

Add your diced carrots and potatoes. Dicing your vegetables the same size makes for even cooking time. There’s no sense in cutting up big pieces while the small pieces end up suffering.

Add about 1/2 cup of water or better yet, chicken stock to continue to flavor your food. If you have chicken stock, always use that over water. It makes a difference!

Sweet peas go in next. You can use canned or frozen. I used frozen and just rinsed them and let them thaw a little. These are going to cook fast so it doesn’t need much time under heat.

Here’s your filling! Set that aside. Now you can start the dough!

So I had some trouble with the dough. My favorite types of empanadas are buttery and flaky and a bit on the sweet side. This was NOT the case with my experiment. I come across this sometimes and it’s due to the fact that I’m not a professional so there will be hurdles along the way. It’s okay though. It’s how I learn. I will post an updated version of the recipe below though with corrections. Here’s how my dough was made.

Combine your dry ingredients, flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.

Here I only did 2 T of butter. I cut them up in little tiny butter sticks. You like? I recommend at least 6 T of butter. If you want it awesome though you can do a whole stick!

A 1/2 cup of cold water

1 beaten egg

You mix all that up and you get a ball of dough. You can make about 16-18 empanadas out of this recipe so take your time and be patient. Remember, cooking is supposed to be fun!

Which is definitely the case here. We just moved into our house about a year ago and I’m not a baker so what’s missing from my arsenal? You guessed it, a rolling pin! I had to borrow my daughter’s play one which surprisingly worked wonders in my big kitchen! Here I am below using it in action!

So anyways, you get from the dough these 1 1/2 inch balls you roll up. I was able to attain 16 of them.

Be sure to dust your surface with flour and take a ball and push down on it with the base of your palm. They’ll start looking like little tortillas once you start rolling them out.

Take the filling you made awhile ago and spoon some on. Take the bottom portion of the dough and fold it up to the top like so.

Now to seal it, some people fold up and over to make a braid like shape but for an easier way you can just take a fork and crimp down on the edges like so.

Line them up on a baking sheet lined with some wax paper and take a beaten egg mixed with water and brush the tops of the empanadas with it. This will give your empanadas that golden brown effect once they’ve been baked.

Put them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes and your treats are served!

And of course I thanked my daughter for allowing me to borrow her rolling pin! She wanted ketchup because my initial batch came out dry but the recipe below has been fixed. Enjoy!

Chicken Empanadas
Printer-friendly PDF version



  • 4 chicken thighs shredded or diced
  • 1-2 small white or red potatoes diced
  • 1 whole carrot diced
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • ¼ c sweet peas
  • ½ c water or chicken stock
  • 1 T sugar
  • Raisins (optional)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil


  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • ½ t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 6-8 T unsalted butter
  • ½ c cold water


Prepare the filling first. Boil 4 chicken thighs and shred or dice them up and set aside. Cut up all your veggies. Use a 12.5in saute pan and add olive oil to a heated pan. Put down your garlic first to slightly brown then onions. Add the shredded chicken or diced chicken. At this time season with salt, pepper and sugar. Add the water or chicken stock and then add your carrots and potatoes. Cook until slightly tender and then add sweet peas. If you like raisins in your empanadas you’re certainly welcome to add them but do them last.

For the dough add all the dry ingredients then butter, egg and cold water. If the dough gets too dry add a tad bit more water like a tsp at a time but your dough should come out manageable. Not dry or sticky.

Roll about 1 ½ inch balls out and dust your surface with flour. With the palm of your hand press down on a ball then use a rolling pin to roll them out into tiny tortillas the size of your entire palm. Add a spoon full of filling in each and bring bottom portion of dough up to the top. Crimp the edges with your fingers followed by a fork and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
Do these for the rest of the empanadas then once complete, use an egg wash consisting of a beaten egg and about 1 T of water to brush the tops of the empanadas. Put them in an oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes and enjoy.


4 thoughts on “Chicken Empanadas

  1. I’ve always wanted to make a batch of Empanadas. You using the baby rolling pin was priceless. I’ve been using my Nalgene bottle to flatten the dough for my beignets. Thanks for the step by step!

  2. This turned out fantastic marv! As with your friend E.Freshmaker, I’ve wanted to try this too, but was afraid to try. Pastries are intimidating for me. Ava’s rolling pin was a great substitute ! TOO FUNNY! Awesome recipe marv!!!

  3. beanerito!!! great post! super detailed and i like that you have a printable pdf version.. easy for people to printout and try to make on their own! the blog is coming along!!!!!!

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