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Easy Shortcut Chicken Empanadas Recipe

Looking for a quick and tasty meal? Try these easy shortcut chicken empanadas. You only need a few ingredients. This recipe is great for using leftover or rotisserie chicken. It’s perfect for busy nights. Whether you’re a pro or just starting in the kitchen, these empanadas are simple to make and full of flavor.

Key Takeaways:

  • Make delicious chicken empanadas using this easy recipe.
  • Use leftover or rotisserie chicken to simplify the process.
  • Empanadas are perfect for a fast and tasty dinner.
  • Customize your empanadas with different fillings to suit your taste preferences.
  • Freeze leftover empanadas for later and reheat them for a quick and satisfying meal.

Ingredients for Chicken Empanadas

To make tasty chicken empanadas, you need a good mix of ingredients for the filling. Here are the main parts:

  • Chicken: Cooked chicken is the star ingredient of these empanadas. It provides protein and adds a savory element to the filling.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese adds a creamy and cheesy texture to the empanadas.
  • Cream Cheese: Softened cream cheese enhances the richness and creaminess of the filling.
  • Cumin: The warm and earthy flavors of cumin add depth and complexity to the empanada filling.
  • Garlic Salt: A combination of garlic and salt amplifies the flavors and provides a hint of savory goodness.
  • Pepper: Freshly ground pepper adds a subtle heat and enhances the overall taste of the filling.
  • Refrigerated Pie Crusts: Convenient and ready-to-use refrigerated pie crusts serve as the perfect encasing for the chicken filling.
  • Egg: Whisked egg is used as an egg wash to give the empanadas a golden and glossy exterior.
  • Water: Water is added to the recipe to provide moisture and binding for the empanada dough.

This mix of ingredients will help you create a filling that’s both flavorful and cheesy.

Ingredient Quantity
Chicken 2 cups, cooked and shredded
Cheddar Cheese 1 cup, shredded
Cream Cheese 4 ounces, softened
Cumin 1 teaspoon
Garlic Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper 1/4 teaspoon
Refrigerated Pie Crusts 2, 9-inch crusts
Egg 1, whisked
Water 1 tablespoon

Directions for Making Chicken Empanadas

Making tasty chicken empanadas is simpler than it seems. All you need are these easy steps and a step-by-step guide. Soon, you’ll enjoy these savory snacks.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooked chicken, shredded cheddar cheese, softened cream cheese, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  3. Next, roll out the refrigerated pie crusts on a lightly floured surface. Using a round cutter or a glass, cut the crusts into circles.
  4. Take one of the round pie crusts and place a spoonful of the chicken mixture in the center. Fold the crust over to create a half-moon shape.
  5. Seal the edges of the empanada by pressing the tines of a fork along the edges. This will create a nice crimped pattern.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining pie crusts and filling, placing each empanada on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Make an egg wash by whisking together an egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash to give them a golden brown color when baked.
  8. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the empanadas for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are beautifully golden brown.
  9. Once baked, remove the empanadas from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. This will ensure that the fillings have set and won’t be too hot to handle.

Now you’ve made and baked your chicken empanadas perfectly. All you have to do is enjoy their delicious taste. They’re great as a snack, an appetizer, or even the main dish. Everyone at the table will love them.

So, dive into the yummy world of homemade chicken empanadas. Feel free to share with others or enjoy them by yourself. Your secret’s safe with me!

Chicken Empanadas Recipe

“These chicken empanadas are a favorite in my household. The mix of cheese, spices, and chicken is amazing. And they’re so easy to make!” – Heather, Home Cook

Variations of Chicken Empanadas

You can spice up your chicken empanadas by trying new fillings. With different ingredients, you can boost the taste. This can make the classic recipe more exciting.

Beef Empanadas

Switching chicken for beef can make empanadas delicious. Beef’s rich flavor brings something new to the table. Mix it with onions, peppers, and spices for a tasty filling.

Jalapenos, Chilis, and Peppers

Want to add heat to your empanadas? Throw in jalapenos, chilis, or peppers. They make your empanadas spicy, pleasing those who like their food hot.


Onions can really make your chicken empanadas stand out. Sauté them or keep them raw for crunchiness. They add a savory taste.

“The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing your chicken empanadas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own signature empanada recipe.”

Success in making variations comes from balancing flavors well. Choose ingredients that go well together. Whether you love spicy or mild flavors, you’ll find a variation you like.

Chicken Empanada Variations

Variation Ingredients
Beef Empanadas Ground beef, onions, peppers, spices
Jalapeno Empanadas Chicken, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, onions
Chili Empanadas Chicken, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onions
Pepper Empanadas Chicken, bell peppers, cream cheese, garlic salt, pepper
Onion Empanadas Chicken, onions, mozzarella cheese, oregano, garlic salt

This table shows some favorite chicken empanada variations and their ingredients. Feel free to mix these up to make your own special filling.

Freezing and Reheating Chicken Empanadas

Freezing chicken empanadas means you can enjoy them later without waste. Whether you have leftovers or you’re planning ahead, freezing them is easy. Follow the right steps for freezing and reheating, and you’ll have tasty empanadas whenever you want.

To start freezing your empanadas, first assemble them. After filling and sealing, place them on a baking sheet in the freezer. Let them freeze until solid, which takes a few hours.

Once solid, put the empanadas into a freezer bag or container. Don’t forget to label it with baking instructions for later. Remember, you can freeze empanadas for up to 1 month while keeping their taste and quality.

When you’re ready to eat, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Put the frozen empanadas on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them for about 15 minutes or until golden. Reheating time could differ based on size and thickness, so watch them closely.

After baking, let the empanadas cool a bit before serving. By following these freezing and reheating tips, your empanadas will taste as good as freshly made ones.

Freezing and Reheating Tips for Chicken Empanadas

  • Label the freezer bag or container with the baking instructions for easy reference.
  • Allow the frozen empanadas to thaw before reheating for a more even and consistent texture.
  • For extra crispy empanadas, brush them with an egg wash before freezing.
  • If you want to reheat only a few empanadas at a time, you can remove them individually from the freezer bag or container.
Storage Duration Baking Temperature Cooking Time
Up to 1 month 400 degrees F Approximately 15 minutes

Serving Suggestions for Chicken Empanadas

Chicken empanadas can fit in any meal plan. You can enjoy them as a main dish, appetizer, or party snack. They’re tasty and versatile.

As a Main Course:

Serve chicken empanadas as the main dish for a hearty meal. Pair them with steamed rice for a complete dish. You’ll love the mix of crispy crust and savory filling with rice.

As an Appetizer or Party Food:

These empanadas are great for appetizers at parties. Place them on a platter and they’ll quickly be gone. Offer dips like salsa or guacamole. Your guests will love trying different tastes.

For parties, try mini chicken empanadas. They’re easy to eat while chatting. This makes them perfect for social gatherings.

Enjoying chicken empanadas as a main dish or an appetizer is always a good idea. They’re satisfying and can be made unique with various sides and dips. They’re sure to be a hit at any event!

About Empanadas and their Origin

Empanadas are tasty stuffed breads, enjoyed baked or fried. They are a versatile and satisfying dish. Ever wondered about their history and where they originated?

Empanadas started in Spain. Spanish colonizers and traders brought them to South America during colonial times. There, they became a key food in many Latin American countries.

In Spain, empanadas were filled with meat, seafood, cheese, or vegetables. They were enclosed in pastry crust and baked. Meanwhile, South American empanadas took on local flavors. This led to a wide range of fillings and regional variations.

Nowadays, empanadas come with beef, chicken, pork, cheese, spinach, and sweet fillings like apple or Nutella. Each country and region adds its own twist. Making this dish uniquely theirs.

Empanadas are now a key part of Latin American cuisine. They are enjoyed as street food, at family gatherings, or special occasions. Whether in Argentina, Mexico, or Colombia, empanadas are a popular and loved food.

Empanadas: A Cultural Culinary Journey

The story of empanadas is a journey through various cultures and traditions. They show the blend of Spanish, indigenous, and African culinary influences in South America.

These tasty pastries symbolize cultural diversity. They highlight the rich culinary heritage of the countries where they’re enjoyed.

“Empanadas are like a culinary passport. They take you through Spain and South America. Letting you taste the flavors and traditions of different regions.”

Regional Variations of Empanadas

Country Empanada Variation
Argentina Beef empanadas with chimichurri sauce
Chile Seafood empanadas with lime and cilantro
Colombia Chicken empanadas with aji sauce
Mexico Picadillo empanadas with salsa verde
Peru Oven-baked empanadas stuffed with queso fresco and rocoto peppers

Empanadas have evolved, with each country adding its own twist. The table above shows some of the diverse variations across South America.

When you enjoy a warm, flaky empanada, think about its history and significance. Empanadas represent the flavors, traditions, and multicultural influences of Spain and South America.


These chicken empanadas are a great choice for an easy and tasty meal. You can make them with leftover or store-bought rotisserie chicken. They are perfect for any time.

You can change up the filling by adding jalapenos, chilis, peppers, or onions. This lets you make the empanadas just how you like them. The tips for freezing mean you can have these delicious empanadas ready whenever you are.

Looking for a quick dinner or something for a party? These chicken empanadas will be perfect. Serve them with rice for a full meal or as appetizers. With this simple recipe, you’ll impress everyone with a dish they’ll enjoy.


Can I use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken for the empanada filling?

Yes, leftover or rotisserie chicken makes empanadas tastier and easier to prepare.

What ingredients do I need to make chicken empanadas?

You’ll need cooked chicken, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper. Also, have refrigerated pie crusts, an egg, and water on hand.

How do I make chicken empanadas?

Start by heating your oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the chicken, cheeses, and spices in a big bowl.Roll the pie crusts and cut them into rounds. Put chicken mix in each, fold, and seal. Then, brush with egg wash and bake until they’re golden, about 15 minutes.

Can I customize the chicken empanadas with different fillings?

Definitely! Feel free to swap chicken with beef or toss in jalapenos, chilis, peppers, or onions for a new taste.

Can I freeze the empanadas for later use?

Sure, you can freeze them for up to a month. First, freeze solid on a sheet. Then, move them to a freezer bag or container. Don’t forget to mark them with baking directions!

How should I serve chicken empanadas?

Serve them as a main dish with rice, or as appetizers. They go well with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.

What is the history of empanadas and where do they come from?

Empanadas, stuffed breads with a long history, are thought to come from Spain. Then, they spread to South America. Today, they’re enjoyed worldwide with different fillings.

Why should I try this easy chicken empanada recipe?

This recipe is a quick way to make yummy empanadas with what you might already have. It offers tips for variations, freezing, and serving, making it flexible and fun.

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