These chicken empanadas have a crispy and flaky outer crust with a savory chicken filling. And the best part is it only takes about 45 minutes to make these flavorful homemade empanadas! Plus, you can make them in the air fryer, oven, or stovetop!
THE BEST CHICKEN EMPANADAS
Empanadas have got to be one of my favorite savory appetizers. I mean, this rich and flaky-filled pastry is just so hard to resist!
And I think most people would agree with that sentiment - because whenever I make these chicken empanadas for a dinner or party, they're gone before I get a second serving.
Anyway, this homemade chicken empanada recipe takes less than an hour to make, and yields the most delicious results. The empanada dough is crispy yet tender, and the inside is filled with savory chicken goodness in each bite.
Plus, they're super versatile to cook! You can bake these empanadas in the oven, fry them on the stovetop, or my favorite - make them in the air fryer!
And I know I'm a little biased, but I think these chicken empanadas are better than anything you can get at a restaurant or the grocery store.
Ok, so as far as ingredients go, this empanada recipe is made with common ingredients that you can find anywhere.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you have almost everything you need in your kitchen already!
Here's what you'll need to make them:
- 24 Empanada Discs
- 2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 cup Onion, chopped
- ½ Red Pepper, chopped
- ½ Yellow Pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp. Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
- 1 tsp. Ginger Powder
- ¼ cup Tomato Sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 Egg, for the egg wash
- Sweet and Sour Sauce for dipping
The only thing you might not already have are the empanada discs. For that, you can make my quick and easy Empanada Dough Recipe. It only takes 5 basic ingredients to make and the process is beyond easy!
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN EMPANADAS
This chicken empanada recipe is very straightforward, and it yields 24 crispy and flavorful chicken empanadas. They're great for a family dinner, parties, or meal prep!
Plus, they freeze really well, so you can store the extras and cook them whenever the empanada cravings hit! I like to make double or triple batches of these chicken empanadas for that reason.
So, get your apron on, and let's start cooking!
STEP 1: MAKING THE CHICKEN FILLING FOR EMPANADAS
First, take out a pot and fill it with water and a dash of salt. Bring that to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the cubed chicken breasts and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Next, transfer your chicken to a cutting board, let it cool, and shred it with two forks.
Now, heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat and saute the onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, and spices in olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes - or until the veggies soften.
Then add the shredded chicken and tomato sauce to the skillet and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring to make sure everything gets well combined.
STEP 2: FILLING THE EMPANADAS
Next, take out your empanada disks and put them on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Now, to fill your empanada disks, add a tablespoon of the chicken filling to the center and fold the empanada in half.
Then, press the prongs of a fork along the outer edges of the dough to seal in the chicken filling for empanadas.
Arrange your empanadas on the tray and brush them with the egg wash - it'll give your final empanadas a crisp golden outer crust.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN EMPANADAS IN THE OVEN
The first cooking option you have is to bake your empanadas in an oven! And this is an excellent option if you don't want to cook them in batches.
First, preheat your oven to 375°F (190ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Then, arrange your empanadas on the sheet and make sure they don't touch (and don't forget the egg wash).
Bake them for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool, then enjoy with a side of sweet and sour sauce.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN EMPANADAS IN AIR FRYER
Another great cooking option is air fryer empanadas! To make them, take the basket from the air fryer and spray it with oil, then preheat the air fryer to 350°F (180ºC).
Cook your empanadas in batches of about 4 for about 10 minutes each. And don't forget to flip your empanadas halfway through the cooking time!
Oh, and if your air fryer is larger, you can add more empanadas to the basket. The most important thing is that they should be lying flat and not touching each other.
Then once your empanadas are ready, transfer them to a plate and serve with a side of sweet and sour sauce. Enjoy!
HOW TO FRY CHICKEN EMPANADAS ON THE STOVETOP
Now, if you want your empanadas to have that classic deep-fried flavor, you can also make them on the stovetop!
To do that, heat some oil in a deep pan - enough to cover the empanadas - and bring it to 365°F (180ºC). If you don't have a deep-frying thermometer, you can also test the oil by sticking a wooden chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If bubbles form around the wood, your oil is ready. Just make sure it isn't bubbling too much since that would mean your oil is too hot.
Now, add 2-5 empanadas at a time and fry them for about 5 minutes or until golden brown, making sure both sides are cooked evenly.
Next, transfer them to a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels to catch any excess oil and cool.
Finally, serve with sweet & sour sauce and dig in!
HOW TO STORE CHICKEN EMPANADAS
Again, this chicken empanada recipe makes 24 empanadas, so you'll have plenty of extras to store for later. And this is my favorite part about this recipe because they're incredible leftover.
Store the cooked empanadas in an airtight container, and you can keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze them, individually wrap each chicken empanada in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container where they'll last for up to 3 months.
Then, to reheat the refrigerated or frozen empanadas, you can either put them in the air fryer for a few minutes, toaster oven, or the oven at about 300°F (150°C) until they reach your desired temperature.
And for a quick method, you can use the microwave, but they will slightly lose their crispiness.
STORING UNCOOKED EMPANADAS
Now, if you want to, you can make these chicken empanadas ahead of time for an easy meal.
Then you can keep the uncooked empanadas in the fridge for up to 2 days. Pro-tip: Put squares of parchment paper between each empanada to prevent them from sticking together in the container.
And to freeze the uncooked empanadas, put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until they're completely frozen. Then transfer them to an airtight container and put parchment paper between each one - they'll last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To cook the refrigerated or frozen chicken empanadas, you can cook them as described above - just add a little extra cooking time for the frozen ones.
WRAPPING IT ALL UP
And that's how you make the most delicious chicken empanadas at home! This authentic Spanish dish combines a flaky and crispy pastry with a flavorful savory filling to create one incredible recipe.
Whether you're making them for your family, friends, or yourself, they're a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and sure to become a part of your regular meal rotation.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chicken empanada recipe as much we do!
Be sure to let me know in the comments if you make it. I'd love to know how it turned out!
SAVORY DINNER RECIPES
These chicken empanadas are such a tasty savory recipe, and if you like savory recipes, we have a ton on the blog I think you'll enjoy!
Give one of these a try next:
- Fried Spaghetti
- Instant Pot French Onion Soup
- Instant Pot Japanese Curry
- Instant Pot Clam Chowder
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajita Crunchwraps
Chicken Empanadas Recipe With Three Cooking Methods
These chicken empanadas have a crispy and flaky outer crust with a savory chicken filling. It only takes about 45 minutes to make these flavorful empanadas for the whole family! And you can make them in the air fryer, oven, or stovetop!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 24 empanadas
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop/Oven/Air Fryer
- Cuisine: Spanish
2 Chicken Breasts, cubed
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup Onion, chopped
½ Red Pepper, chopped
½ Yellow Pepper, chopped
1 tsp. Cumin Powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder
1 tsp. Ginger Powder
¼ cup Tomato Sauce
Salt and Pepper
1 Egg, for the egg wash
Sweet and Sour Sauce for dipping
- Make this empanada dough recipe for the empanada discs.
- Bring a pot filled with water to a boil over medium-high heat and add salt. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Once done, remove from the water, let them cool, and shred with two forks.
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high, add the olive oil, onion, red pepper, yellow pepper, and spices. Cook for 10 minutes, or until all veggies are soft.
- Add the shredded chicken and tomato sauce and cook for 5 more minutes, and stir to combine.
- Fill the empanada disks with 1 tbsp. of chicken filing and close them using a fork. Brush each one with the egg wash.
- Air Fryer Method: Remove the grid from the air fryer and spray some oil. Cook in batches of 4 (or more depending on your air fryer, they shouldn't touch each other) at 350°F (180ºC) for 10 minutes.
- Oven Method: Preheat to 375°F (190ºC) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange empanadas on the sheet and make sure they don't touch. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Stovetop Method: Heat some oil in a deep pan (enough to cover the empanadas) and bring it to 365°F (180ºC). Add 2-5 empanadas to the pan and fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown on each side.
- Serve the empanadas with sweet and sour sauce on the side. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 empanada
- Calories: 143
- Fat: .2
- Carbohydrates: 15.6
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 5
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