Homemade Chicken Empanadas

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
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These Homemade Chicken Empanadas are filled with tender and juicy shredded chicken, soft potatoes and a ton of flavor from the cumin, garlic and chili powder. Wrapped in flaky homemade empanada dough, you won’t be able to eat just one!

The Best Chicken Empanadas Recipe

You will not believe what your tastebuds are telling you when you bite into these crispy Chicken Empanadas. Their golden-brown crust is so buttery, and the juicy chicken packed on the inside offers just the right level of heat. Did I mention the tender, fluffy potatoes too?

Seasoned with cumin, chili powder, garlic and more, stopping after just one empanada is not an option. These Latin-American-inspired empanadas are perfect as finger food for an appetizer, but they can also make a filling dinner!

If you love this homemade chicken empanada recipe, make sure to check out my Cheesy Beef Empanadas!

Ingredients for chicken empanadas.

Recipe Ingredients

Let’s get into what you’ll need to make these empanadas. I highly suggest making your own Empanada Dough because it’s super easy, but whatever you decide is fine!

  • Potatoes: I used traditional Idaho baking potatoes, you will need about 6 medium potatoes.
  • Seasonings: I like to use salt, cumin powder, chili powder, and ground black pepper.
  • Chicken: 1 lb skinless chicken breast tenders, cleaned.
  • Olive Oil
  • Onion: I like to use a white or yellow onion.
  • Garlic: For best flavor, use fresh garlic.
  • Chicken Bouillon Powder: This adds a lot of flavor and my husband’s Puerto Rican family say you can’t skip it!
  • Water
  • Empanada Wrappers*: I recommend my homemade empanada dough!
  • Egg + Water: for the egg wash.

*You can also use store bought empanada wrappers or uncooked pie crust for this. If you use pie crust, simply cut the dough into 6-inch round pieces and adjust the baking time to 20-25 minutes or until light and golden on top.

Pile of crispy chicken empanadas.

How to Make Chicken Empanadas

The prep work for these chicken empanadas won’t take you more than 30 minutes, especially if you’ve made the dough ahead of time. Here’s my usual process:

Grease Baking Trays: Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking mats or spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

Boil Potatoes: Add the potatoes to a deep pot and cover them with water. Bring them to a boil over high heat and let them boil for 6 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes and set aside.

Season Chicken: Mix the salt, cumin powder, chili powder and black pepper together until combined. Add the chicken to a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mix over top then toss to coat completely.

Sauté Onions & Garlic: Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and onion. Stir and sauté until translucent. Add in the garlic, stir and cook just until the garlic becomes fragrant.

Cook Chicken: Then add the chicken and cook on both sides for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through and an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it cool on a separate plate.

Add Potatoes: Add the potatoes to the pan and sprinkle the bouillon over the potatoes, stir to combine. Pour in the water and let it bubble for a few seconds then stir to loosen any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan

Mash Potatoes: Stir to combine and continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove the pan from the heat and lightly smash the potatoes so that there are still a few chunky pieces.

Shred Chicken: Shred the chicken then add it to the potatoes and stir to combine. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

How to Fill and Press the Edges

Once you have all of the components of the filling ready, you’re ready to stuff the empanada wrappers! It’s a really fun process that you might want to get the whole family in on.

Add Filling to Empanada Dough: Once cooled add 2 tablespoons of the filling to the center of an empanada wrapper and fold it in half. Pinch the edges together and using a fork, press the edges together or twist the edges to form a classic empanada look by hand. They also sell an empanada press to help form your empanadas if you are struggling to do it by hand.

Coat Empanadas with Egg Wash: Whisk the egg and two tablespoons of water together in a small bowl. Add empanadas to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little room for them to spread as they bake and then brush the tops with the egg wash.

Bake Empanadas: Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the tops turn a light golden color. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips for the Best Results

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine too. Here are some tips to get you the best results with your empanadas:

  • Make the Filling Ahead of Time: you can easily prepare the chicken and potatoes ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. That way, you’ll be ready to quickly prepare dinner later in the day or later in the week. You can also freeze the filling for another time.
  • Add in Other Vegetables: cilantro, beans, corn, carrots, and peppers are all great additions. I also sometimes like to add shredded cheese.
  • Dough Substitutions: if you don’t want to use my homemade empanada dough, you can buy uncooked pie crust, canned biscuits, or pre-made empanada shells.
Pile of baked chicken empanadas.

What Goes with Empanadas?

What should you serve with chicken empanadas? That question is super personal and really depends on your personal background and family! My Puerto Rican husband and Mexican best friend have every different opinions. 😉 So I vote, serve whatever you like best with them, but here are some suggestions:

  • Corn: My personal vote would be some Mexican Street Corn, but I also have easy recipes to make Air Fryer Corn On The Cob or perfect Grilled Corn.
  • Vegetables: Roasted veggies would go great with these empanadas, as would a lighter salad!
  • Rice: A side of Spanish or Mexican rice is always good. This Arroz con Gandules (Puerto Rican Rice With Pigeon Peas) is also a personal favorite in our house.
  • Beans: Black beans, refried beans or my favorite Instant Pot Charro Beans!
  • Dip: This homemade Pico De Gallo is one of our favorites, but Guacamole and other dips work well too. I made this Cilantro Lime Dressing last time and it might be our favorite dip of all!
  • Plantains: You can fry them into tostones or pan fry them for the best Sweet Plantains.
  • Coquito: And if it’s the holidays, you know I always recommend a batch of Puerto Rican Coquito to wash everything down!
Chicken empanadas stacked on top of each other.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

These empanadas can be stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container or in a Ziploc bag in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat them again, pop them on a tray and into the oven for a couple of minutes, or until crispy again. You can also reheat them in an air fryer, this will really help them get crispy again.

Can You Freeze Chicken Empanadas?

Sure you can. Once the empanadas have cooled completely, put them in a Ziploc bag in a single layer, and freeze for 3-4 months. Try to remove as much air as you can from the freezer bag.

Chicken empanadas with a bite taken out of them.
4.5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 16 empanadas

Chicken Empanadas

Looking for a way to jazz up your typical chicken dinner? Try these crispy Chicken Empanadas, made with homemade empanada dough, juicy chicken, and tender potatoes!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time50 minutes
Additional Time25 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups peeled and diced potatoes, about 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lb skinless chicken breast tenders
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • ½ cup water
  • 15-20 6-inch empanada wrappers
  • 1 egg + 2 tablespoons of water, for the egg wash

Instructions 

  • Add the potatoes to a deep pot and cover them with water. Bring them to a boil over high heat and let them boil for 6 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes and set aside.
  • Mix the salt, cumin powder, chili powder and black pepper together until combined. Add the chicken to a large bowl and sprinkle the spice mix over top then toss to coat completely.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and onion. Stir and sauté until translucent. Add in the garlic, stir and cook just until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Then add the chicken and cook on both sides for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through and an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it cool on a separate plate.
  • Add the potatoes to the pan and sprinkle the bouillon over the potatoes, stir to combine. Pour in the water and let it bubble for a few seconds then stir to loosen any crispy bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir to combine and continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes, stirring often to prevent burning. Remove the pan from the heat and lightly smash the potatoes so that there are still a few chunky pieces.
  • Shred the chicken then add it to the potatoes and stir to combine. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking mats or spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • Once chicken and potato mixture is cooled, add 2 tablespoons of the filling to the center of an empanada wrapper and fold it in half. Pinch the edges together and using a fork, press the edges together or twist the edges to form a classic empanada look by hand.
  • Whisk the egg and two tablespoons of water together in a small bowl. Add empanadas to the prepared baking sheets, leaving a little room for them to spread as they bake and then brush the tops with the egg wash.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until the tops turn a light golden color. Remove from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

*You can use homemade empanada wrappers or store bought, uncooked pie crust for this, simply cut the pieces into 6-inch round pieces and adjust the baking time to 20-25 minutes or until light and golden on top.
These empanadas can be stored for up to 1 week in an airtight container or in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 114kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 219mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

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Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.