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Chicken Empanadas

May 8, 2024

Tender, juicy shredded chicken, onions, peppers and garlic make a hearty, savory filling for our easy chicken empanada recipe.


8 homemade Chicken empanadas on a plate

A Few More Easy, Shredded Chicken Recipes

Meaty Little Pockets of Delicious.

Loaded with shredded chicken, onions, peppers and garlic, these chicken empanadas are fast favorites. A hearty, meaty, Argetinian-inspired chicken-and-veggie filling tucked into a buttery baked crust—chicken empanadas are a hand-held party food / dinner food / anytime food that the whole family will love. Be sure to check out our Best Shredded Chicken Recipes for more inspiration! If you’re more of a beef person, try our Beef Empanadas!

ingredients for chicken empanadas, Shredded chicken
Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic, Cilantro, Onion powder, Garlic powder, Egg

Argentinian Chicken Empanada Ingredients—Simplicity is Key.

Our chicken empanada filling is all about simple ingredients and bold flavors. Nothing out of the ordinary here—in fact, you might have all of these on-hand already! In addition to some olive oil and salt, here’s what you’ll need:

minced Onion, Bell peppers and garlic in olive oil in a skillet
minced Onion, Bell peppers, garlic and cilantro in olive oil in a skillet
cooked Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic and cilantro cooked in a skillet
Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic and cilantro chicken and tomatoes sautéed in a pan

3 Options for Your Chicken Empanada Dough

One of the biggest barriers to making empanadas at home is the question of dough. But it doesn’t need to be! We’ve got three—yep, THREE!—great options for you, and they’re all pretty easy.

  1. Goya empanada dough shell. If you can find it, this frozen empanada dough is a great store-bought option.

  2. Store-bought pie crust. A bit of a cheat, but it works!

  3. Homemade empanada dough. Homemade is always best—if you’ve got the time, try our homemade empanada dough recipe.

How to Make Chicken Empanadas

Now that you know how easy the empanada dough can be, it’s time to actually try your hand at making these delicious Argetinian chicken empanadas! Baked chicken empanadas are a cozy, comforting meal, and (bonus) they’re actually kind of fun to make, too! Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Make the chicken empanada filling. Start with peppers and onions in a Large skillet, then add garlic, cilantro, shredded cooked chicken, bouillon, tomato paste, onion powder, and garlic powder. The whole lovely pan will simmer away and imbue that shredded chicken and veggie filling with fragrance and flavor.

  2. Roll out the dough.

  3. Fill the empanadas! Take care not to over-fill—we recommend about 1/3 of a cup of filling per 6-inch dish of empanada dough.

  4. Seal the empanadas! Egg wash with a Pastry brush, and use the tines of a fork to firmly press the edges closed.

  5. Bake the empanadas, on a Baking sheet 375° F for 35 minutes.

  6. EAT the empanadas! The best part! OR, you can eat a few and freeze the rest for later. They freeze beautifully.

a empanada dough round topped with cooked chicken filling on parchment paper
raw chicken empanada folded and pressed together with a fork on parchment paper
10 uncooked chicken empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
10 chicken empanadas on a baking sheet fresh out of the oven

How to Store + Tips

  1. Make ahead and freeze. Prepare the empanadas according to the recipe. Let the empanadas cool completely, then add to a freezer bag or airtight container in a single layer. Store frozen for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, thaw the empanadas for 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake the empanadas on a lined baking sheet for 20 minutes.

  2. Make the filling ahead of time! Follow the recipe until step 3, then store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When you're ready to make the empanadas, just pick up at step 4! (If you freeze, just make sure you thaw the filling first!)

  3. Chicken empanadas dipped in sauce! We love dipping these babies into: Burger Sauce, Romesco Sauce, Homemade BBQ Sauce, sour cream or even homemade Ranch Dressing. Don’t knock it till you try it!

golden brown shredded chicken empanadas on a baking sheet
a chicken empanada cut in half to reveal the filling
chicken empanadas on a plate one broken open to see the filling
a bag filled with frozen empanadas

Did Someone Say Dough?

The word ‘empanada’ comes from the Spanish verb empanar, which means to enrobe or wrap in pastry or bread. And who doesn’t love meaty, savory fillings wrapped in a sheet of pastry? This week, we’re swooning over these pockets of deliciousness:

Did You Make These Chicken Empanadas?

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Chicken Empanadas

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep Time:  30 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 212


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced cilantro
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast (about 1½ pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 Empanada Dough Shells, store-bought or homemade, rolled into 6-inch rounds (we like Goya)
  • 1 egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cilantro and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the chicken, bouillon, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the liquid has mostly evaporated, but the mixture is not dry, 5-8 minutes.

  4. Working with one dough shell at a time, add a heaping ⅓ cup of filling to one side of the dough, leaving a ¼ inch border around the edge.

  5. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash on the dough edges, reserving the remaining egg wash, then fold the dough over the filling. Using a fork, firmly press the edges together to seal. Place the empanadas on the prepared sheet. Brush each empanada with the remaining egg wash, then bake for 35 minutes, or until golden browned.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories212
  • Protein9 g
  • Carbohydrates27 g
  • Total Fat7 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol40 mg
  • sodium307 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Chicken Empanadas

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Rita

    Can I fry these instead of baking? If so how would you recommend frying them? Thank you 😊

    We haven't tested frying them.

  • Karen

    This recipe was good but sadly it was bland. I ended up adding a 2nd tbspn of tomato paste and 1 tsp of oregano and 1 tsp cumin. That made this recipe the bomb! This was great because it was so easy. Thanks!

    Thanks Karen, glad you could change it up to your liking.

  • barsness

    is the chicken pre cooked?

    Yes, you can buy pre-cooked chicken or follow the instructions for shredded chicken to cook it yourself. Hope you enjoy!

  • John

    If you are already using fresh onion and garlic, why add onion and garlic powder?

    It just enhances the flavor.

  • Gerry

    What can you have to eat ñwith a chicken empanada

    You could serve with guacamole for dipping. Steak fajitas, instant pot pinto beans and restaurant style mexican rice, tex mex salad or taco salad. Hope this helps Gerry!

  • Amy

    We LOVED this. I have never made epanadas before. Followed the recipe exactly as it is listed. I slow cooked my chicken breasts before to get it nice and shredded. The whole family loved it. I had a lot of extra mixture after making the empanadas and we will have taco salads with it. Delish!

    Thanks Amy, so happy you loved these!

  • Janet

    This was excellent. First time making an empanada of any kind. I did have molds so I used them with a refrigerated pie crust. Only ingredient I added was cheese. I made the Chipotle Crema with this and it is over the top. I did add the cumin. Thanks for the recipe. Definitely a keeper.

    Thanks Janet, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Bill

    Great flavors

    Thanks Bill, we are so happy you love it!

  • Dellie

    Delicious! Highly recommend this recipe. 👍

    Thanks Dellie, so glad you loved it!

  • Willow

    These turned out great! I doubled to recipe so I could freeze half. I did use pre-made pie crust from Walmart; one package with 2 crusts made about 10 empanadas. Make sure to really cook off as much liquid as possible; I thought I had cooked it enough but when it came time to assemble the empanadas, the retained liquid in the chicken mix made the dough very soggy and it would tear easily. I ended up squeezing out/draining extra liquid from the chicken mixture. Great recipe; worth a try!

    Thanks WIllow, glad you enjoyed it!