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Chicken Empanadas

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


Chicken empanadas on a plate

Meaty Little Pockets of Delicious.

Loaded with shredded chicken, onions, peppers and garlic, these chicken empanadas are fast favorites. Flavored with onion powder, tomato paste and garlic powder, they’re the opposite of fancy and the epitome of savory goodness. 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.

ingredients for chicken empanadas, Shredded chicken
Onion Bell peppers, Garlic, Cilantro, Onion powder, Garlic powder, Egg
Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic sautéed in a pan
Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic and cilantro sautéed in a pan
Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic and cilantro sautéed in a pan

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:

  • Shredded chicken breast
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Chicken bouillon
  • Tomato paste
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Egg
Onion, Bell peppers, Garlic and cilantro chicken and tomatoes sautéed in a pan
open face chicken empanada ready to be folded
chicken empanada folded and pressed together with a fork
a tray of chicken empanadas getting ready to be baked.

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.
chicken empanadas on a baking sheet fresh out of the oven

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 warm 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, and use the tines of a fork to firmly press the edges closed.
  5. Bake the empanadas! 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.
golden brown chicken empanadas on a baking sheet
chicken empanadas on a plate on broken open to see the filling

Tools You’ll Need:

Did Someone Say Dough? Sign Us Up!

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:

Chicken Empanada 16
chicken empanada cut in half to reveal the filling

Give Grab-N-Go a Whole New Meaning.

Dinner on the go is no one’s ideal, but sometimes it’s a necessity. Thanks to this easy chicken empanada recipe, though, even dinner on the go can be delicious and homemade. We like to make these and freeze them, for an anytime grab-n-go meal that’s ready when we are. If you try this recipe, let us know! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Chicken Empanadas in a freezer bag

Chicken Empanadas

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



  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cilantro and stir until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. Add chicken, along with water, chicken bouillon, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Bring liquid to a simmer, stirring often. Allow to cook until liquid has evaporated, but mixture is not dry, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Working with one prepared dough at a time add a heaping ⅓ cup of filling onto one side of the dough. If using homemade dough or pie crust, roll dough out very thin and cut into 6-7” disks.
  5. Wet a pastry brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg plus 1 tablespoon water) and dampen the inside ¼ inch edge of the filled dough. Fold the dough in half. Using a fork, firmly press the edges together. Repeat this process with remaining dough and filling and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Brush each empanada with egg wash. Bake for 35 min or until golden brown.

Freezer Instructions: Allow empanadas to completely cool. Add to a freezer bag in a single layer. Seal, removing as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400°F and bake empanadas on a lined baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Note: Filling can be made ahead and stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Empanada filling can also be frozen and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

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.

  • Tammy Wells

    Pls can anyone tell me the saturated fat content of this dish

    2grams per serving. Hope you enjoy Tammy!

  • Phil Roman

    How do you make the shredded chicken separately? Could you put all the ingredients in a crock pot with the chick instead of a skillet?

    You can either buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it. Or you can follow the link to our shredded chicken recipe and make 2 cups shredded chicken to use in this recipe. I would not put everything in a crock pot. Enjoy.

  • Cricket

    Have you tried adding mexican cheese to top off filling? Just curious what that woold taste like

    We haven't tried but would probably be yummy!

  • Alexandra

    Can you assemble these a day or two before baking them and keep in the fridge? Or is it better to make and freeze then reheat?

    Either way should work!

  • Rob

    I am making this for large family. Can I double the ingredients in this recipe and cook in the same pan? Thanks!

    Yes, you can double the recipe but they probably won't all fit on one pan.

  • Lee

    Made using the Beef Empanada dough recipe. Very tasty!

    Thanks Lee, glad you liked it!

  • Lindsay

    We enjoyed this recipe, however, we felt like it might be lacking cheese!?

    Glad you enjoyed! We don't have cheese in this recipe but you can definitely feel free to add some!

  • Sam

    My family absolutely loved this recipe as it tasted really good. It was my first time making the empanadas and I followed the recipe exactly except I added some mozzarella cheese to the filling. Due to my family's dietary restrictions, we have never bought empanadas from a store or a restaurant. I am looking to making it for our friends and family. Thank you for sharing.

    Thanks Sam! So glad you enjoyed them! Great job making something new!

  • lee

    Delicious, first time I made empanadas and this filling was perfect. I did cheat and use premade discs, which were great!

    Thanks Lee, glad you loved it! Nothing wrong with using pre-made dough!

  • KellyAnne

    Wonderful… I did add a touch of chipotle Chile pepper. It was amazing. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    Thanks Kelly, we are so glad you loved these!