Weeknight chicken empanadas platter

Easy Weeknight Chicken Empanadas Recipe

February 12, 2020 by Michelle

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This article featuring my weeknight chicken empanadas recipe was originally a sponsored post. Some links in this post are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Delicious chicken empanada recipe

Recipe originally published on July 25, 2017.

You’ll love this simple recipe for empanadas that don’t take all day to make. They aren’t traditional, but they taste amazing.

They’re quick and easy, and you can find all the ingredients you need to make them at any grocery store. Bonus points for no trips to specialty stores!

They’re quick to assemble, and they take just 15 minutes to bake in the oven.

Make your own easy cheesy chicken empanadas

These little pillows of heaven are simple enough that my kids can help me prep them, and the flavors are robust enough for my husband and I to enjoy without being too spicy for my son.

Want to make them more or less spicy? Just change up your salsa to mild or spicy; for this, I tend to use medium. You can also add in additional hot sauce to the filling to really spice it up.

Weeknight chicken empanadas platter

How to save time making empanadas

When I have a ton of time, I make my empanadas with homemade dough, but with back to school providing enough of a time challenge, I “cheat” and use refrigerated pie dough. It provides a delicious flaky crust for the zesty filling, and no one in my family complains.

In a similar vein, I use diced rotisserie chicken from another meal or canned chicken in the filling. This saves time I otherwise spend cooking and chopping my chicken because it’s already cooked and ready for me to add to my filling.

The weeknight chicken empanadas taste amazing straight from the oven (make sure to let them cool 2-3 minutes!) and at room temperature when someone gets hungry after we get back from an activity. These even work great as leftovers in my kids’ lunches the next day.

Me? I like to reheat them just a touch, but my kids love them cold.

Try bite of easy chicken empanada

Are you ready to make these easy weeknight chicken empanadas for yourself?

I’ve got a bonus idea for you, too! I can even get dessert from the prep I do to make my weeknight chicken empanadas.

If I “accidentally” use up all the filling and have extra pie crust rounds, I simply add a couple chocolate chips and a tiny bit of cherry jam, then fold it into a half moon. Crimp the edges with a fork and brush with the egg wash.

I bake them on the same pans I use for the empanadas – nothing leaks or spreads – and have dessert empanadas that make the perfect ending to our back to school dinner.

Make dessert empanadas with leftover pie crust

How to Make Easy Weeknight Chicken Empanadas

Are you a visual learner? Check out the video tutorial.

 

Plate of chicken empanadas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and remove pie crusts from the fridge.

Open your can of canned, and drain it thoroughly. If you use rotisserie chicken, chop it into tiny pieces.

Place the chicken into a bowl with the corn and salsa. Dice the onion and shred the cheese (or go super easy and buy already shredded cheese).

Add both to the bowl and stir to distribute.

Unroll a pie crust and dust your surface with flour. Gently roll the pie crust with a rolling pin just a bit you flatten it evenly and push together any cracks that appeared when you unrolled the crust.

Use a biscuit cutter to cut 13 rounds from the crust. Roll it out again and cut out three more.

Roll and cut again to get a total of 18 rounds from the second pie crust in the package. Repeat with the remaining crusts to get a total of 72 rounds.

Use a fork to whisk the egg to make an egg wash. Add a teaspoon of filling to the center of a round.

Place a teaspoon of filling on the pie crust round

Place a second one atop it, and gently push the edges together. Use a fork to crimp all the way around.

If your pie crust doesn’t want to stick together, dip your clean finger in the egg wash and run it lightly around the edge of the bottom round to help it seal. Mine sealed fine without this, but this is a great trick.

Crimp edges of cheesy chicken empanadas with a fork

Place each finished empanada on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. You can place them fairly close together, as they don’t rise or spread into each other.

You may need to bake these in batches, as I fit 12 on a sheet and make a total of 36 empanadas.

Once you finish a tray, use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over your weeknight chicken empanadas. This gives them a gorgeous shiny, golden finish.

Brush tops of weeknight chicken empanadas with egg wash

Bake 14-17 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit two to three minutes, then serve immediately.

If you have any leftovers, let them cool thoroughly, then place in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.

Try your own recipe for cheesy chicken empanadas

Have you ever made weeknight chicken empanadas?

Need more great weeknight dinner ideas? Here are some of my favorites:

Weeknight Chicken Empanadas

Weeknight Chicken Empanadas

Yield: 36 empanadas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 24 minutes

Enjoy this incredibly simple recipe for weeknight chicken empanadas. They're kid friendly but have plenty of flavor for adults to enjoy, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 can chicken, drained
  • 1 c corn kernels
  • 1 c chunky salsa
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 15 oz refrigerated pie crust packages (total of 4 crusts)
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and remove pie crusts from the fridge.
  2. Open can of chicken and drain. Dice the onion and shred the cheese. Add chicken, salsa, corn, onion, and cheese to a bowl, and stir to distribute.
  3. Unroll a pie crust and dust surface with flour. Gently roll out pie crust. Use a biscuit cutter to cut rounds. Reroll and cut again. Repeat until crust is used and then do the same for the remaining crusts. Aim for 72 rounds total.
  4. Use a fork to whisk the egg to make an egg wash.
  5. Add a teaspoon of filling to the center of a round. Place a second one atop it, and gently push the edges together. Use a fork to crimp all the way around.
  6. Place each finished empanada on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or parchment paper. Brush the egg wash over empanadas.
  7. Bake 14-17 minutes at 400 degrees until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit two to three minutes, then serve immediately. Let any leftovers cool thoroughly, then place in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.

Notes

I created this with canned chicken to save ALL the time. Feel free to use leftover rotisserie chicken or poached chicken that you shred.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 empanada
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 156Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 213mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
Easy weeknight chicken empanadas recipe allows your to enjoy delicious Mexican dinner with simple dinner prep. This makes a perfect back to school dinner. Who doesn't love kid friendly empanadas?

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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    Comments

  • Kelly


    These are so cute. The flaky crust looks so yummy. #client

    • Michelle


      Thanks, Kelly! They were a huge hit here 🙂

  • Nicole


    Can you make ahead and freeze before cooking? How would you do that?

    • Michelle


      You could definitely make these ahead and freeze them. I’d stop with forming the empanadas before you add the egg and freeze on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Once frozen, put them in a double sealed container with as little air as possible for up to a month. To bake them, put them on a cookie sheet and do the egg wash, then bake an extra 2-3 minutes (or let them thaw all the way and bake). I hope that helps!

  • Jennifer Dagi


    Those empanadas look soft and delicious. I’ll prepare them this Easter for my family. I hope I get it right!

    • Michelle


      I am sure that you will. It’s so simple to make, and my family loves them. They love them so much, my kids are even willing to help me make them, which says a lot 😉

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