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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How to Make Easy Weeknight Chicken Empanadas
Are you a visual learner? Check out the video tutorial.
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 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.
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.
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.
Have you ever made weeknight chicken empanadas?
Need more great weeknight dinner ideas? Here are some of my favorites:
- Easy cheesy beef and rice casserole
- 3 cheese lasagna roll ups
- Weeknight cashew chicken
- Chicken satay with peanut sauce
- Instant Pot chicken paprikash
- Honey habanero ground beef tacos
- Mediterranean chicken with orzo
- Simple chicken and dumplings
I created this with canned chicken to save ALL the time. Feel free to use leftover rotisserie chicken or poached chicken that you shred. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
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
I created this with canned chicken to save ALL the time. Feel free to use leftover rotisserie chicken or poached chicken that you shred.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
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.