Transform regular cream cheese into a seasonal favorite, Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese!

Whipped Pumpkin Cream CheeseI’ve never been one to be big about all things pumpkin, but something has changed this year. All of a sudden I find myself burning pumpkin spice candles, and making and consuming everything and anything pumpkin. I recently bought a big block of cream cheese at Costco. It made more sense to buy a huge block of it than to buy a few individual boxes. It was much more economical! I decided to slice off 8 ounces of cream cheese and make Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese! I’ve been slathering this on toast, bagels, stuffing french toast, and I’ve even put a scoop into my oatmeal. Don’t judge. I’m kind of obsessed with this homemade cream cheese.

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

By adding in the pumpkin puree it helped make this cream cheese light and fluffy. The pumpkin pie spice gives all the flavors of the season in each and every scoop! And of course I added in some powdered sugar because let’s face it who doesn’t love a sweet cream cheese? I do. And if you don’t just omit the powdered sugar. Have you ever transformed a plain container of cream cheese into something amazing? I would love to hear what you’ve done with cream cheese before.

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Love pumpkin seeds? Check out my recipe for Italian Seasoned Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Katie Original Recipe

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 12 oz.

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Plain Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions

  1. In a stand mixer, add the room temperature cream cheese. Whip with a paddle attachment for 2 minutes starting on low then gradually increasing to medium speed. Then add in the powdered sugar. Whip on low until incorporated the add in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Whip on medium speed for 30 additional seconds until everything is well incorporated. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Warm-up with a hearty bowl of chicken rotini soup. This soup utilizes a store-bought rotisserie chicken to make the stock from scratch and vegetables you have on hand adds the heartiness to this soup!

Chicken Rotini Soup

Today, happens to be national noodle day. I know, another food holiday. But there is one thing I love in life it’s pasta. I can’t give it up. I try to only eat it once a week, but I’m addicted to it. So in ode to national noodle day I’ve teamed up with a few of my blog friends to share a noodle related recipe (scroll to the bottom of this post to see all the bloggers participating). What better way to celebrate than with a big ‘ol pot of Chicken Rotini Soup.

Chicken Rotini Soup

It’s finally starting to cool down here. And when I say cool down I mean like the 70′s and 80′s. Although it was in the 60′s yesterday morning! It felt amazing. I know, stop rolling your eyes for all you reading in area’s of the world that are much cooler than our Florida “Fall” weather. The cool breeze calls for a big pot of chicken rotini soup! Nothing beats homemade soup. No can will ever replace a homemade pot of soup in my opinion. All of the soups I make take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. That’s it. This soup only takes 30 minutes,  and then I have an entire pot of soup that last me throughout the whole week. I love to eat soup for lunch or a small bowl before dinner. Especially if I know in advanced that my husband is gonna be late getting home. I like to eat dinner with him. So to hold me over I’ll warm up a small bowl of soup.

Chicken Rotini Soup

To make this soup gluten free just omit the rotini noodles (I know that kind of goes against national noodle day, but if you can’t eat the gluten I totally understand)! Looking for other noodle recipes? Check out all of these recipes.

Katie Original Recipe

Chicken Rotini Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10

Chicken Rotini Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked rotisserie chicken (breast meat removed)
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill and parsley, lightly packed and kept whole
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon maggie seasoning sauce
  • 2 chicken boulion cubes
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 14oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 teaspoon each, dried parsley, dill, and chives
  • 2 cups, fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for pasta)
  • 4 cups dried rotini pasta

Directions

  1. In a large 6-quart french oven place the cooked rotisserie chicken in the pot. Followed by carrots, celery, onions, fresh dill and parsley, salt, black pepper, jaggies seasoning, chicken bouillon cubes, and 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour.
  2. Using a strainer over a large bowl carefully begin removing the chicken Once you've removed all the chicken from the pot begin sifting through the chicken pulling meat off the bones. The chicken will essentially fall apart in the strainer. I placed all the chicken in a bowl, shredded and at that time looked for any tiny bones that might have slipped through. Discard the carcass and place the shredded chicken back in the pot. Then pour in any broth that might have been captured in the bowl under the strainer. Add a can of diced tomatoes, the dried parsley, dill, and chives, as well as the 2 cups fresh chopped spinach. Mix and set to the side. *The spinach will begin to wilt due to the heat of the soup.
  3. In a separate pot bring water to a boil for pasta. Add one tablespoon salt and once the water comes to a boil cook the rotini pasta. Cook for 10 minutes on high heat. Drain and set pasta to the side.
  4. Ladle chicken soup into bowls and top with a few spoonfuls of rotini pasta. Store all leftovers (separately) in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or freeze chicken soup.

Notes

Cook pasta separately to help stretch the pot of chicken soup further. Add pasta into each bowl as you ladle soup. Store pasta and chicken soup separately to maximize chicken broth.

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National Noodle Day - 12 Amazing Noodle Recipes

Check out all the other national noodle day recipes:

Domestically Speaking

Redhead Can Decorate

Town and Country Living

Yesterday on Tuesday

Cupcakes and Crinoline

Yellow Bliss Road

Setting for Four

Bombshell Bling

Clean and Scentsible

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

The Lily Pad Cottage


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Let your slow cooker do the work for dinner tonight. Use up leftover shredded chicken taco meat and rice and stuff bell peppers!

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Stuffed Peppers 2

As we end taco week, I leave you with a stuffed pepper recipe! I love making stuffed peppers. It’s a great way to use up leftovers and incorporate more vegetables into your meal. This recipe is gluten free and made in the slow cooker. It’s similar to my Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers, but this time I use leftover shredded chicken taco meat and white rice as well as fresh tomatoes and sliced olives to give a taco taste, but in a bell pepper!Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Stuffed Peppers 2

I love making stuffed peppers in the slow cooker.  Some might find making stuffed peppers a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By placing water at the bottom of your slow cooker it steams the bell peppers making them fork tender at every bite. I paired these Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Stuffed Peppers with fresh slices of avocado, homemade salsa, and sour cream. My trick to the tiny thin lines of sour cream. Place a spoonful of sour cream in a ziplock sandwich bag. Cut a tiny hole in one corner and use pipe on the sour cream. It looks super fancy and you’ll use half the amount of sour cream you normally would use for a recipe!

Katie Original Recipe


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 Crispy blackened shrimp completes this flour tortilla taco that has julienne sliced jicama and carrots with spinach, peach salsa, and sliced avocado! 

Blackened Shrimp Tacos #TacoWeek

Earlier in the summer I made these Blackened shrimp tacos on a sunny afternoon for lunch. Every Sunday we go over to my inlaws house to visit with them, swim in the pool, and have dinner. It’s became part of our weekly routine. I try to bring over lunch or help with dinner where I can.  I typically look around my house to figure out what I have on hand. Some weekends it’s homemade grilled flatbreads our pizza. On this particular Sunday I brought over shrimp to make tacos. I used my homemade blackening seasoning to give the shrimp a little kick.
OXO Julianne Handheld Mandoline Slicer
I wanted a crunch to the tacos without putting coleslaw on it. I decided to julienne cut some jicama and carrots to give it a fresh crunchy taste. I love using the OXO Hand-held julienne slicer. It’s portable, easy-to-store, and hard root style vegetables like carrots and jicama are perfect to use on this!

Blackened Shrimp Tacos #TacoWeek

I also paired the blackened shrimp tacos with my homemade peach salsa. The sweet fruit paired well with the spice from the blackening seasoning pairs perfectly. It’s refreshing taco and light weight but full of flavor. So as the weather starts to get cooler, you can dream about the hot summer days you had by eating a few of these blackened shrimp tacos!

Blackened Shrimp Tacos #TacoWeekKatie Original Recipe

Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10 tacos

Blackened Shrimp Tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp Blackening Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Grape Seed Oil
  • 10 Soft Flour Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup Jicama, julienne
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, julienne
  • 1/2 cup Spinach, diced
  • 2 Avocados, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Peach Salsa
  • Cilantro for garnish if desired

Directions

  1. In a bowl combine, shrimp and blackening season. Heat a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Place the grape seed oil in the pan let it heat for one minute then add in the shrimp. Saute the shrimp for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the shrimp is pink in color, remove from the heat and set to the side.
  2. Prep all of your toppings for the taco's. Julienne slice the jicama and carrots, chop the spinach and thinly slice the avocado. Warm the flour tortillas just before serving (you can do this in the microwave in a damp paper towel for 15 seconds).
  3. Place a flour tortilla on a plate, layer with julienne jicama and carrots, chopped spinach, 3 cooked shrimp, sliced avocado, and a tablespoon of peach salsa. Sprinkle cilantro on top if desired. Repeat until you've made all the tacos.
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Shredded Chicken Taco Flatbread

Welcome to taco week! All week long if you search by the hashtag #tacoweek you’ll find a wide-variety of taco inspired recipes. Since I love tacos and Mexican food in general I knew I had to participate. I’m going to share some non-traditional style taco recipes this week and one that is semi-traditional. Today, I’m sharing a flatbread recipe. Wait, what? I’m sure your asking yourself  “how is that taco like…” well because I’ve turned all my favorite taco ingredients into a flatbread.

Shredded Chicken Taco Flatbread

I love turning leftovers into an entirely new meal. What’s not to love about having food already cooked, and simply waiting for you to eat it in your refrigerator. So when I have leftovers whether purposefully done (like I did for this recipe) or just laying around I like to get creative. I love making flatbreads. I feel like I can always have an easy go-to lunch when I have flatbreads on hand. So when I had leftover shredded chicken for taco’s in the refrigerator, I knew I wanted to make a Shredded Chicken Taco Flatbread.

Shredded Chicken Taco Flatbread

For this flatbread, I used Cabot Pepper Jack cheese. It gave the flatbread a nice zippy taste and worked perfectly with the other flavors of the flatbread. Whenever I make flatbreads I always make sure I reheat all the leftovers before I bake the flatbread. Sometimes I find that if I don’t do this that my flatbread looks hot and bubbly but it’s really still cold in one of the many layers. I also love using hot items and then topping with cold crisp items like freshly diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and a drizzle of cold sour cream. If you don’t have sour cream on hand definitely try using Greek yogurt. You will never know the difference.

Katie Original Recipe

Shredded Chicken Taco Flatbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 19 minutes

Yield: 1

Shredded Chicken Taco Flatbread

Ingredients

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread
  • 3 tbsp whipped cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup refried beans
  • 1/4 cup (leftover) shredded chicken
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 3 tbsp diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 2 tbsp sliced olives
  • 1 tbsp sour cream

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is preheated then pre-bake the flatbread for 2 minutes.
  2. Once the flatbread is pre baked then layer on the cream cheese, followed by refried beans, shredded chicken, and pepper jack cheese. Bake the flatbread for 7 minutes. Then top with diced tomatoes, cilantro, shredded lettuce, sliced olives, and sour cream. Serve immediately.

Notes

To ensure the flatbread is piping hot I always pre-cook my leftovers before applying to the flatbread. Make sure you prep the tomatoes, lettuce, etc while the flatbread is baking in the oven.

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Homemade Breakfast Syrup

Don’t have breakfast syrup on hand? Don’t fear–make your own Homemade Breakfast Syrup in minutes!

Homemade Breakfast Syrup made in minutes!

What happens when you have a french toast casserole baking in the oven at 7:30 am on a Sunday morning, a fussy baby, a sleeping husband, and you all of a sudden realize that you don’t have any syrup to serve with the casserole? You search the internet — because clearly you can make your own homemade breakfast syrup. I read through a few recipes while my french toast casserole baked in the oven, and found one that I knew I could make with basic pantry/refrigerator items I had on hand.

Homemade Breakfast Syrup

The week prior, while grocery shopping I picked up a container of buttermilk. I love to have buttermilk on hand. It’s pretty versatile and I love to make buttermilk pancakes and waffles. I decided to use it in my french toast casserole which worked out beautifully! And then when I was reading through the recipe for this homemade breakfast syrup recipe and saw that it required one cup of buttermilk syrup I knew I was destine to make this recipe. I will say that this recipe calls for one tablespoon of corn syrup. I used it but if you don’t feel comfortable using it–don’t. You don’t have to have it and if its something you stay away from that’s ok too. Since it was only one tablespoon I felt ok using it. It’s not like we eat many products with corn syrup in it and the fact that it was one tablespoon I felt ok adding it to the recipe.

Adapted from All Recipes

Homemade Breakfast Syrup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-1/2 cups

Homemade Breakfast Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Melt butter in saucepan on high heat, then add in the white granulated sugar, brown sugar, buttermilk, vanilla extract corn syrup and ground cinnamon. Whisk until well incorporated. Reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk on occasion. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully pour into a glass container. Use warm and serve with your favorite breakfast items.
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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cost Plus World Market. As always all opinions are my own. 

3-Ingredient Blood Orange Sangria

Y’all Fall is officially here. So why not kick off fall with a spooky sweet sangria recipe. A three ingredient sangria recipe to boot; blood orange soda, white wine, and grapes. Grapes? Why grapes, you might ask. Because I’ve made this Blood Orange Sangria in ode to Halloween and I used grapes to resemble eyeballs! I know, sounds gross, but that is kind of what Halloween is all about.

3-Ingredient Blood Orange Sangria

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. In the past I’ve decorated my home from top to bottom and I’ve thrown parties. Those days are on hold for at least this year, but what’s not on hold is making creepy crawly Halloween food and Halloween baking.

3-Ingredient Blood Orange Sangria

If your hosting a party this Halloween I welcome you to try my recipe for 3-ingredient Blood Orange Sangria.

Hosting a party? Check out my blog post over on Sew Woodsy: 5 Tips to Host a Successful Halloween Party

Katie Original Recipe

Blood Orange Sangria

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 8 glasses

Blood Orange Sangria

Ingredients

  • 1- 25.4 fl oz bottle of Blood Orange Soda
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 2 dozen green or red grapes

Directions

  1. In a large drink pitcher combine the blood orange soda with the white wine. Place a few grapes in the pitcher and a few in each glass your serving. Enjoy immediately over ice.

Notes

Leave a bowl of grapes next to the pitcher of sangria for guest to help themselves to some "eyeballs".

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Book of Life Sweepstakes

My friends at World Market and Fox Studios has a fun sweepstakes for the brand new movies, The Book of Life. So, what is the Book of Life about?

An animated movie of a Romeo and Juliet-inspired love story set during a Day of the Dead celebration: Manolo (Channing) is a young matador who wants to shed the expectations of his family to follow his dreams of being a musician and his best friend, Joaquin (Diego), is the successful pride of the town. They compete for the heart of Maria (Zoe). In order to win Maria’s heart and save her life, Manolo must face his greatest fears and follow his heart to rewrite his destiny.

In Theaters October 17, 2014. 

You could win a trip to the Riviera Maya & FREE Movies for a Year!

Grand Prize Package:

  • 5 Days/6Nights at Grand Velas Riviera Maya
  • Free Movies for a year
  • $1,000 World Market gift card
  • Book of Life Merchandise
  • Plus, three (3) first prizes: $500 World Market gift card
  • Sweepstakes ends October 24th, 2014

Enter to win here. 

Get social with World Market on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram & Tumblr.

Disclaimer: I received gift cards to create this recipe and share about the Book of Life Sweepstakes. As always all opinions are my own.


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Do you have a loaf of stale French bread? Try my easy recipe for Baked French Toast Casserole. It is sure to be a hit at your next breakfast or brunch!  Baked French Toast CasseroleBy now, if you read Katie’s Cucina regularly you know that I do not like to waste food in my kitchen. I’m always trying to think up ways to use up leftovers whether its a leftover meal or leftover bread. In this case, it was 3/4 of a loaf of leftover French bread. It was stale… like hard as a rock. If an intruder came into my house I could use it to beat them over the head with it. I love bread pudding but didn’t want to make bread pudding. I had pondered the idea of a baked french toast casserole for a few days. Sunday rolled around and my sweet baby boy of 5.5 months woke me up at 5:49 a.m. normally I’m grumbling at the early wake-up call. Except on this morning, I wasn’t. I was jumping for joy (and holding my fully engorged boobs as I jumped). You see, he slept the ENTIRE night for the first time in his life. A whopping 7.5 hours. STRAIGHT. No waking up for feedings, no crying in the middle of the night. All sleep.

Baked French Toast Casserole

Of course, me being the concerned new mom, my body woke me up at the 4 hour mark (which is what he normally wakes most nights), and then I woke up at the 6 hour mark. I saw him moving around so I took it upon myself to go to the bathroom before the crying began. But to my surprise when I arrived back to my bed, I looked into the video monitor, and he was still sleeping. I had to zoom in on his face to make sure that those sweet blue eyes were actually shut. And shut they were. So I laid back down and tried not to think about my engorged boobs. I contemplated for about 5 minutes if I should get up to pump or if I should just try to go back to bed. I counted to 10 took a few deep breaths and decided I would try to go back to sleep. An hour and a half later… I awoke to a bright-eyed bushy tailed little boy in his crib. Not crying… just cooing and babbling at the monitor. I imagine he is saying “mom get up–come get me out of here”.

Baked French Toast Casserole

After I nursed and then pumped, we played on the floor for a half hour before Ryder started getting cranky again. Then I nursed him again and off he slept for another 45 minutes. Once he woke the second time I placed him in the exersaucer, and preheated the oven. Turned on the coffee maker and started slicing the stale bread. I opened up my fridge and that’s when I discovered I only had 2 eggs left. I would have been forced to make french toast for breakfast any ways with just 2 eggs, but now this put my casserole plans at a hault. I decided to use tangy buttermilk that is thick and rich and it helped build the custard base. This is a much smaller portion of Baked French Toast Casserole. Most recipes you see on the web are for a giant pan full of Baked French Toast Casserole. With just a few ingredients, we had breakfast in 40 minutes. I had time to bake some bacon and make home fried breakfast potatoes. I had just 8 fresh strawberries in the fridge that desperately needed to be eaten, so I added a few to each plate. I also made homemade breakfast syrup. I’ll be sharing that recipe soon (because I was out of maple syrup–go figure).

Baked French Toast Casserole

So whether your hosting a brunch for four, or celebrating your baby sleeping through the night, I think you’ll love this recipe for Baked French Toast Casserole!

Katie Original Recipe

Baked French Toast Casserole

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4

Baked French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

  • Cooking Spray
  • 3/4 Loaf French Bread (stale), sliced 1-inch thick
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 dash Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. While oven is preheating in a large bowl mix eggs, buttermilk, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well incorporated then set to the side.
  2. Grease 9x9 glass pan with cooking spray, then layer the stale french bread slices in three layers, overlapping bread. Pour the egg/buttermilk mixture on top and then cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes then remove the aluminum foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until bread is golden brown.
  3. Divide the casserole into four large squares; serve with warm syrup and fresh berries if desired.
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Looking for a flavorful new grilled vegetable side dish? Try my recipe for Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers!

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

If you are a regular reader of Katie’s Cucina you know I love to grill. I’m not intimidated of grilling I’ve learned to embrace it. Living in Florida we grill a lot. Especially when its still 90 degrees out as the rest of the country is finally starting to cool off. I’ve been making these Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers all summer long. I’ve refined the recipe over the summer and finally took the time to photograph this delectable grilled side dish. I prepped all the veggies, placed them in a gallon-size ziplock baggie and poured in all my seasonings. Sealed it up, mixed the veggies using my hands on the outside of the bag and let it sit until I was ready to grill dinner. You can even prep this in the morning, place it in the refrigerator and when you get home from work your side dish is already ready for you.

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

I love my STOK® grill. I love that my grill has interchangeable grill inserts. I typically grill chicken on the traditional grill grate and then throw in some veggies into the vegetable basket at least once a week.  This is what the green beans, red bell peppers and red onion looked like as I poured my zip lock baggie full of veggies into my vegetable basket.

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell PeppersJust 10-15 minutes later this is how my veggies looked. Nicely cooked with little grill bits. The green beans were still al dente and crisp. The bell peppers and red onions were sweet in taste. I now love grilling green beans! Who would have thought to grill green beans?

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

Katie Original Recipe

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

Grilled Asian Green Beans and Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Green Beans, trimmed
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic in Water

Directions

  1. In a large gallon bag, place green beans, red bell pepper, and red onion in the bag. Then add in the sesame oil, salt, black pepper, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Seal bag and mix with hands in the outside of the bag.
  2. Heat the grill to medium-low heat (should be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Pour the vegetables into a vegetable grill basket and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
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Juicy and flavorful chicken and green olive filling make these homemade chicken empanadas irresistible!

Chicken Empanadas

I love a good empanada! I just started eating empanadas over the past decade. Whenever I go to Whole Foods or even the grocery store (yes, they sell them in our warm food case at the bakery) I typically grab a chicken and spinach empanada! I’ve never made them at home; however, my mother in-law has made beef empanada’s a few times. When we were planning my brother in-laws birthday last month we decided we would server chicken and ground beef empanadas for a light lunch as well as my homemade salsa and a seven layer dip. The empanadas made for  a perfect lunch and we happened to have quite a few leftover. We made 3 dozen. Two dozen beef and one dozen of the chicken empanadas. I was tasked with making the filling. I grabbed cooked rotisserie chicken meat (there I go again with the rotisserie. If your not embracing the rotisserie chicken you need too!), some of my favorite spanish spices, and a few large green olives. I just so happened to make enough filling for one dozen empanadas. It was fate. And boy were they flavorful!

In case you’ve never made chicken empanadas I have a few pictures on how to make them. They are so easy to make and best of all you can prep them ahead of time and fry them right before your about to eat.

Chicken Empanadas

I use pre-made empanada dough found in the freezer section. You will want to defrost them in the fridge the day before. Place 1-2 tablespoons of chicken filling in the middle of the empanada dough disc.

Chicken Empanadas Then fold the empanada in half like the photo above. (My mother in-law, Linda, is my hand model for these photos!)

Chicken Empanadas

Then, use a fork and seal the dough shut by pressing the tines of the fork into the dough. Set them in a covered container until your ready to fry them. Then once your ready to fry, in a deep skillet, heat 1-inch of canola oil to 375°. Of course, if you have a deep fryer then you can use that. Fry a few empanadas at a time (try not to over crowd the skillet), turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Place the fried empanadas on a paper towel. While your waiting for the rest to cook you can transfer the cooked empanadas to a baking sheet, and place in the oven on low to keep warm! 

Chicken Empanadas

The cilantro cream sauce is awesome and compliments the chicken empanada perfectly. It’s a sauce that my mother in-law has been making with her empanadas over the past few years and I love it. It’s fresh and full of flavor and of course just a few ingredients. If you don’t have sour cream or don’t want to use sour cream you could always sub greek yogurt instead. You will still achieve the same great taste. Whether you are hosting a party or just want a fun new lunch I would highly recommend you try your hand at making homemade chicken empanadas!

Chicken Empanadas

Katie Original Recipe for Empanadas and Cilantro Cream Sauce adapted from Tyler Florence

Chicken Empanadas

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 10

Chicken Empanadas

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 10 Empanada Discos (pastry dough found in freezer section)
  • 2 cups Shredded Cooked Rotisserie Chicken
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Jarred Sofrito
  • 1 package Sazon Coriander & Arnatto)
  • 4 Super Colossal Spanish Queen Olives Pimento Stuffed, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Cilantro Cream Sauce:
  • 1 cup Sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine, shredded cooked rotisserie chicken, tomato sauce, jarred sofrito, sazon seasoning, diced Super Colossal Spanish Queen Olives Pimento Stuffed, and shredded Mexican cheese. Mix until well combined and set to the side.
  2. Place empanada disc on a flat surface. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the disc (make sure to not over-fill). Fold empanada in half (moon shape), Seal the edges with a little water and crimp with a fork. Keep filled empanadas covered with parchment paper until ready to fry. (You can refrigerate up to a few hours before frying).
  3. Preheat a large skillet with vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Oil needs to be at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a few empanadas at a time in the pan (make sure to not over crowd the pan) Fry, turning halfway through, until evenly golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place empanadas on a paper towel to drain off excess oil. To keep empanadas warm while others are frying, place in the oven on low.
  4. Cilantro Cream Sauce:
  5. In a bowl, combine, sour cream, minced cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve empanadas.
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