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Katie's Cucina

Chicken Empanadas

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

Print Recipe

Chicken Empanadas

Yield: 10

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes



  • 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


For the Empanadas:

  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.

Cilantro Cream Sauce:

  1. In a bowl, combine, sour cream, minced cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Mix until well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to serve empanadas.

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


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14 Responses to “Chicken Empanadas”

  1. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel posted on September 17, 2014 at 8:40 am (#)

    Love these! Such a fun game day recipe 🙂

    • Katie replied on September 22nd, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Agree–perfect one handed meal!

  2. danielle posted on September 17, 2014 at 9:27 am (#)

    I love empanadas, I bake mine so I dont feel as guilty about eating them but Hubby fries his and of course they taste better.

    • Katie replied on September 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      I’ll probably bake them too when I make them at home. But since my mother in-law was already frying her empanadas I let her fry mine too! 🙂

  3. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite posted on September 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm (#)

    I love homemade empanadas at home. This filling is perfect for my next batch.

    • Katie replied on September 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks Meagan, me too!

  4. Carol at Wild Goose Tea posted on September 17, 2014 at 7:20 pm (#)

    Empanadas are such a TREAT for me. I don’t know why I don’t make them or even order them in a restaurant. What is MY problem? Don’t answer that! I guess I will have to fix that.

    • Katie replied on September 22nd, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      LOL they are actually super easy to make at home… so go make some! 😉

  5. Mary @ Healthy Food Recipes posted on October 30, 2017 at 9:24 pm (#)

    Love these! Great idea for my dinner!

  6. Penny posted on May 9, 2018 at 4:22 pm (#)

    Can you bake these my pans are not deep enough for lots of oil ?

    • Katie replied on May 9th, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Penny, thank you for your inquiry. I believe you could, but I’ve never tried to bake them!


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