I’m a huge fan of savory snacks, and one of my favorites is the classic chicken empanada. But instead of frying them, I like to bake them for a light and crispy texture. Baked chicken empanadas are a perfect snack or appetizer, and they’re easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
Baked Chicken Empanadas Recipe
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken
- ½ (8 ounce) package Neufchatel cheese, softened
- ¼ cup medium salsa (such as Pace®)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 12 empanada pastry discs (such as Goya® Tapas para Empanadas)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, mix together the cooked chicken, Neufchatel cheese, salsa, salt, and heavy whipping cream.
- Place the empanada pastry discs on a lightly greased baking sheet.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center of each pastry disc.
- Fold the pastry discs in half over the filling and press the edges together to seal.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- Serving size: 1 empanada
- Calories: 230
- Fat: 11 g
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Cholesterol: 30 mg
- Sodium: 420 mg
- Carbohydrates: 17 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Sugar: 0 g
- Protein: 9 g
A step-by-step guide to making the perfect baked chicken empanadas
Making the perfect baked chicken empanadas can be an intimidating task, but with these simple steps, you can be sure of a delicious, flaky, and flavorful result every time. Here is a step-by-step guide to making the perfect baked chicken empanadas.
Step 1: Prepare the Dough
Start by making the dough for the empanadas. In a large bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Cut in ½ cup of shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add in ¼ cup of cold water, mixing until a dough forms. Knead the dough for several minutes and then roll it out to about ¼ inch thickness. Cut the dough into 4-inch circles and set aside.
Step 2: Prepare the Filling
In a medium bowl, mix together 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken, 2 tablespoons of butter, ½ cup of diced red bell pepper, and ½ cup of diced onion. Add in ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Mix everything together and then spoon the filling in the center of each dough circle.
Step 3: Bake
Brush the edges of each dough circle with egg wash. Fold the dough over the filling, forming half-moon shapes, and press the edges together with a fork. Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Possible variations of the classic baked chicken empanada
Possible variations of the classic baked chicken empanada include adding different types of cheese, different vegetables, and even different types of meat. Cheese can include mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey Jack, parmesan, and more. Vegetables can include anything from onions and bell peppers to zucchini and spinach. Meat can include beef, pork, or even turkey. Additionally, different spices or seasonings can be used to give the empanada a unique flavor. For example, adding some herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme to the filling will give the empanada a nice, earthy flavor. Any combination of these ingredients can be used to create a delicious and unique baked chicken empanada.
Benefits of making baked chicken empanadas at home
Baked chicken empanadas provide a delicious and nutritious meal that is easy to make.
- Making your own baked chicken empanadas gives you the opportunity to customize the flavor and texture to your own preferences. For example, you can add different spices and herbs to the filling to give it more flavor, or you can make the empanadas with different types of dough to create different textures.
- Baked chicken empanadas are much healthier than their deep-fried counterparts. Baking the empanadas instead of frying them reduces the amount of fat and calories in the dish.
- You can control the ingredients in the empanadas when you make them at home. You can use fresh, high-quality ingredients and make sure they are free of preservatives and additives.
- Making your own empanadas is a fun and creative way to bring the family together. Gather everyone in the kitchen to help assemble the empanadas and make them for a fun weekend activity.
How to customize your baked chicken empanadas
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix 1 cup of diced chicken with 1/4 cup of diced onions, 1/4 cup of diced bell peppers, 1/4 cup of diced jalapenos, 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of tomato sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Take your store-bought empanada wrappers and fill them with the chicken mixture.
- Crimp the edges of the wrappers with a fork to seal them.
- Place the empanadas on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with hot sauce and a dollop of sour cream.
Tips for creating flavorful baked chicken empanadas
Start by marinating the chicken in a mixture of spices and olive oil, such as cumin, coriander, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Allow the chicken to sit in the marinade for at least an hour.
- For a more intense flavor, consider adding a few tablespoons of chopped jalapeno or other spicy pepper to the marinade.
- When preparing the pastry dough, add a bit of flavor to it by adding a teaspoon of garlic powder and a tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro.
- For a richer flavor, consider adding a few tablespoons of grated cheese to the empanada filling.
- When baking the empanadas, brush the tops with a beaten egg or melted butter. This will give them a nice golden color and add extra flavor.
- For a more complex flavor, consider adding diced onions, bell peppers, olives or mushrooms to the empanada filling.
- Consider adding a few tablespoons of sour cream or Greek yogurt to the filling for added creaminess.
- Finally, for a Mexican twist, sprinkle some chili powder over the top of the empanadas before baking.