This easy recipe for Argentinian-style baked chicken empanadas will show you how to make savory hand pies that the whole family will love. Your kids will enjoy this delicious South American comfort food at lunch or dinner. Plus, you can make it ahead or freeze for later!
For the Empanada Filling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
- 3 1/3 cups yellow onions, chopped (450g)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (8g)
- 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (210g)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (50g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (473 ml)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (30 ml)
- 3 cups shredded chicken (from 2 large poached chicken breasts; 394g)
For the Empanada Dough
- 4 cups bread flour (480g)
- 3/4 cup lard (120g)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (28g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup cold water (236 ml)
Making the Empanada Dough (10 minutes + 1 hour chilling)
- Place the bread flour, lard, and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Rub the fats into the flour by pinching them together and fluffing the mixture with your hands until evenly blended.
- Add the salt, sugar, and half of the water and stir with your fingers. Gradually add more water as needed to create a moist, but not sticky, dough. Make sure all the flour is picked up from the bowl.
- Knead the dough several times to finish blending the ingredients together.
- Split the dough in half, shape into discs, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Making the Empanada Filling (30 minutes + 10 minutes cooking)
- Chop the onions and red peppers and mince the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, until fragrant.
- Stir in the roasted red peppers, tomato paste, and spices until well mixed.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until most of the liquid is gone.
- Stir in the lime juice and shredded chicken and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Shaping the Empanadas (25 minutes + 35 minutes baking)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two 11 by 17-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper. Beat an egg in a small bowl until well blended.
- Divide each disc of dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then roll it into a six-inch circle with a rolling pin.
- Place 1/8 cup of the chicken filling in the center of the circle. Brush the edge of the dough halfway around with beaten egg, then fold the dough over to create a semicircle. Press the edges firmly to seal.
- Crimp the edges with a fork or with a rope pattern. To make the rope pattern, place your left index finger at one end of the empanada. Using your other hand, grasp the dough right beside your index finger and pull it up. Then, place your left index finger on the pulled-up dough and repeat. Pinch off any extra dough at the other end. You can use this to make an extra empanada.
- Place eight empanadas on each tray, then brush them with beaten egg and cut two small vent holes in the top with a knife.
- Bake the empanadas at 375 F for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate the trays halfway through for a more even bake. Let the empanadas cool on wire racks for 20 minutes before serving.
- Both the empanada filling and dough can be made up to 3 days ahead.
- Unbaked empanadas can be frozen on cookie sheets, then placed in zip-top freezer bags and frozen for up to 3 months.
- Eat any extra filling in a tortilla, or use it to make another batch of empanadas.
Keywords: baked, easy