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I'm showing you how to make what is one of the world's greatest meat-filled pastries. Or, it can be, if you avoid the three most common mistakes: empanadas that are under-seasoned, under-filled, and under-cooked. But, if you use the following technique, you'll avoid all of those issues, no matter what kind of filling you use!


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr 15 mins
1 hr 30 mins
3 hrs 15 mins
8 empanadas

It's always a great feeling when a recipe comes out well, but there's a little extra satisfaction involved when it's something that's usually fried, and we've been able to successfully pull it off in the oven. These chicken empanadas were a perfect example. Despite not firing up the deep fryer, they were crispy, flaky, and baked up to a beautiful golden brown.

So, the packaging was great, but that's only half the battle. To make a truly great empanada we need a very flavorful filling, which I think we accomplished here, plus we want a lot of it. By weight, these empanadas have twice as much chicken mixture as crust, which I think is the perfect ratio. To accomplish this, we really need to push the envelope when we…stuff the "envelope." As long as you can seal these up, they can't have too much stuffing.

And yes, that means you may get some juices bubbling out of the seams towards the end of the baking, but this shouldn't be an issue, since our filling is so moist that there's very little chance of things drying out. Speaking of not dry, I'd like to think these are perfectly fine to eat by themselves, but if you were to mix fresh lime juice and cilantro into some sour cream, you'd have a fast and easy dip that I thought worked really well. Either way, I really do hope you give these a try soon.


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Filling:
For the Dough:


Instructions Checklist
  • Pour olive oil into a saucepan; add onion, poblano, garlic, salt, pepper, chipotle, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and cooked chicken, pressing down as you go. Add currants.

  • Place saucepan over high heat; cook until onions begin to soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes with green chiles. Pour in 1/3 cup water and mix to combine.

  • Bring mixture to a simmer; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquids are cooked down, 30 to 45 minutes.

  • Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Chill thoroughly before use, 1 to 2 hours.

  • While filling simmers, combine flour, salt, and sugar for dough in a bowl with your hand. Grate in cold butter, pausing as needed to combine. Drizzle in beaten egg and water. Mix with a fork until it starts to form a shaggy dough.

  • Use your hands to squeeze mixture into a lump of dough; transfer to a work surface and knead into a ball of dough, 10 to 15 seconds.

  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Unwrap chilled dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper to divide into 8 equal pieces.

  • Roll each dough piece into an 8-inch circle.

  • Drain any excess juice from filling. Top each dough circle with a rounded 1/2-cup measure of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle some pepper Jack cheese over top.

  • Brush edges of each dough circle with a small amount of water to dampen; fold over and seal with fingertips, making sure to not trap in any pockets of air. Crimp using your fingertips or a fork.

  • Combine beaten egg and 2 teaspoons water for egg wash. Transfer empanadas to the prepared baking sheet and brush over egg wash. Sprinkle with cayenne.

  • Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned and crispy on the edges, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Chef's Note:

You can use regular oregano instead of Mexican oregano.

Nutrition Facts

497 calories; fat 26.4g; cholesterol 131.7mg; sodium 937mg; carbohydrates 43g; protein 22g. Full Nutrition