This post first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor.
Freezer friendly, juicy, cheesy, shortcut Chipotle Chicken Empanadas doused in refreshing Avocado Dip make the best crowd pleasing appetizers, dinners or snacks and can be made ahead of time and frozen for later!
This Chipotle Chicken Empanada recipe is loaded with smoky chipotle chicken, hearty black beans, crisp bell peppers and gooey cheese for a to live for filling and the store bought puff pastry dough makes an easy shortcut for the buttery, flaky golden pastry!
What are Empanadas?
I looooove empanadas. Empanadas are pastries most often stuffed with savory fillings such as seafood, meat, cheese and vegetables and are very popular in South America but are thought to have originated in Spain, The word “empanada” comes from the Latin word, “empanar” which means “to bread.” In fact, I’ve heard “empanadas are to South Americans what sandwiches are to Americans,” meaning, empanadas are as common as sandwiches and equally as versatile with endless filling combinations and styles of dough! And once you try these Chipotle Chicken Empanadas you’ll understand why.
These Chipotle Chicken Empanadas are wonderfully satisfying with their golden, flaky dough giving way to the hearty, fiestalicious cheesy filling. But what you will love almost as much as the taste is just how easy this recipe is because we use store bought puff pastry for the dough and you can prep the chicken (or the entire filling) days in advance for easy assembly. That being said, these chicken empanadas do take some time to make, but it is simple prep with a huge flavor payoff.
To make the chicken filling, we start with my favorite recipe for chipotle chicken. This chipotle chicken recipe yields incredibly juicy, richly smoky, slightly spicy chicken that flavors the entire pastry and elevates these chicken empanadas far above those that use precooked or even braised chicken.
Looking for More Recipes with Chipotle Chicken?
- Chipotle Chicken Empanadas with Avocado Dip
- Southwest Salad with Creamy Avocado Salsa Dressing
- Chipotle Chicken Salad with Mango Dressing
- Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad with Tomatillo Avocado Ranch
- Chipotle Ranch Chicken Flatbread
- BBQ Chipotle Chicken Sandwiches
- TexMex Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chipotle Chicken
How To make Empanadas with Chicken
- What I love about this chicken empanada recipe is that it is completely flexible depending on your time. After slathering your chicken with a wet rub of Aromatic Mexican spices, you can cook the chicken right away, wait 30 minutes, or better yet, let marinate 8 hours.
2. Next to make the empanada filling, we sauté diced red bell peppers and black beans for just a couple minutes. Then, we add some enchilada sauce and our diced chipotle chicken back to the pan and heat through. How easy was that?! At this point you can refrigerator your filling to assemble later or proceed to make your chicken empanadas.
Shortcut Empanada Dough
For our empanada dough, we use glorious store-bought puff pastry dough. If you have never used puff pastry dough, it is located in the freezer section of your grocery store and is wonderfully easy to work with. When baked, it emerges beautifully puffy, flaky and golden – the perfect cocoon for our irresistible filling. I love it so much I’ve used it in my Artichoke Dip Bites, Cannoli Cones, and Baked Brie.
Puff Pastry dough is located in the freezer section of your grocery store. I use Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (not a paid endorsement, just fact). Each package comes with two sheets – and take care to purchase the puff pastry sheets and not the squares (I learned that by mistake). Puff pastry typically takes 30 minutes to thaw, but just follow the thawing instructions on the back of the box.
What is good to eat with Empanadas?
Last but not least, the lick-your-blender-clean Avocado Dip. Its refreshing creaminess is the ideal companion to the flaky pastry and smoky chipotle chicken filling. Together, worlds of deliciousness combine for can’t-stop-eating, don’t-ever-want-to-stop eating Chipotle Chicken Empanadas.
You can serve the Chicken Empanadas with the Avocado Dip as an appetizer or to make it a meal, add a side of Cilantro Lime Rice with Black Beans and a simple salad or my Southwest Salad, and/or Corn on the Cob with Chipotle Honey Lime Butter.
Can Empanadas be frozen?
YES! I love that Chipotle Chicken Empanadas can be made and devoured in one sitting or you can freeze them before baking and store them until your cravings strike. When it’s empanada time, all you have to do is move as many empanadas as your heart desires straight from the freezer to the oven for the perfect prep-ahead appetizer, meal or snack!
How to Freeze Empanadas
- Assemble empanadas according to directions up to the point of sealing the dough and pricking holes in it.
- Line the unbaked empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer taking care they do not touch or the empanadas with freeze together.
- Place the baking tray in the freezer and freeze until solid then transfer the empanadas into a freezer size bag.
- You can leave the empanadas in the freezer for up to four months.
- When ready to eat, bake the the desired amount of empanadas WITHOUT defrosting first at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Want to try these Chipotle Chicken Empanadas with Avocado Dip?
Pin them to your MEXICAN, APPETIZER, OR CHICKEN Board to SAVE for later!
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