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! The filling of smoky chipotle chicken, hearty black beans, crisp bell peppers and gooey cheese is to die for and the store bought puff pastry dough makes an easy shortcut for the buttery, flaky golden pastry!
I looooove empanadas. Empanadas are pastries most often stuffed with savory fillings and are very popular in South America. They come 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.
What I love about this chicken 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.
Next to make the 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.
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.
Another aspect to love about these Chipotle Chicken Empanadas is that they 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!
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.
Want to try these Chipotle Chicken Empanadas with Avocado Dip?
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