Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Empanadas

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From: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2018

Empanadas usually are served hot and blistered from the deep fryer, but home cooks will be glad that these baked healthier handpies offer similar pleasures without a trip into a vat of bubbling oil. The simple dough, similar to pie crust, comes together in a jiffy in the food processor. For a fun tweak, make the recipe into mini empanadas with 3-inch, rather than 6-inch, rounds of dough.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • Dough
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1½ cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded, if desired, and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice, divided
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Filling
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs, crumbled into ¼- to ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter, for brushing


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. To prepare dough: Pulse all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size and the mixture looks like coarse sand, 6 to 8 times. Add water and beaten egg and pulse until the dough starts to come together into a ball. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an oval disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare sauce: Pulse cilantro, jalapeño and 2 garlic cloves in a mini food processor until finely chopped, scraping down the sides once or twice. Transfer to a small bowl. Add egg yolk and 2 teaspoons lime juice to the mini food processor and pulse until smooth. With the motor running, add ½ cup oil in a thin, steady stream and process until creamy. Add the cilantro mixture, the remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt and pulse until well combined. Set aside.
  3. To prepare filling: Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ¼ teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add chicken and broth; cook, stirring and breaking up the chicken slightly, until the broth has almost completely evaporated but the mixture still looks moist, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions on a floured work surface. Form each into a ball and roll out into a 6-inch circle. Scoop ¼ cup of the filling onto the center and sprinkle with 1 generous tablespoon egg. Fold in half, firmly press the edges together to seal and crimp with a fork. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush with butter.
  6. Bake the empanadas until light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with the reserved sauce.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate dough, sauce and filling separately for up to 3 days. Let dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 empanada & 2 Tbsp. sauce
  • Per serving: 519 calories; 32 g fat(10 g sat); 3 g fiber; 39 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 88 mcg folate; 168 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 730 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 38 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 637 mg sodium; 273 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Iron (28% daily value), Folate (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2½ starch, 1½ lean protein, 5½ fat

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