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.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2018


Recipe Summary

1 hr
2 hrs




Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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 1/2 cup oil in a thin, steady stream and process until creamy. Add the cilantro mixture, the remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pulse until well combined. Set aside.

  • To prepare filling: Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and 1/4 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 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • 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 1/4 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.

  • 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 Facts

1 empanada & 2 Tbsp. sauce
519 calories; protein 20.4g; carbohydrates 38.7g; dietary fiber 3.4g; sugars 2.4g; fat 31.8g; saturated fat 9.7g; cholesterol 168.1mg; vitamin a iu 730IU; vitamin c 5.6mg; folate 87.5mcg; calcium 38.4mg; iron 5.1mg; magnesium 22.5mg; potassium 273mg; sodium 636.9mg; added sugar 1g.

2 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 lean protein, 5 1/2 fat