Chicken Empanadas

This traditional Latin American snack is filled with a spicy cheesy chicken filling. Served with a cheese dip that's kicked up a notch with the addition of tomatoes, chilis and hot sauce. Great for a make ahead appetizer, or surprise the kids with these as an after school snack.

Chicken Empanadas

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken, about 4 to 5 chicken breasts
  • 1 (8-ounce) package shredded colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
  • Oil for frying
  • Water

  • Chili Con Queso Dip:
  • 1 pound package Cheddar
  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce



Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or small stockpot to 350 degrees F.


In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, combine the chicken, Colby and Monterey cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper. Remove 1 pie crust from pie tin onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie crusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface.


Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture.


Place empanadas in deep-fryer for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with con queso dip.


Note: Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month.


Chili Con Queso Dip:
In a medium sauce pot, slowly melt Cheddar over medium/low heat. When cheese is fully melted add tomatoes, chiles, and hot sauce, stirring with spoon until combined well.


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