Exquisite Empanadas


empanada recipe

This recipe is the perfect dinner to make for families, especially ones with picky eaters. These delectable pastry pockets are filled with sweet onion, apple, spinach, garlic, sharp white cheddar cheese, and chicken. This recipe delivers all the food groups in one package, discreetly mixing in healthy vegetables, fruits, and fats (olive oil).

Empanada Filling Ingredients:

NOTE:  Using a food processor to make the filling ingredients saves you time.

3/4 lb. of cooked chicken shredded or chopped into small pieces (can use rotisserie chicken)

1 fuji or gala apple cut into small chunks

1 small yellow onion diced

6 oz. of fresh spinach cut into small pieces

2 cloves garlic minced

8 oz. of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1/4 tsp. of pepper

1/2 tsp. of salt

NOTE:  I usually quadruple the batch of filling and freeze it so I have three additional meals almost already complete. The filling lasts at least two months without getting freezer burnt.

freeze filling

Directions on Preparing the Filling:

1.)  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tsp of the olive oil over medium heat.

2.)  Saute onion, garlic, and apple with two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for five minutes.

3.)  Stir in the spinach and cook for 2 minutes, stirring until wilted.

4.)  Transfer this mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

5.)  Then, mix shredded chicken and shredded white cheddar cheese into the bowl with the cooling filling.

6.)  Next, mix in salt and pepper into the filling mixture.

7.)  Fill each circular dough wrapper with around 2 – 2 1/2 tbsp of filling and fold in half.

8.)  Then, seal the opening ends with a fork by crimping the two sides together.

9.)  Put the filled and sealed wrappers onto a baking sheet.

10.)  Then, brush a mixed egg coating on top of the wrappers, and sprinkle a few pieces of coarse sea salt on each one.

11.)  Bake at 400 degrees for around 20 minutes or until golden brown and pastry is no longer doughy.

12.)  The insides will be piping hot, so consider cooling off for a few minutes or venting with a fork and enjoy!


Empanada Wrappers

I strongly suggest finding a supermarket that sells Goya, pre-made empanada wrappers. That would make this process much easier. (Some Giant Eagle stores in the area carry them.)  But if you cannot locate any of the frozen variety, here is a pretty good substitute recipe for making your own at home!

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Total Time:  1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield:  12-15 medium size or 20-25 small empanada discs


NOTE:  You can also quadruple this recipe to make for future dinners.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water or milk, adjust as needed to make a soft and smooth dough


1.)  Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.

2.) Add the butter and pulse.

3.) Add the egg and the water or milk (in small increments) and continue pulsing until a clumpy dough forms.

4.) Split the dough into 2 large balls, flatten slightly into the shape of disks. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated until ready to use (1-2 days max).

5.)  Then, roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate). I would make them 6 inches in diameter

6.) Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.  I suggest separating each disc with wax paper, in a freezer bag.

7.)  Enjoy!

finished empanada


  1. You’re welcome! It’s fun to include your children in the prep too, if they are old enough. Each of my daughters look forward to doing their special part each time we make these. ?

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