Chicken Empanadas

Empanadas are a type of stuffed pastry which is popular in South America. I think almost every country has their own version of this dish (think Cornish pasties from England, curry puffs from Singapore/Malaysia, jiaozi from China, stromboli from the US, calzone from Italy).

This particular recipe features the Peruvian version of empanadas which is unique in that it is served with a sprinkling of icing sugar.


For the dough:
500g plain flour
10g salt
30g caster sugar
125g lard at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
170ml Warm milk
1 egg

For the filling:
350g minced or finely diced chicken
50ml vegetable oil
2 onions
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 boiled eggs

To serve:
Icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 200c.

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the egg yolks, warm milk, salt, sugar, vanilla essence and lard.
  2. Work the mixture with your hands until a dough is formed.
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes smooth. Place into a clean bowl, cover with cling film and allow to rest for 30-40mins.
  4. Whilst resting the dough, peel and dice the onions and garlic. Cut the boiled eggs into small pieces. Heat the oil in a large pan and when it starts smoking add the chicken and fry until it starts to brown.
  5. Add the onions, garlic and spices to the pan and fry for a further 10 mins. Then add the chopped boiled eggs and salt and pepper. Allow the filling to cool.
Assembling the empanadas:
  1. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape into balls. On a lightly floured surface roll each ball into a flat circular shape approximately 4mm thick. 

2. Place 2-3 tablespoons of the filling into the centre of the dough and brush a little water around the edge.

3. Fold the dough in half over the filling to form a semicircle and make sure you press the edges down to seal them.

4. Fold the edge back over itself to completely seal it, and use your fingers to fold and crimp the edges further to create a braid-like effect.

5. Place the empanadas onto a baking sheet and brush with an egg wash.

6. Bake for about 15 mins, until golden brown. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or cold with a few drops of lemon juice.

4 thoughts on “Chicken Empanadas

  1. Mmm…nice ones. I like the spicesa you put in them.
    We call Empanadillas to these small ones and Empanada is like a big pie. They are original from Galicia. The Octopus one is the winner for me.

  2. Beautiful photography. And great to see you make your own pastry. I really think that makes all the difference. Unfortunately, I was beaten over the weekend by filo pastry – I couldn’t roll it out thin enough. The whole meal looks delicious :)

    • Hi Lucy, thanks for the comment. I still have much to learn about photography though, my stuff is nowhere near as good as the proper food bloggers’ stuff. And I can totally empathise with pastry disasters, it happens all too often in my kitchen haha!

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