This Filipino chicken empanada is packed with flavorful filling of shredded chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas and raisins. Enclosed in a mildly sweet flaky pastry that is baked to golden crispy perfection. Ideal for snacks, light meals or breakfast!
What is Empanada?
Empanada is a pastry turnover famous around the globe, especially in Latin and South America and, of course, in the Philippines. It is a half-moon shaped pastry made by folding the dough over the fillings.
Empanada’s fillings and flavor varies in each region and country but is stuffed, commonly, with meat—either ground pork, beef, or chicken—cheese, vegetables, potatoes, or corn.
It also ranges in size and can be either by fried or baked.
Variations of it can also be found in other cultures, such as Italian Calzone, Cornish Pasty, turnovers and Runza
Where did Empanada originate?
Like any other cuisines, Empanada’s origin points to countless stories. Many countries claim that this pastry originated from them. To mention a few, these are Mexico, Argentina, and the Philippines where this treat is very popular.
It is believed, however, that Empanada has originated in Spain. The word Empanada was derived from the Spanish word “empanar” which translates to “to cover in pastry”—which exactly how this pastry is made. Empanada was mentioned as a Catalan recipe, as early as 1520, in a local cookbook called Libre del Coch written by Catalan chef Robert de Nola.
What other Filling can you use?
This stuffed bread or pastry treat was obviously introduced to the Philippines by the Spanish people in the early years. But the Filipino empanadas are also quite unique, using a slightly sweet empanada dough.
Filipino Empanadas have different kinds of fillings, among the most popular are ham and cheese, ground pork or beef and chicken. But I am rather partial to Chicken Empanadas.
This recipe involves baking the empanadas as opposed to the traditional way of cooking them, which is by frying. And the empanada dough I used for it is just perfect--with flaky buttery texture, and it is just wonderful.
Normally, I would also add some raisins to the filling for my chicken empanada. But Armin's taste buds are (still) untrained for the sweet and salty combination in food. Like, I can't believe he does not like my fave chocolate bar with salted pretzels in it-- which is kind of great because it means more for me..😉 ! I am not sure if it is a German thing or it is probably just him!
If you like this recipe, I would also suggest checking out our Jamaican Patties with spicy beef filling enclosed in a puff pastry. It is amazingly delicious!
But if you are looking for something sweet, then our Peach-Mango pocket pies are for you!
- 3 cups flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold unsalted butter - cut into small cubes
- 6-10 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion - chopped
- 1 cup potato - cut into small cubes
- ½ pound chicken breast fillet - boiled and shredded or cut into small pieces
- 1 cup carrots - cut into small cubes
- 1 cup red bell pepper - cut into small cubes
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup green peas
- ½ cup raisins (optional)
- ½ tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water, beaten together
- Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions and add the potatoes then cook with cover until potatoes are half cooked.
- Add the shredded chicken, carrots, red bell pepper and stir several times. Add the water and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer while stirring occasionally until almost all liquids are gone. Lastly, add the green peas and raisins and cook for another few minutes until all liquids are gone. Transfer the cooked filling in a colander to remove any excess liquid. Set aside to let cool before using.
- In a mixing bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using the mixer by pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing until dough is no longer too crumbly and holds together when squeezed. Squeeze the dough together to form a ball. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts.
- Take a piece of the dough and roll it out to flatten to not more than half-centimeter thick. Cut out disks using a large cookie cutter or any round object with the desired size ( I use a small glass bowl). Do the same with the remaining dough. Gather all excess dough cuttings and press together and repeat the process until all dough is used.
- Place a dough disk on your palm and spoon enough empanada filling in the center. Fold in half towards the edges and pinch the sides to close. Use a fork to press and seal the sides tight.
- Place empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. Brush each empanada with the egg wash to make them shiny and brown after baking. Poke (3-5) small holes on each empanadas using a toothpick or fork to let the steam out and prevent them from bursting open while baking.
- Bake at 360°F/180°C for 18-20 minutes. Empanadas are done when they appear light brown and shiny.
- If you do not have a mixer, just use a pastry blender or a fork to mix the dry ingredients together and then use your hands to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until the required texture is achieved.
- Avoid over-handling the dough specially with warm hands. It may cause the butter to melt and prevent from creating the flaky texture of the pastry.
- This recipe can make upto 16 large empanadas or 24 smaller ones.
- You can also fry the empanadas instead of baking, just skip Step 6.
This recipe was originally published in June 2016. Updated on October 2019 to include new photos and notes. Recipe itself remains the same.
Remie Perez says
I always try your recipes, my friends and co-workers love it. Thanks for sharing.
I love to try this reciepe empanada thanks for sharing us godbless
First time I tried this one and it turned out perfect! Its soooo good!can't belive I made those empanadas myself. Hubby was amazed : ) Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe 🙂
Glad to hear it, Yuma! Happy that you enjoyed making them too.
I must say all of your recipes here are great! I tried empanada to kuchinta to puto to pandesal etc.. now everytime I try to look for something to cook (or bake), I always check your site first because I know it will not dissapoint me 🙂 Thank you!!!
Oh wow! that is so great to hear Jen! Super happy that you are enjoying our recipes.
How can i make the color of the empanada darker its looks so pale
Replace the water with milk in the eggwash.
THE CRUST IS MARVELOUS!! I just badly need to practice the art of not over-filling.:( made this for my hubby because he loves empanada. He has eaten 3 in the past hour. Planning to try frying the rest of the empanadas. Thank you for the great recipe:))
Great that you and hubby like it, Kat! I know about over-filling, LOL! Still have to learn that too😉
This is the best empanada I’ve ever tasted, ‘twas my first time making it and it turned out really really good, everyone loved it! Your dough recipe is the perfection😊 Thank u so much for the recipe!!!
Aaaww...that is so nice to know, Sue.
Rhodora A. Alberto says
Hi Bebs! Have tried your Kani Sushi Bake Recipe. My children and friends like it. Thank you for sharing it......God bless and good luck to your blog.....
Thank you, Rhodora.
Great looking recipe! I am curious:
Why no eggs in the dough?
Hi Mars, it is because we wanted flaky pie-like dough for our empanada, you can of course add egg and it will have a softer texture..
Foxy Folksy is now my recipe book .. anything I wish to cook I just search it here in Pinterest .. I never fail making the dough or any recipe even for the very 1st time making it ..
Thank you so much Bebs for sharing your recipe 😘
May God Bless you even more ❤️❤️❤️
Aaawww, Sally! That is what every recipe blogger wants to hear! Thanks do much for such nice words.
I always follow your page but this is the first time I’m asking / rating.
I know that your dough recipe would always turn out great. However, I don’t have a blender or food processor. How do I incorporate butter if I am only mixing by hand?
Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you selflessly share with all of us!
Hi Sheryll, you can use a fork or a knife to cut the butter in the flour and stir from time to time until they become small bits and crumbs.
Hello Bebs, i am planning to try to make this but i’m wondering if anyone had tried it in an airfryer. If so, what temp and how long, do i need to spray it with cooking oil... i hope to hear anything from anyone... thanks a lot! I always check your site whenener I crave on making any filipino dishes (sweet or savory).
Update: i made these a week ago, stored in the freezer and cooked it just today, through the Airfryer. This might help other homecooks who wants to use the airfryer instead of deep frying. I put 4 pcs of empanada in a tray, sprayed both sides with PAM Canola oil before putting them into the basket then cooked them at 390F at 10mins (ppl should not spray their airfryer basket with PAM, it leaves grease and grimes that is very hard to clean), then flipped and cooked for another 5mins. I am using Philips Airfryer. They came out perfect like the deep fried ones! Buttery flaky & golden but less oil! The recipe itself is already perfect. Loved the pastry!
Thanks for your short but perfect comment!
Hi Ms Bebs,
I love the dough recipe. I've made empanadas with different variations using your dough recipe and it always came out with excellent results. The dough is flakier when fried. May I ask, aside from empanadas, can i use the dough recipe for pies? I've tried other pie crust recipes but nothing compares to your empanada dough recipe in terms of texture. Thank you and more power!
Hi Kara, thanks for your wonderful comment and sure you can use it also as a pie crust.
Carmen Green says
Hi your Mango Peach pies look delicious. One thing I want to find out rather than frying surely they can be baked in oven. If so what temperature?
Hi Carmen, sure you can and with puff pastry it is better to bake them at hight temperature just until golden, 200°C.
Made empanada with chicken and another time with beef. Both were great and so filling.
All your recipes and instructions are easy to follow. I have done several. You are great chef.
Wow! I am just happy that you love our recipes here. I am not really a professional chef but learned it mostly from experience. Thanks for the great review, Vickie!
Superb! Did this more than once, came out always perfect!
Thanks for the great comment and review, Jhing.
Hi! Ok lang po ba kung salted butter? Wala kasing available sa area namin ngayon. Paano po ang adjustment sa measurement ng salt? Thank you po
Hi Ruby, just omit the salt as salted butter can be salty enough.
Did this empanada dough recipe using left over ground beef taco filling and add carrots and potatoes . It was excellent and my kids loved it! 😊 will do it again using chicken . Thanks and step safe .
Yes, I love this dough and use it for other savory fillings too. Glad you like it! Stay safe you all..
Hello. Can I use margarine like Dari Creme instead of butter? Thnx.
You can but skip the added salt as they are normally salted already.
With shelter in place going on , I tried your empanada dough recipe with left over ground beef taco filling and it’s excellent and my kids loved it 😊. Thanks so much and stay safe.
i know na why it is salty, Ms. Bebs. The list says 1/2 tablespoon of salt when it should just be 1/2 teaspoon only (read from your reply to Karr on Oct 25, 2019). I will try your empanada recipe, Ms. Bebs 😊
Hi Abie, the 1/2 teaspoon salt is for the dough and the 1/2 tbsp is for the chicken filling. You can, of course, adjust it.
Can you give me recipe and instructions for pancit palabok or pancit malabon.
More success to you.
Thank you so much!
Here is the link for easy palabok recipe or you can also check out Pancit Luglug
Can i fry these empanadas
Sure you can, just make sure the oil is hot before frying them to prevent the dough from absorbing it that results to greasy fried empanadas.
Very delicious and interesting recipe I love it,my family did enjoy the empanadas and even asked me for more!!!!
Oh I love it too! And Armin can't get enough of them. I am happy to hear your family love it too! Thanks for the great review, Barbara!😘
The dough ended up too salty for me. Too salty to be eaten. 🙁
That is weird as the dough recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon salt only to 3 cups of flour, that is almost nothing. Could it be the butter you used is salted?
Hi bebs. Can I use lard instead of butter in this empanada dough?
Sure you can, Dairwin. But butter adds more flavor.
Catalina Patawaran says
I want to have a very good dough for my empanada
Hi! Thanks for the recipe. Is this freezable? I want to make it ahead of time.
Sure you can freeze them, Valerie. Stop at Step 5 and arrange them in a container layered with parchment paper so they do not stick together and it would be easier to handle later on.
Thank you Beb! I made it today and I really like the pastry. I added some turmeric and cayenne powder to give the filling a little kick.
Turmeric and Cayenne powder...sounds good to me! Thanks Valerie for the tip.
Roxette Polinar says
Hello! I am a Grade 10 student and we were supposed to cook empanada and i chose this recipe. My question is can i add cheese in the chicken filling?
I sure hope the cheese will not ruin the taste.
Hi Roxette, I've never tried it with cheese before but I would suggest that if you will do it, you might need to reduce the salt depending on the cheese you will use. Do tell how it goes and maybe I can try your version.
Hi Bebs , ...I Will try to make it this weekends ..
Grachelle Lou Bongato says
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am currently a Grade 12 student and our Entrepreneurship teacher requires us to try a small business and I am inspired to try this one out for our class. Thank you and God Bless.
Wow! Goodluck with your project, Grachelle! ????
Hi bebs is it possible to make the empanadas, put them in the fridge and then bake them after 2 days?Thank you.
Haven't done it personally but I am pretty sure it would be ok. If I would, I'll give each empanada a slightly thicker dough so the filling would not seep out and make it soggy.
what if i fry it? do i still need to brush some egg white ?
why can't i give 5 stars for this recipe
Hi Fatima, no need to brush with egg if you are frying them. I am not sure why you were not able to give it 5 star...should work.. 🙂
I’ve done more than 5 dozen empanadas with this recipe already and the dough always comes out heavenly! Thank you! Everyone loves them, my hubby even refuses to share hahaha.
That is great to hear, really happy that you like it. Thanks for the stars..
Cynthia Miller says
thank you so much for this Chicken Empanada recipe! Easy to cook and so good!
Good to hear you like it Cynthia..