Empanadas, or little pastry turnovers, are the essence of portability. In South America, empanadas are made with a huge variety of fillings, from savory to sweet. And the pastry dough is more like a cross between pie pastry and bread, but using pre-made pastry dough makes this simple—and really delicious.


  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Cut chicken into 1-inch chunks; arrange on baking sheet. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; cook the onions, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes until onions are very tender.

  3. Place partially frozen chicken chunks in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Chop the chicken, pulsing on and off, just until finely chopped but still retains some texture.

  4. Crumble chicken into skillet; season with salt and cook until no longer pink. Cook to internal temp of 165°F. Place chicken mixture in a medium bowl; cool 15 minutes. Gently stir in olives, egg, raisins, and vinegar.

  5. Heat oven to 400°F. Place pie pastry on lightly floured surface. Use a cutter or juice glass to cut out 3-1/2 inch rounds, re-rolling pastry as needed to make 12 to 15 rounds. Spoon a scant ¼ cup chicken mixture onto center of each round. Wet edges of dough with a little water; fold over and press firmly to seal. Crimp edge. Place empanadas on baking sheet; bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product or any other ingredients. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.


Serve hot and flaky from the oven—with or without a sauce (a deep green herbal chimichurri is a favorite or offer a spicy tomato sauce). You can make and freeze empanadas before you bake them—up to one month ahead—so make a double batch and have them on hand for a quick dinner.