Easy Baked Empanada Recipe: Chicken or Beef Empanada Filling

This Easy Baked Empanada Recipe: Chicken or Beef Empanada Filling is filled with meat mixture, chicken or beef, and it is cooked with many good seasonings. It is a great recipe for a snack, lunch and dinner. Empanadas are cooked in two ways, it can be baked and it can be fried as a pastry turnover filled with savory ingredients that are influenced by Spanish cuisine. This is the main reason why these type of pastries are very common to the Philippines and Latin America such as Argentina, Caribbean, Portugal and Mexico, countries that have a Spanish influence. As a result, you’ll almost certainly come across pastry turnover filled with a dizzying array of fillings and flavors.

Baked Empanada Recipe

These usually come in a half-moon shape and in various sizes from a bite sized to sizes as big as a calzone. They have become so popular because this is a dish that is good to eat for snacks, lunch and dinner. As a result, you can buy these pastry turnover filled just about everywhere. I will share with you the two most common meat savory fillings and how to make your own dough.

Easy Baked Beef Empanada Recipe

Below are the ingredients for my all time favorite ground beef recipe, Filipino and Cuban Style Picadillo. The recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground beef with potatoes, carrots, red pepper and olives. When you’re done cooking this recipe, you do not need to use all of the picadillo as  filling. This picadillo dish is actually very good eaten without the bread. Simply warm some rice to enjoy the dish. Or, you can freeze the remaining picadillo because it is a dish that is good to freeze!

Ground Beef Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 whole red onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 15 oz. can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1/4 cup pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive brine


Ground Beef Recipe

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Once simmering, add carrots and fry for 3 to 6 minutes or until they start to brown and get a little bit tender. Stirring occasionally. Then place them on a plate and set aside.
  2. Next, fry the potatoes for 3 to 6 minutes or until they start to brown or get slightly tender. Stirring occasionally. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.
  3. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes or until the onions get translucent. Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Use your spatula or wooden spoon to break the ground beef into pieces as you stir it for about 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Toss in cumin, oregano and paprika and stir into the mixture for a minute. Add tomato sauce, crushed whole tomatoes, soy sauce, potatoes, carrots, olives and olive brine.
  5. Stir the mixture for a minute and then reduce the heat to medium.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced, stirring occasionally.
  7. Turn off the heat, let the dish cool down.
  8. Once it cools down, transfer to an airtight container or into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Then transfer to the fridge and let it chill for at least 1 hour before using the meat mixture as pastry turnover filling. See the section below “How To Make Homemade Empanada Dough, Filliping And Shaping For Baking”, to learn how to make the dough and to fill them.
  9. Let them rest for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Chicken Empanada Recipe

Chicken Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground chicken
  • 1 whole of red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut into a small diced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Using a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ground chicken, season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, cumin, garlic powder and sugar. Use a spatula to break the ground chicken into pieces as you stir them for about 2 minutes.
  2. Then add carrots and bell pepper, season with a pinch of salt and pepper while stirring continuously for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the tomato into the mixture, season with a pinch of salt and pepper while stirring continuously for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce into the mixture and let it simmer for about 10 to 11 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Turn off the heat, then set aside.
  6. Let the chicken filling cool down. Transfer to an airtight container or in bowl cover with plastic wrap and put them inside the fridge, let it chill for at least 1 hour. The dough will degrade if you use warm or hot fillings before baking or frying. Because warm fillings will weaken the dough.
  7. Once your homemade dough is ready and your fillings are already chilled, follow step no, 8 and on wards of in the section below “Steps On How To Make Homemade Empanada Dough, Filling and Shaping For Baking”.

Steps On How To Make Homemade Empanada Dough, Filling and Shaping For Baking

I will share with you the step by step instructions to make your own dough. Making homemade dough is not as difficult as you may think, especially if you have a food processor. However, even if you do not have one, you can make dough by hand because it only needs a small amount of kneading. You can use this dough to make hand pies with any number of fillings. You can use veggie filling, chicken, beef, pork and so on. Actually it is a good way to turn your leftover foods into something new by putting them inside a dough.

Dough Recipe

  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of slat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • Egg wash (egg yolk with a little amount of water)


  1. Place the flour and salt in a food processor and add the cubes of butter. Then pulse the mixture in the food processor.
  2. Stir the egg into the mixture and pulse a couple of times and then add water in small increments and continue pulsing until you have clumpy dough. However, if you do not have food processor, combine the flour, salt and cubes of butter into a large bowl and mix all of the ingredients by hand. Add the egg and water in small increments and mix them into the mixture until you have achieved a clumpy form dough.
  3. Then lightly flour your kitchen counter or a smooth surface.
  4. Knead the dough on the lightly floured kitchen counter or a smooth work surface for around 5 minutes.
  5. Form the dough into small circles. Fill the 1/4 measuring cup with dough and then remove the dough from the measuring cup. Roll dough in between your palms to form into a small ball. Repeat this step for the remaining dough, roughly you will make around 10 small balls.
  6. Then roll each small ball of dough evenly using a rolling pin.
  7. You can use the dough immediately but if you want your pie dough to be a flakier dough, cover the pie dough with a towel and refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
  8. When you are ready to fill your dough with the veggie or meat mixture that you would like to use, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Scoop 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of each dough round. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling, then press the edges together firmly all the way around, gently lengthening and thinning them as you do so. Then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper.Baked Empanada Recipe
  10. Using a pastry brush, generously coat all of the exposed parts of the empanadas with egg wash.Baked Empanada Recipe
  11. Place them in the oven for 25 to 27 minutes or until the color turns into a golden brown.
  12. Remove the pastry turnover filled from the baking tray as soon as they are done baking to prevent the bottoms of the pastry from getting soggy. You do this in case some spilled out during the baking process.
  13. Let them rest for 8 to 10 minutes before serving.

Important Reminders:

  • If your filling has a lot of sauce or is too juicy, use a fine mesh strainer to separate most of the juice from the meat. This will help to keep the dough from getting soggy.
  • They are best eaten when they are warm but they’re still delicious at room temperature. You can put the baked pastries in the freezer to enjoy later. Wrap them with plastic wrap individually to prevent the from getting freezer burn. Then unwrap the pastry when you are ready to eat them and warm them slowly in the oven. If you heat them in the microwave, the crust will be less flaky.
  • Chill the  dough for at least 3 hours before assembling themwhich will make the dough even flakier.
  • If you decided not to use the dough right after you made it, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 days. Remove the dough from the fridge 20 minutes before filling and baking to allow the butter to soften.
  • To freeze, place unbaked pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet side by side, make sure there is enough of a gap in between them to avoid freezing together. Freeze the pastry until solid, then place them in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to three months and baked right from the freezer. However, the cooking time of frozen pastry will be a few minutes longer.

I hope you will give my baked empanada recipe a try. These homemade empanadas have an amazing flavor that will surely be loved by you and your whole family.

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