Learn how to make homemade shredded chicken empanadas (aka empanadas de pollo) filled with warm spices, juicy shredded chicken breast, onion, and bell peppers. The filling is loaded with Puerto Rican flavor and wrapped in homemade empanada dough before being baked in the oven to flakey perfection.

a plate of chicken empanadas

Why We Love These

If you enjoy Latin & Puerto Rican cuisine, chances are you will love these chicken empanadas. The tender shredded chicken filling is loaded with Puerto Rican flavors thanks to sofrito, adobo, & sazon seasoning.

And if that’s not enough in the flavor department, there’s also fresh bell pepper, onions, garlic, and cilantro.

While you’re recipe planning, be sure to check out these classic empanadillas and this recipe for my favorite homemade empanada dough.

bowls of chicken, sofrito, spices, and more

Ingredients

Here’s everything you will need to make empanadas de pollo:

For the filling:

For the egg wash:

  • egg
  • water

See recipe card for quantities.

a plate of chicken empanadas

Step by Step Instructions

I’m going to teach you all of my favorite tricks for making these homemade chicken empanadas at home:

Tip: If you’d like to add diced pimento olives and/or raisins, do so when you add the shredded chicken.

a plate of chicken empanadas

Variations

As with most of my empanada recipes, the filling is easy to customize. Here are some of my favorite variations on this shredded chicken filling:

  • Add cheese – Add a small handful of your favorite shredded cheese on top of the chicken filling before closing these for some extra melty delicious flavor.
  • Mix up the veggies – Add diced mushrooms, peas, or whatever veggies you enjoy to the filling instead of or in addition to the onions and peppers.
  • Add olives or raisins – Keep things traditional and add some diced pimento olives and/or raisins to your filling.

You can also skip the veggies (onions and peppers) entirely if you don’t have any on hand, as the sofrito adds them already! Or feel free to skip the sofrito and use the sliced onions and peppers instead.

a plate with a chicken empanada

Dipping Sauces

These make excellent empanada dipping sauces:

Storage

You can store these chicken empanadas in the fridge in an air tight container or bag for up to 5 days after baking. Just be sure to cool entirely before storing.

a plate of chicken empanadas

Freezer Instructions

If you’d like to make these in advance, you can assemble them completely (do not brush with egg wash) and freeze on a sheet pan for 4-5 hours or until frozen solid. Once frozen through, store in an airtight bag.

Thaw completely before brushing with egg wash (as mentioned in the original instructions) and baking until golden brown.

Note that they might take longer than the original directions to warm through, so use a thermometer to check that they’ve warmed in the center before removing from the oven.

Closing Your Empanadas

New to making empanadas? You have a couple options when it comes to closing and sealing them.

Because we’re baking these, they’re a lot more forgiving than fried empanadas. You can either crimp these shut with a fork or fold the edges over each other with your fingers.

Either way will work, so feel free to try them both and stick with the method that feels right for you!

a plate of chicken empanadas

If you’re on an empanada kick, be sure to check out this collection of my favorites:

Buen Provecho,

the name Salima
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a plate of chicken empanadas

Shredded Chicken Empanadas (Empanadas de Pollo)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 empanadas 1x
  • Category: Entree, Snack, Appetizer, Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican, Latin

Description

Learn how to make homemade shredded chicken empanadas (aka empanadas de pollo) filled with warm spices, juicy shredded chicken breast, onion, and bell peppers. The filling is loaded with Puerto Rican flavor and wrapped in homemade empanada dough before being baked in the oven to flakey perfection.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the filling:

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water


Instructions

  1. Cook the vegetables. Start by heating the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the sofrito and cook until fragrant before adding the diced onion and pepper.
  2. Add chicken & seasonings. Sauté veggies until the onion becomes translucent and add the shredded chicken. Cook for a few minutes until the chicken warms, then add the tomato paste, water, and seasonings. Mix until everything is evenly combined before adding salt to taste.
  3. Assemble the empanadas. Add a scoop of the filling into the center of an empanada dough disc. Fold the dough over the filling. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F / 191 degrees C.
  4. Close the empanadas. Crimp the edges of the empanadas shut using a fork or your fingers. Repeat steps 3-4 until all of the discs or filling are used. Transfer the empanadas to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Make the egg wash. In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together until an egg wash is formed. Brush over the empanadas.
  6. Bake. Bake the empanadas for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown all around. Enjoy as is or with your preferred dipping sauce (I love this cilantro lime sauce)!

Notes

Tip: If you’d like, add diced pimento olives and/or raisins with the chicken.