Barbecue Chicken Empanadas

post. I am absolutely thrilled to be participating in this very fun idea with a pretty fabulous group of bloggers.

This month I was given the task of making a recipe from I Was Born to Cook. Deciding on a recipe was no easy task because she has so many delicious looking ones. These cheddar sliders with Cajun caramelized onions were calling my name and then there was the Italian Sausage and Potato Soup which is based on my mom’s favorite soup from the Olive Garden.

Finally when I saw the slow cooker pulled pork  and how Melissa turned the leftovers into empanadas I knew we had a winner, folks.

I didn’t have any pulled pork on hand but I did have my sweet and spicy shredded chicken in the freezer. I know that sounds like a stretch but when I serve barbecue pulled pork it has almost always been cooked the exact same way I made the chicken.

Another change I had to make was using a homemade dough for the empanadas. I live in the middle of nowhere so my local grocery stores don’t have empanada discs in the freezer. If they had been available locally I would have definitely used them.

Barbecue Chicken Empanadas

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Author Micha M


For the filling:

  • 2 cups sweet and spicy shredded chicken
  • 1/2 cup or so of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1 small onion , chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For the pastry:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 Tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 to 2 teaspoons of cold water


For the filling:

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat cook the garlic and onions in the olive oil until softened and translucent. Add the chicken and barbecue sauce, season to taste and heat through. Cover and set aside while you make the pastry.

For the pastry:

  1. Place the milk and shortening in the freezer for about 20 minutes. The colder your ingredients the flakier your crust will be. You don’t want them to freeze, just to get really, really cold.
  2. In a large bowl mix together your flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in your cold shortening with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the flour is crumbly. Stir in milk all at once.
  3. Dust a clean flat surface and the dough with flour and knead 10-20 times so that the dough holds together. Roll the dough out to 1/3-1/2 inch thickness and cut into 12 circles using a 2 inch cutter.

To assemble:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out a cut circle into a 5-6 inch circle. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the barbecue filling slightly of center and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese. Brush the outer edge of one side of the dough with your egg wash. Fold over dough, press to seal and crimp well with a fork. Place on ungreased baking sheets and cut small steam vents in the top of the pie. Brush the top with more egg wash. Repeat process until discs are gone.
  2. Bake in the hot oven for 25-35 minutes or until crust is brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for five minutes before serving. Serve with ranch dressing or sour cream for dipping if desired.

Recipe Notes

adapted from I Was Born to Cook pastry adapted from Alton Brown



This is a recipe I will definitely make again. It isn’t a weeknight friendly meal but isn’t as time consuming or as difficult as I thought it would be. I was able to get these oven in an hour or less and the 30 minute bake time was just enough to get everything cleaned up and the side dishes made.

These can also be frozen before baking so any you don’t think you’ll need that night can be popped in the freezer in a small sheet pan. After they’ve been in there a couple of hours toss them in a labeled freezer bag.

To visit the other Secret Recipe Club members who had their reveal day today just click on the links below.

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  1. I’m so glad you liked them. I love your adaptation. Welcome to the club! 🙂

  2. mmm Barbecue Chicken Empanadas! Saving this recipe

  3. Lovely empanadas!

  4. These look good! I made BBQ Chicken Pizza Pockets for my SRC post… somewhat different from your empanadas but still pretty similar! Good choice!

  5. These sound super delicious! I’ve been wanting to try making empanadas and this would be a great way to start!

  6. This is my first month in the SRC, too, and I am very thrilled to be in the company of such fun, foodie bloggers. I am definitely going to try this…as well as your apple puff pancakes that were made! ~Camilla

  7. Welcome to the SRC and a great choice of recipes. I love that these can be made ahead and frozen as they would be a big hit in our house.

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Welsh Cakes.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  8. Looks fantastic…love these empanadas, they sound delicious!

  9. I love empanadas and I love bbq chicken – sounds like a match made in heaven! Great SRC choice!

  10. I think I would prefer the chicken over the pork myself. I have never made empanada dough on my own but I have the press 🙂 lol

  11. I’m a newbie too..well..this was my second SRC 🙂 Love these BBQ chicken pockets so much! I wish I had one in my hand this very minute! Great SRC choice!

  12. Errr,,,make that empanadas. Somehow that makes it that much better!

  13. teaandscones says

    Great idea to put the pulled pork, eh…. chicken into a hand pie. Love them anyway and this is a great way to use the leftovers – when we have them!!!

  14. I made these for a group of friends and I and we all loved them! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!


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