Chilean Chicken Empanadas

February 26, 2012

I absolutely love cooking for my son.  Although, he’s only three years old, he knows his mom is happy when he “hmmms!” and “ohh ricos!” my food.  This week, he’ll be starting preschool and I want his first day to be a memorable one.  For his first official school lunch, I will be packing some Chilean empanadas we learned how to make from one of his favorite shows on PBS, Postcards from Buster!

 Not only did we learn how to make these kid-friendly empanadas inspired by Buster’s trip to Chile, but we also learned about life in this magnificent country.  In Buster’s excursion, he visited beautiful “cascadas”, searched for fossils in the Andes Mountains and learned about odes as he visited our favorite poet’s home, Palo Neruda.

Perfect for cooking with children, these empanadas are very fun to make because their little hands can mold and fold the ready-made dough.  Fill them with savory ingredients or their favorite marmalade for a warm and sweet dessert.

empanadas Collage

Chilean Chicken Empanadas

Yield: Makes 4


  • 1 cup cooked and chopped chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack (or cheddar) cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ready-made pie crust, top and bottom
  • A little flour (so the crust doesn't stick)
  • Small cup or bowl, half full of water
  • *1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. To make the empanada filling, mix all ingredients (except pie crust, egg, flour, and water) in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. On a floured surface, extend pie crust and divide in quarters. Roll each quarter into a ball and extend with rolling pin. Repeat with each quarter.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons of the filling in the middle of a crust circle. Then wet your fingers with the water and moisten the entire edge of the crust. Bring one side of the crust up and over the filling until it reaches the other edge of the crust, making a half-moon shape with the filling inside.
  5. Repeat until all circles are filled.
  6. Place them in a lightly greased baking sheet and brush with egg wash.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and let them cool completely. Serve and enjoy!


Recipe from Postcards from Buster

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