Happy Empanada Day!

An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry that has been baked or fried, and can be either sweet or savory.  These Mini Chicken Empanadas are great as an appetizer or snack, and using refrigerated pie pastry helps to speed up the process.

Mini Chicken Empanadas


30 Servings  Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min./batch


  • 1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 2/3 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 4 teaspoons chopped sweet red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (14.1 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry


  • In a small bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. On a lightly floured surface, roll each pastry sheet into a 15-inch circle. Cut with a floured 3-in. round biscuit cutter.
  • Place about 1 teaspoon filling on one half of each circle. Moisten pastry edges with water. Fold pastry over filling. Press edges with a fork to seal.
  • Transfer to greased baking sheets. Bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Serve warm. Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen.
Nutritional Facts: 1 empanada equals 81 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 108 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fat, 1/2 starch.
For dessert, try these Apricot Empanadas!  With a delicious cream cheese and citrus crust, they’re a perfect way to finish a meal.

Apricot Empanadas


35 Servings  Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 15 min.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 6 tablespoons apricot jam
  • Cinnamon-sugar


  • In a small bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the flour and lemon peel. Shape dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove dough from the refrigerator 1 hour before rolling. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 17-1/2-in. x 12-1/2-in. rectangle; cut into 2-1/2-in. squares. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam onto each square. Brush edges with water; fold pastry over filling, forming a triangle. Seal edges well with a fork.
  • Place on greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 35 empanadas.
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 89 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 17 mg cholesterol, 62 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

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