Introduction: BBQ Chicken Empanadas

About: Hello! I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests and I hope I can teach you something worthwhile.

Hello! I'm going to walk you through making BBQ chicken empanadas that are so good that I don't mind making them in a tiny hotel kitchen! This was my first time making these on my own and it was a learning experience for sure. The cooking time for myself was around four hours but that is only because I was using a tiny hotel kitchen where everything took frustratingly long, not to mention I was stumbling along myself. I definitely have improvements in the steps I took and I hope you can learn from my mistakes. I would estimate the cooking time of someone who was not fooling around to be about two hours. I personally think it is worth the mess and time investment, although the empanadas disappear suspiciously fast.


  • Cooking Oil - I used olive oil
  • All purpose flour- Four cups and then some more
  • One egg
  • Two sweet potatoes
  • One white onion
  • Spinach
  • Three jalepenos
  • BBQ Sauce- I used Kraft brown sugar BBQ sauce for the first time and it was absolutely fantastic
  • 2lb Chicken Breast - can use other types of chicken, however this was the easiest for me
  • Seasonings - Season to your pleasing, throughout I used seasoning salt, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder

Step 1: Cutting Our Vegetables and Chicken

First things first is you're going to want to cut everything down to small sizes since you will be stuffing the dough.

For the chicken in my mind I thought one inch cubes would be the dream, but reality was misshapen chunks that were not the perfect cubes I imagined. It worked though! I would recommend smaller chunks for sure though, not only to make sure it cooks evenly but it would fit into the empanadas better.

For the sweet potatoes I did get closer to the one inch cubes I was imagining. I sliced the jalepenos and diced my onion and we're all set to move on!

Step 2: Cooking Our Chicken

Unfortunately for me, I could not cook my vegetables and chicken at the exact same time since I only had two burners and could only use one at a time. But I would recommend taking advantage of your normal luxurious kitchen and making them both at once.

I heated up my pan to a medium to high heat and threw my misshapen chicken in there. I seasoned my chicken with seasoning salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper. It took me about twenty minutes until my chicken was perfect and finished. Afterwards I recommend eating a few pieces while you continue cooking, it helps tremendously.

Step 3: Cooking Our Veggies

I drizzled some olive oil on the pan and let it heat up on a medium heat. I threw only the onions in for about five minutes to let them get that golden brown that we all love. I then threw in the sweet potatoes and jalepenos and seasoned the veggies with garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and a dash of cumin. Not too much cumin, just a dash, I learned that lesson for sure. About twenty minutes later they were done. Make sure the potatoes are cooked thoroughly by testing them periodically, they should be easily cut and you'll know they're ready. When the potatoes were nearing their end I put a few handfuls of spinach on top and it took about three minutes for the spinach to shrink and the vegetables to actually be done.

Step 4: Making the Dough

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this part of the process, probably since my hands were coated in dough. In a mixing bowl, I used a pot because times are tough out here, add four cups of flour, a cap of olive oil, an egg, and water.

So this was my first time making dough on my lonesome and I definitely put too much water. Right of the bat I added two cups of water thinking I'll just add some more later, I'll take it slow, don't want to put too much. Well that thought went down the drain almost immediately. As I was mixing all the goodies in the pot with my hands(wash your hands), It was dripping through my fingers. I ended up adding around another cup of flour periodically to get a better consistency. We're aiming for the dough not to be runny at all, while not sticking to your hands. If it's runny than slowly add more flour, and if it's sticky than slowly add more water while mixing thoroughly. It worked out eventually. After getting the dough just right I cleaned the table and prepared to get messy, while also grabbing a couple more pieces of chicken.

Step 5: Filling the Empanada

First things first is putting a thing layer of flour on the table or counter so the uncooked empanadas do not stick to the table. Before I began filling them I pre-made all the balls of dough from the giant ball of dough. I made each ball the size of my hand. Again if you're in a normal kitchen this is where you put a little flour on your rolling pin and go to town flattening them out. For myself in my hotel I flattened them with my hand. It didn't come out terribly but they're definitely a tad lumpy.

Each empanada I put two to three pieces of misshapen chicken, a pinch of the veggies and slapped some BBQ sauce on top before closing them. I quickly learned it was easier and less messy to put the BBQ sauce on the dough before anything else.

Step 6: Folding the Empanadas

So it's time to roll our empanadas! Seeing as I flattened the dough with my hand the empanadas usually had a little extra dough while folding that I just ripped off. You're going to want to fold the dough in half once the filling is in. Once you do that you pick a side and slowly fold small pieces of the dough over as pictured until you reach the other side. I am by no means good at that and as you can see, some of my empanadas I gave up on folding and making them look nice. I just pulled the edges of the dough together and twisted it together to close them. That's how we got our empanada balls/lumps! Also make sure that you periodically add flour around the table so nothing is getting stuck. With the dough I made 14 empanadas with some meat and veggies still left over.

Step 7: Cooking Our Empanadas

First off we're going to heat up our olive on a pan on a high heat. Make sure to put enough olive oil in the pan to cover the entire bottom of the pan in oil. As you cook the empanadas add more oil to the bottom to make sure it is entirely covered and the kitchen won't get smoky and set off a hotel fire alarm like some of us learned. Once the oil is heated and you place your empanadas on the pan it takes about three minutes on each side to reach the perfect golden brown.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Enjoy your hard work that you slaved over and try not to eat them too quickly! Like I previously mentioned, they disappear suspiciously fast. Also I'm not sure how they took me so long to cook but hopefully your time won't disappear as fast as mine!

It's my first time writing an instructable so please leave any comments or suggestions on how to make the recipe or the instructable better. I definitely will make sure to take many more pictures in the future.

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