Chorizo and Chicken Empanadas with a Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

Empanadas are little bundles of joy. They can be filled with different flavors and textures, they can be large or small, they can be a main course or appetizers – but their one constant is that they are always delicious.
Chorizo and Chicken Empanadas with a Chimichurri Sauce
And because empanadas can be so varied, I decided to make two fillings for these along with a spicy chimichurri sauce for dipping. The empanadas were smoky and savory and married perfectly with the tart parsley and vinegar sauce. And to make them even prettier, I put cilantro and chili powder into the dough. They were as gorgeous on the outside as they were delectable on the inside.I also like that the hardest work is done by the food processor. They look time consuming, but start to finish (aside from an hour long cool down period for the dough) they can be cooked very quickly and are a great vehicle for leftover chicken and potatoes. So, instead of throwing last night’s dinner into tonight’s casserole, why not give these a shot?They might even turn into a staple for you – the way they have for me.

Chorizo and Chicken Empanadas with a Chimichurri Sauce

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook time:40 minutes
Yields20 appetizer-sized empanadas

Nutrition facts:
195 calories,
18 grams fat

Cilantro and Chili Empanada Dough

chili powder


2 ¼ cups of flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Black pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 stick of very cold butter, cut into cubes
2 eggs (reserve one for egg wash before baking)
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1/3 cup of ice water



Place the 1/3 measuring cup in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Place the flour, salt, black pepper, cilantro, chili powder and butter into a food processor. Pulse 5 times.

Take the measuring cup out of the refrigerator and fill to the top with very cold water. Pulse the water, egg and vinegar together with the other ingredients.

Flour a cutting board and knead the dough together for 2 minutes. Form into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, or refrigerate for an hour.

While the dough is cooling, make the two empanada fillings.

Chicken Filling

Chicken filling


1 cooked chicken breast, diced finely
3 scallions, white and green parts, diced
3 tablespoons of diced red pepper
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
1 ½ teaspoons of hot smoked paprika


Mix the ingredients together and set aside.

Chorizo and Potato Filling

Chorizo stuffing


½ cup of chorizo, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 cup of cooked potatoes
3 tablespoons of diced red pepper
2 teaspoons of hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin


Heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Saute the chorizo until browned on both sides and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Mash the potatoes, paprika and cumin together. Add the chorizo and red pepper. Mix well to combine.

To make the empanadas:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil. Flour a cutting board and roll the dough out to ½ an inch thick. Use a 4-inch cookie cutter or small bowl to cut out rounds. Fill with a tablespoon of the chicken or chorizo filling. Fold the dough over the filling, and close by using the tines of a fork. Repeat until dough is used. Re-roll leftover scrap dough to finish making the empanadas, but work quickly. It’s important to keep the butter as cool as possible.

Place the empanadas on the greased cookie sheet, and mix together the reserved egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the empanadas with the egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Turn baking sheet around halfway through baking.

Serve with the chimichurri sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce



1 bunch of parsley
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
¼ of a small red onion, chopped
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ of a red chili pepper, chopped
Sea salt
Black pepper


Remove the parsley from the stems and place in a blender. Add the onion, red chili pepper, sea salt and black pepper. Blend and adjust for seasoning.

Serve the chimichurri sauce with the empanadas.

Chorizo and Chicken Empanadas with a Chimichurri Sauce

(Photos by ©Launie Kettler)

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