Pumpkin Chicken Empanadas


Obsessed with all of the empanadas on my recent trip to Spain, I had to come home and make my own perfect-for-Fall ones.


  1. FOR THE DOUGH. in your large mixing bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

    In one of your medium mixing bowls, whisk together your egg and chicken stock.

    Pour your egg mixture over your flour mixture.

    Add in your shortening.

    Use your hands to kneed the mixture until you have an even textured dough.

    Roll it into a ball and let it sit in the middle of your mixing bowl.

    Cover it with plastic wrap (the wrap should touch the dough directly stretching all around it)

    Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Move onto the next steps while your dough is refrigerating.

    Remove from refrigerator and discard of plastic wrap.

    Line your baking sheet with your silpat or parchment paper.

    Sprinkle flour on your work surface and rolling pin.

    Using your chefs knife, cut your dough ball into 8 triangular wedges—cutting in a crossing pattern as if you were cutting a pizza.

    You are going to work with one wedge at a time.

    Roll one wedge of dough in your hands into a ball.

    Put it on your counter and roll it out until it’s roughly 1/8 inch thick.

    Use your paring knife to roughly cut a 6 inch circle out of your dough.

    Put your remaining scraps back into your bowl, you will ball them up and use them to make additional dough rounds.

    Place your dough round onto your silpat on your baking sheet.

    It’s ok to lay them on top of each other at this point. They won’t be baked until they have their filling in them.

    Once you have all of your rounds, set them aside.

  2. FOR THE FILLING. preheat your oven to 350°.

    Season your chicken breast and thigh with salt and pepper.

    Bake for 20 minutes—or until your meat thermometer reads 155°.

    As they rest, they will continue to cook bringing their temperature up to 165° without over cooking.

    In the meantime, heat up your extra virgin olive oil in your frying pan.

    Add in your finely chopped onions.

    Using your rubber spatula, sweat your onions, moving them around continuously over medium heat – about 4 minutes.

    Transfer them into your medium mixing bowl.

    Let cool for 2 minutes.

    Transfer your chicken to your cutting board.

    Using your forks, shred your chicken breasts and thighs by digging into one end of your chicken breast and pulling the two forks apart. Do this over and over until both chicken breast and thigh are shredded.

    Your will have the look of the chicken in a pulled chicken sandwich.

    Add your pulled chicken into your onion filled medium mixing bowl.

    Use your rubber spatula to fold in your pumpkin puree, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, raisins, salt and pepper.

  3. ASSEMBLING YOUR EMPANADAS. we’re going to go ahead and make one empanada. That way you can repeat all of the steps to easily make the rest of them.

    Preheat your oven to 375°.

    Lay one of your dough rounds out in front of you.

    Scoop your chicken filling into the center of your dough round making sure to leave an inch of dough untouched around the edges.

    Fold your dough round in half over the chicken filling to create a stuffed half moon shape.

    This is the part where you can use the classic fork closure. To do so, seal your empanada shut by pressing the prongs of your fork along the doubled over edge of your empanada. I did a folded braiding method which I will elaborate on below.

    Beginning at the point of your folded empanada closure, fold over a finger tip width-wise sized piece about half and inch inward going on a slight angle towards the center of your empanada. Do this over and over again—it’ll feel like you’re making a braid—until you reach the other corner opening of your empanada. Fold this other corner over in the opposite direction of your other folds to finish off your sealing.

    As you finish each empanada, line them in rows on your silpat covered baking sheet.

    Once all of your empanadas are lined up, beat your remaining egg in your small mixing bowl.

    Then, using your silicone brush, brush a coating of this egg wash over the tops of each of your empanadas.

    Bake them for 10 minutes.

    Remove your empanadas from the oven and up it’s heat to 400°.

    While the heat is rising, apply a second egg wash to your empanadas.

    Put them back in the oven for 15 additional minutes.

    Serve hot and enjoy!

    PS. these refrigerate well. I like to heat a couple up for lunches for the next few days after making them.