Football Fest Empanadas Recipe
Football Fest Empanadas Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Football Fest Empanadas Recipe

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Classic empanadas from South America are stuffed pastries of beef or chicken, usually fried. That doesn't mean "classic" never changes. Chicken goes well with black beans, corn and jalapenos in this baked version with a Southwestern spin. —Jane McMillan, Dania Beach, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
MAKES:24 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min./batch
MAKES: 24 servings


  • 1 jar (16 ounces) black bean and corn salsa
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 package (9 ounces) ready-to-use Southwestern chicken strips, chopped
  • 2 packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie pastry
  • 4 ounces quesadilla cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Nutritional Facts

1 empanada with 1 tablespoon salsa equals 197 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 291 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine the salsa, corn, jalapenos, 2 tablespoons cilantro and lime juice. In another bowl, combine the chicken, remaining cilantro and 1/2 cup salsa mixture; set aside. Reserve remaining salsa for serving.
  2. Unroll a pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured 4-in. round cookie cutter placed halfway on edge of pastry, cut 4-in. x 3-in. football shapes. Repeat with remaining dough, chilling and rerolling scraps as needed.
  3. Transfer half of the cutouts to greased baking sheets. Place 1 tablespoon chicken mixture in the center of each; top each with 1-1/2 teaspoons cheese. Brush edges of pastry with egg. Top with remaining cutouts; press edges with a fork to seal. Cut slits in the tops to resemble football laces. Brush tops with egg.
  4. Bake at 450° for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with reserved salsa mixture. Refrigerate leftovers.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled pastries in a freezer container, separating layers with waxed paper. To use, reheat pastries on a greased baking sheet in a preheated 400° oven until crisp and heated through.
    Yield: 2 dozen.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Originally published as Football Fest Empanadas in Taste of Home February/March 2012, p22

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Reviewed Jul. 29, 2014

"I used the meat mixture (omitting the jalapeño) and made quesadillas. They were delicious!"

Reviewed Jan. 20, 2014

"Well, I gots a better resipe for this snac. yall get Pills-berries do, make that in-to a lil pocket, and stuff it full of American cheese and slices of ham, and then just serve it! With butter glaze, its wonderness!"

Reviewed Oct. 19, 2013

"These tasted good, especially served with the salsa. Not sure if I'd make it again but certainly glad that I tried it."

Reviewed Mar. 31, 2013

"I cheated and made these in my pie maker (the Sunbeam appliance my husband once called the most useless appliance in the kitchen...until I made him some pies and these empanadas. mwahahaha). As we had kids over, I didn't use jalapenos and I hate cilantro, so I skipped that as well. Didn't matter! They were still very tasty. I might put a bit more cheese in next time, but will definitely make again!"

Reviewed Jan. 23, 2013

"Great recipe! I saved a little more time by using a couple pkgs. of the pre-cut wrappers by Goya. You can find these in the ethnic frozen food section of your supermarket."

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