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Football Fest Empanadas

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
    2 dozen


  • 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 large egg, lightly beaten


  • 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.
  • Unroll a pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured 4-in. round cookie cutter placed halfway on edge of pastry, cut 4x3-in. football shapes. Repeat with remaining dough, chilling and rerolling scraps as needed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Nutrition Facts
1 empanada with 1 tablespoon salsa: 197 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 291mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 6g protein.
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  • lmmanda
    Jul 29, 2014

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

  • SmittySmittySmitty
    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!

  • obsessedwithfood
    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.

  • geopchick
    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!

  • debbieroppolo
    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.

  • hejt3
    Feb 29, 2012

    easy to do, i will definitely make these again. I got 12 4 1/2" empanadas out of this recipe...

  • mwilkens106
    Feb 6, 2012

    Fantastic! It was the hit of my superbowl party! Easy and quick to make. Everyone thought I spent all day on them.

  • playswithclay
    Feb 2, 2012

    Made them for dinner using a star shaped cutter and served with a salad. Easy and they tasted great! Pointed ends on a star cutter had the potential to burn, but I took them out just in time. Next time I would bake them for 10 minutes instead of 11.

  • kvchoi
    Jan 29, 2012

    these were so easy to make, ingredients were cheap, and a hit with my friends! definitely will make again.