Photo of Chicken empanadas by WW

Chicken empanadas

Points® value
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
25 min
1 hr
The dough’s lovingly made from scratch and well-worth the effort. But you can also just make the filling for tacos or burritos, or buy store-bought dough.*


Olive oil cooking spray

1 spray(s)

Olive oil

2 tsp(s)


1 clove(s), large, minced

Cumin seeds

1 tsp(s)

Ground oregano

¼ tsp(s)

Table salt

½ tsp(s)


1½ cup(s), finely chopped


1 cup(s), chopped

Unpacked brown sugar

1 tsp(s)

Uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast

1 pound(s)

Chicken broth

¼ cup(s)


6 large, thinly sliced

Frozen green peas

1½ cup(s), thawed Dough

All-purpose flour

2 cup(s)

Baking powder

2 tsp(s)

Table salt

1 tsp(s)


¼ cup(s), cold

1% low-fat buttermilk

½ cup(s), cold


  1. To make filling, coat a very large skillet with cooking spray; add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cumin, oregano and salt; stir until garlic is fragrant, about 30 to 45 seconds. (Do not allow garlic to burn.) Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they turn translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more.
  2. Push vegetables to side of skillet and add chicken; brown chicken on each side, about 3 minutes total. Pour in broth; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Flip chicken; cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes more.
  3. Remove chicken from skillet; shred with a fork. Add chicken back to skillet and stir in olives and peas; warm through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  4. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  5. To make crust, in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut lard into flour with a pastry cutter, knife or fork until pea-size lumps form. Make a well in middle of dough and add buttermilk. Work dough until it just comes together (dough should still look lumpy).
  6. Form dough into a large ball or patty; divide into 12 small balls. Place each ball on a floured surface and roll into a 4-inch circle. Top each circle with a heaping tablespoon of filling; wet edges of circles with water and fold in half to form empanadas. Place empanadas on an ungreased cookie sheet; crimp edges with tines of a fork. Bake until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Yields 1 empanada per serving.


*Could affect Point values. Make a big batch of these empanadas and freeze them for a fast meal; reheat in the oven or toaster oven. Serve these empanadas with red or green chili sauce, or salsa—the hotter the better. They can also be made with ground beef or beans (could affect Points values).