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Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanada Recipe with Sweet Dough

Filed in: Food and Drink

Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanada (Baked or Fried)

I love love empanadas! I’m Filipino if you didn’t know that yet and I grew eating these finger foods at every Filipino party you can imagine. I remember my grandmother grinding away with that rolling pin on weekends when we visited with my grandparents on weekends. You could literally smell them as you walked in their home. And of course they get gobbled up quickly!

You know I can’t help but mention Pinterest:) On Pinterest, people are getting their game day dining plans in order with sliders, dips and other hand-held snacks. In fact, there’s been a 152% increase in search of empanadas, and finger food party appetizers has increased in search by 137%.

Let me give you a little bit of history about these yummy goodness.

Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanadas / Who invented empanada?

Empanadas have their origins in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal.

An empanada is a dish of Spanish cuisine, a type of baked or fried turnover consisting of pastry and filling, common in Spanish, other Southern European, Latin American, and the Philippine cultures. The name comes from the Spanish verb “empanar” (coat with bread), and translates as “enbreaded”, that is, wrapped or coated in bread. They are made by folding dough over a filling, which may consist of meat, cheese, tomato, corn, or other ingredients, and then cooking the resulting turnover, either by baking or frying.

Different Types of Filipino Empanadas

Filipino empanadas usually contain ground beef, pork or chicken, potatoes, chopped onions, and raisins (somewhat similar to the Cuban picadillo), though in a somewhat sweet, wheat flour bread. There are two kinds available: the baked sort and the flaky fried type. 
  • Empanadas in the northern part of the Ilocos usually have savoury fillings of green papaya, mung beans, and sometimes chopped Ilocano sausage (chorizo) or longaniza and egg yolk. This particular variant is fried and uses rice flour for a crunchier shell. There have also been people who make empanada filled with mashed eggplant, scrambled eggs, and cabbage, which they call poqui poqui.
  • In Bulacan, empanada de kaliskis, uniquely has a flaky multilayered crust resembling scales, hence the name.
  • In Cebu, empanada Danao is a characteristically sweet-savory variant and filled with chopped chorizo and chayote, deep-fried, and dusted in white sugar before serving.
  • In Zamboanga, empanadas are filled with chopped sweet potato, garbanzo beans, and served with a sweet vinegar dipping sauce.


Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanadas Recipe



  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 500 g chicken thigh (cut into large cubes)
  • 2 tbsp red onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes (cut into medium cubes)
  • ¾ cup carrots (cut into medium cubes)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ – ½ cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Binding agent: (helps to hold the mixture together) 

  • 4 tsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Pour the cooking oil in a pan and allow it to heat-up.
  2. Once the oil is hot, saute the garlic and onions.
  3. Add the chicken breast then cook until color turns light brown (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add a bit of water, raisins, 1 teaspoon sugar, carrots and sweet potatoes, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.
  5. Pour the binding agent and cook for 3 minutes. 
  6. Keep stirring to avoid lumps.
  7. Set aside and let it cool. 


Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanadas


Sweet Dough

Mix #1

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½  tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

Mix #2

  • 2 egg yolks (room temperature)
  • 5 tbsp melted butter
  • 5 tbsp warm water


  1. Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Combining the dry ingredients (mix #1) in a mixing bowl. Mix well using a wire whisk or fork. 
  3. Add mix #2 to mix #1.
  4. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes so everything is fully absorbed. 
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  6. Dust the surface with flour and on top of the dough if needed. 
  7. Roll the dough to ¼” thick.
  8. Cut 5” circles. You can use a 5″ bowl in circumference and then take a knife and cut around the edge of the circle. A large drinking glass will work too. 


Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanadas


9. Add one tablespoon of chicken filling and fold the dough so that opposite ends meet (you should have formed a half moon shaped dough)then press the edges and seal.

10. Leave ½” on the edge and seal the edges by pressing, pulling, and twisting it.

11. Beat one egg and glaze the top of the crust by brushing the egg wash.

12. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. 

13. Place the empanada on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. 

14. Serve hot, share, and enjoy! 


1. Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanadas are healthier of course but most people actually love them deep fried because it’s tastier. You decide what you prefer but for me, fried foods gives me an upset stomach so baked is what I prefer.
Deep-frying in vegetable oil at 360 F for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly golden. Fry the empanadas in batches so they do not crowd each other or make the oil temperature drop too low so that it doesn’t immediately seal the dough.
Easy Filipino Baked Chicken Empanadas
2. Don’t skip the egg wash if baking because it is what helps give the empanadas that Filipino tan color:) No need to do an egg wash if you’re frying it.
3. One empanada makes a great pre and post workout food. I also carry them with me when I have to do errands for a few hours so I don’t resort to quick junk food if I get hungry.
4.  You can make these in advance since they freeze well. They don’t need defrosting. Take them out of the freezer, brush them with egg wash and bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.
5. If you want more protein in your diet you can substitute the carrots for green peas, chick peas, or hard boiled egg.
6. Option for step #10: Pinch the edges together. Use a fork to press the edges together as shown below.

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