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Easy Chicken Empanadas (Just Four Ingredients!)

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Easy chicken empanadas just four ingredients
Ready for the easiest recipe? With just 3-4 ingredients which can be easily found at your local Walmart stores, this Chicken Empanada recipe is the quickest weeknight dinner. Weekdays can get hectic with school and extracurricular activities so I rely on recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. Who has the time to slave in the kitchen for hours?

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Growing up, my Abuela would stay with us for part of the year to help my mom with my sister and I. We were fortunate that she would have arroz, habichuelas, and carne for us when we got home. There is nothing like grandma’s home cooked meals! When she traveled back to Puerto Rico, my mom would rely on easy, quick meals. Both of my parents worked full time so getting dinner at a decent hour was important.  Our favorite was always empanadas (or pastelitos) because we can make them with anything. They are easy to customize to your family’s taste but cheese is a must! Everything goes well with cheese in my book.

cheesy chicken empanadas

The recipe is just 3 ingredients (4 if you include the cheese)! Grab a can of Swanson® Premium Chicken, Prego® Italian Sauce, and frozen dough discs from the Hispanic food aisle to create this easy recipe. The kids will ask for more and will become a family favorite! It tastes like chicken pizza! The chicken is already cooked so all you need to do is heat it up in a small pot with Prego® Italian Sauce. The sauce is everything – Prego® Italian Sauce is my go-to pasta sauce because the spices and seasonings are perfect. It has that sweet savory Italian flavor that compliments any dish. I use an empanada maker (dough press) to close the discs but you can easily use a fork to close the two ends together. The ingredients are all inexpensive so it won’t hurt the budget. Pair your delicious meal with V8+Energy® with one combined serving of fruit and veggies! Giving you the energy to tackle the rest of your night.

Four Ingredient Chicken Empanadas


1 can Swanson® Premium Chicken (12.5 oz can)

1/2 jar Prego® Italian Sauce

1 pack of frozen discs (dough pastry discs found in the Hispanic frozen food section), thawed

(Optional) 1 cup of shredded cheese (or sliced), I used mild cheddar

About 2.5 cups of oil (for frying)


1. Drain water from Swanson® Premium Chicken.

Easy 4 ingredient chicken empanadas2. Place Swanson® Premium Chicken in a small pot to heat and beginning breaking the chicken apart to shred. Next, add Prego® Italian Sauce.

chicken empandas with sauce3. Mix the chicken and sauce well until chicken is completely covered. At this point, you can add more sauce if you want it extra saucy. Once the mixture is heated through, typically about 10 mins or less over medium heat.

Chicken empanadas sauce4. Once the discs have been thawed place a spoonful of cheese (if you prefer to add cheese) on top of the dough then a spoonful of shredded chicken mixture. Close the empanada using a fork or the dough press. Repeat until all empanadas are made.

Ingredients to make chicken empanadas

Chicken empanadas preparation

Chicken empanadas mold

chicken empanadas step by step5. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Once hot, place a couple empanadas in the hot oil. Flip once dough gets a golden color. Place empanada on a paper towel to drain the oil.

empanadas frying

fried empanadas

6. Serve and eat immediately!

crispy chicken empanadas

If you want more easy and quick dinner ideas, click here to visit the Campbell’s Shortcut Meals website and Back to School meal inspiration!

Walmart in store photo

What are your favorite easy recipes?

Easy chicken empanadas with cheese

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  • Reply Sandra Preti

    I love that these are simple and only have four ingredients. Great weeknight meal for the family. Thanks for sharing!

    July 27, 2017 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    Wow! That recipe looks absolutely amazing. I love empanadas, but never thought about making them myself. I am definitely going to try them soon.
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    July 27, 2017 at 4:54 pm
  • Reply Lisa Favre

    Empanadas are so incredibly tasty and I’m totally loving the fact that yours are only four ingredients. I’m used to beef empanadas but I would also be up for chicken ones as well. I can never pass up a plate of empanadas!
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    July 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm
  • Reply lisa

    These look so good!! I’ve never heard of Chicken Empanadas before, I like how easy they are to cook. I wonder if I can get my kids to eat them, each ingredient is one we use anyway so this should be a go for them! Thanks for sharing!!

    July 27, 2017 at 8:16 pm
  • Reply Leah

    OMG!!! I’ve never heard of these before, but they look so good! My kids would devour them, I’m sure! I can’t eat them because I am allergic to gluten, but I will make them for the kids for sure!

    July 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm
  • Reply roch

    Oh, I didn’t know Swanson also has a line of premium poultry. My impression on the brand is that it sells plenty of supplements. Prego Italian Sauce sounds amazing. I think the sauce can make or break this recipe.

    July 28, 2017 at 12:04 am
  • Reply Gemille Sleweon

    It’s amazing how cultures overlap. I’m west African(Liberian to be specific) and we have a similar dish that we call “meat pies” which is the same concept as empanadas. These looks absolutely delicious!

    July 28, 2017 at 7:53 am
  • Reply Tina Butler

    I love that empanada maker. I need to look into getting one and also to try and locate the pastry dics at our grocery store. We have a section of hispanic products in the freezer section, so I will look next time I am at the store. I have never used spaghetti sauce in empanadas.

    July 28, 2017 at 6:22 pm
  • Reply Vanessa Palma

    My husband adores empanadas. I’ll have to give these a try because they look so easy to make!

    July 29, 2017 at 5:34 am
  • Reply Ali Rost

    I haven’t thought about empanadas in the longest time! When my son was growing up, they were his favorite. I wish I had a cute little press like your back then. I’ll have to forward along your recipe to him. He’s a dad now and I know he’ll want to make it for his own kids. Thanks (as always) for your wonderful recipes! x

    July 30, 2017 at 12:32 am
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