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Chicken Empanadas Recipe: The Best How To EVER!

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stuffed bread
Chef Carlos Capistran and Shawna Coronado make delicious chicken empanadas(stuffed bread) in Akumal, Mexico.

An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry that is served predominately in Latin America and Southern Europe. Their history can be traced back to Spain and Portugal during Moorish times. Empanadas, whether sweet or savory are good home cooking for the working class. Chef Carlos Capistran from the Lol-Ha Restaurant in Akumal, Mexico taught me how to make a simple, savory empanada recipe that is down right fabulous – THE BEST! Watch the video above to learn how to do it.

My favorite part of making these empanadas was when I squished the tortilla press too hard and Chef Carlos got very concerned with me. HA! Enjoy the dish – it is incredible!



  • Masa harina, 3 Cups
  • Water, as needed
  • Flour, 1/2 Cup
  • Oil, 3 Tablespoons
  • Cheese, 1 oz.
  • Chicken, pre-cooked and shredded, 3 oz.
  • Lettuce, a handful, shredded
  • Red onions, 1 oz. chopped
  • Cilantro, 1 oz.
  • Salsa, 1.5 oz.
  • Queso Fresco or sour cream, 1 oz.


  1. In a medium bowl, add masa, flour, and enough water to form a dough, do not use a mixer.
    • Add salt to taste.
    • If you can, use a tortilla press (if not, form by hand) – cover each side of the tortilla press with plastic so the masa does not stick to the metal.
    • Make a small ball with the masa and place the masa ball between the plastic. Press the masa until it forms a flat round shape a little thicker than a standard flour tortilla (make sure the masa is not too thin). Place the cheese and the chicken in one side of the masa tortilla.
    • Using the plastic to help, fold the masa together making a half moon shaped “sandwich pocket”, make sure the cheese and the chicken stay inside the masa.
    • Add oil to a sauce pan and heat to approximately 300 ° – you will be deep frying the masa pocket.   Very carefully place the masa pocket in the oil and cook on both sides, until golden brown.Drain the cooked empanadas on towels.
    • In a small bowl mix the lettuce, onions, cilantro into a light salad.
    • Serve the empanadas by placing on the plate and topping with the salad, salsa, and queso fresco or sour cream.

*Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am noting that the Mayan Riviera Tourism, Hotel Akumal Caribe, Villa Akumal, and Akumal Guide Mexicarte sponsored this experience. I was not told what to document or how to document the experience, we were simply asked to attend and film – anything expressed in posts related to the activities is my own opinion expressed from my own personal experience.

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