Chicken Empanadas with Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce

I was organizing my pantry and came across my empanada makers that I bought for three dollars at Ross a few years back. They’re easy enough to make without them, but it’s been a while, so I wanted to give them a try with my kiddos. I thought I’d create a healthier version of my empanadas so we didn’t have to feel guilty about eating them. For times-sake, I bought pre-made Pillsbury pie dough that you roll out yourself. I know I cannot control the sodium since it’s pre-made, so I highly suggest making your own pie dough if you have the time. But since, I made all of the other ingredients (which contained minimal sodium), I knew this recipe would be fine for my husband’s kidney diet. These contain my homemade roasted green enchilada sauce, shredded chicken breast, oh, and they’re baked, not fried…mmmmmm…Happy eating!


Health tips: Kidney-friendly*, kid-friendly

Empanada Ingredients (4-6 servings):

  • 1 box of your favorite refrigerated pie crust (contains 2 crusts), thawed and rolled out
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) Monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup roasted green enchilada sauce (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breasts (make your own by following this recipe here and store leftovers in the freezer for future meals)
  • 1 egg
  • Toppings:extra roasted green enchilada sauce and Greek yogurt for dipping. You can also top with chopped scallions and cilantro for a garnish

Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 5  cloves garlic, left in their jackets (leave them with their skin on so they don’t burn in the oven)
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • Olive oil spray
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin


  1. Preheat the oven to broil and line a sheet pan (cookie sheet) with aluminum foil. Place the onion, garlic, poblanos, jalapeno and tomatillos on the pan and spray with a little olive oil. Broil for 12-15 minutes, turning once until everything has a nice char on them. Put the poblano and jalapeno peppers into a bowl and cover them to let steam for 10 minutes (this will help the skin and flesh separate). Once cooled a bit, peel/wipe off the skin off of the peppers with a paper towel. Take out the seeds and place peppers in a blender along with the onion, tomatillos, and garlic (now you can take the jackets off of the garlic first). Add cilantro, salt, and cumin to the blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.


  1. Turn down the oven to what the instructions on the package of pie dough says. Usually 425 degrees.
  2. To make the meat filling, add your chicken, ½ cup sauce, and cheese to a bowl and mix. Set aside.


  1. Roll out one pie dough. Use a large cup or small bowl as a template to cut out your empanada circles. The amount of chicken filling, depends on the size of your bowl. Try not to overfill the dough (like I did with some of them:-).


  1. Once filled, fold the dough over and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush the outside of the dough with egg wash. To make the egg wash, combine 1 egg with 2 TBS milk or water. Make a slit with a knife on the top of each empanada.


  1. Put onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Bake for 15-18 minutes until gold brown. Serve with extra green sauce and Greek yogurt. Top with cilantro and chopped green onions if you’d like.


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