Easy Baked Empanadas with Cheesy Saffron Rice and Salsa

Easy baked chicken empanadas with Cheesy Saffron rice

Easy baked chicken empanadas with Cheesy Saffron rice
I don’t think I have ever eaten an authentic empanada in my life.

I claim to anyone who asks that Mexican and southwest food is my favorite, yet I am a creature of habit. Fajitas, tacos, burritos, and nachos. There is my repertoire of Mexican food.

So, I say that because I claim these are empanadas.

Yes, they are baked not fried. As for the other differences?

I’m sure those of you who LOVE empanadas will enlighten me to what makes one authentic. But, for this midwestern girl, I give you MY version of a baked empanada.

With an easy cheesy saffron rice. You’re welcome.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Easy Baked Empanada with Cheesy Saffron Rice

Easy Baked Empanada with Cheesy Saffron Rice
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Easy baked chicken empanadas with Cheesy Saffron rice


For the Empanadas:

  • 1/2 cup canned sweet corn
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa (any variety)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 pkg (14.1oz) refrigerated pie pastry
  • 1 large chicken breast, cooked and diced
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

For the Rice:

  • 10oz pkg Saffron yellow rice (I used Vigo brand)- about 5 cups prepared
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika


  1. In large bowl mix corn, jalapenos, black beans, salsa, cumin, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
  2. Unroll pie pastry on floured counter top. Using a 4inch round cookie cutter, cut circles out of pastry. Re-roll the scraps and repeat, using both sheets of pie pastry. I ended up with 24 circles.
  3. In the center of each circle, add about 1 Tbsp corn and bean mixture, about a tablespoon of diced chicken and a teaspoon of cheese. Pinch edges together and fold them over to secure.
  4. Repeat for remaining circles.
  5. Lay each empanada on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 12 minutes, until browned. Serve with remaining corn and black bean salsa.
  6. Meanwhile, for the rice, prepare yellow rice according to package directions.
  7. Combine hot cooked rice with cream cheese, Jack cheese, cumin, salt and onion powder. Pour into an 8inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 401 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 7g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 634mg Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 6g Protein: 18g
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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31 comments on “Easy Baked Empanadas with Cheesy Saffron Rice and Salsa”

  1. These sound absolutely smashing! Love this idea!

  2. I’m a midwesterner, too; and these look absolutely amazing to me. YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Looks really tasty! I just love when my mom makes these.

  4. Yum! Sounds like the perfect week-night meal to me. I love empanadas, but I’ve never tried a baked one before!

  5. Those look and sound really yummy! Can you believe I have never tried an empanada? Maybe it is time I fix that:-)

  6. these are right up my alley!! i haven’t had empanadas in a while and this sounds so good right about now!

  7. Whata great Empanada! I love the flavor combination that you used.

  8. Can’t wait to try this! These are my “go to” ingredients so making them into empanadas sounds like a great idea!

  9. You know, I don’t know that I’ve ever had an empanada either. So, while I’m not able to tell you whether the recipe is at all authentic, I can tell you that they look delicious.

  10. Sounds delicious to this German girl! πŸ™‚ And I love that they’re baked, yum!

  11. A number of years ago, I went to South America and ate pretty much nothing but empanadas for 3 months. I’ve never made them at home and your recipe brings back lots of great memories. You’ve definitely inspired me to do an empanada night!

  12. I have never tried making empanadas in the oven before. This recipe looks amazing. I would love for you to link up at my linky party via: http://ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com/2012/04/live-linky-party-10.html to share this awesome post with my readers.

    Mrs. Delightful

  13. We love empanadas, but we usually fry them. I have to try this since it’s baked. I’d love it if you’d share these at my link party going on now at The NY Melrose Family .

  14. I LOVE this recipe! Making this tomorrow night – thanks for sharing:)

  15. I’m a wimp when it comes to Mexican food so I’ve never had an Empanada. Your Cheesy rice sounds wonderful and I’ll be adding it to our next Taco night!

  16. Love the cheesy rice recipe! I think I am going to have to make it soon. Would love to have you link this up to my party at http://www.claimingourspace.com/2012/04/tout-it-tuesday-2.html

  17. Mmm! Might have to make some. They look tasty

  18. Que delicioso! The empenadas and rice would be perfect for Cinco de Mayo! Spotlighting your post on my FB page today


  19. I love a baked empanada! I’m totally going to make this.

    Buuuuut if you want some authentic empanadas to try, come to Chicago! πŸ™‚ They’re everywhere… even an Empanada food truck has recently started driving around the city.

  20. This sounds delish, I bet my boys would love it πŸ™‚

  21. irene

    I habe had varieties both were delicious an slightly differant. Both contained chicken rice Blk beans seasoning was differant. So there flavors but homemade from scratch. These sound wonderful you can put anything in them savory to sweet

  22. Pingback: Foodies Network » Easy Baked Empanadas

  23. J

    I just made these but realized I think I made them wrong. The bean, salsa, corn, spices, cilantro, and lime juice was a sauce to serve with it NOT in it correct? I put it inside because it never specified but after it was so runny and made a huge mess I realized it was probably wrong. Please specify for other people that it’s the sauce for after and the filling is the rest of the beans/corn/chicken and cheese. Thanks

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  25. Ketutar

    Well, I can tell you what makes an authenthic empanada… you have stuffing in dough, fried or baked. πŸ˜€
    So these are quite authenthic. πŸ˜€
    You can basically use any kind of dough, any stuffing, crimp the pasty in many ways and cook it as you like. It
    s originally Spanish, but you can find empanadas in many places from Italy to Philippines, in Africa and South America. πŸ™‚

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