Baked Tandoori Chicken Empanadas

The best of Latin and Indian street food collide with these fusion style, baked Tandoori Chicken Empanadas.

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As a former flight attendant who traipsed around the world in the name of work, I never left a place without trying their street food; the food of the people, prepared by the people, for the people, it's pure local on every level.

I've combined my two favorite street foods, from India and Latin America, to make these easy, fusion style Tandoori Chicken Empanadas. Smoky tandoori chicken flavored with hints of lime, baked into flaky, half-moon turnover pies is a meeting of global palates that will leave you begging for more.

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Enjoy them with a shot of tequila or a chilled Margarita. Or for those teetotalers out there, a tall, cold glass of fresh lime juice.

Buon provecho! Namaste!

Recipe for Fusion Style Tandoori Chicken Empanadas

Servings: 20-25 medium sized empanadas


☐ 1 lb ground chicken/ chicken mince
☐ 950g pie crusts (2 packages of frozen pie crust sheets, defrosted in the refrigerator)
☐ 2 1/2 tablespoons Tandoori Masala powder (Popular brands are National and Shan)
☐ 1/4 cup green bell pepper/capsicum, diced finely
☐ 1/2 cup onions, diced finely
☐ 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
☐ 2 tablespoons yogurt
☐ 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice or juice from 1 lime
☐ 1 egg, beaten
☐ 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)
☐ 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Tandoori Chicken Filling

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat. Add the onions and fry for 3-4 minutes until the onions begin to lightly brown.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste to the pan and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • On high heat, stir in the chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the chicken is lightly brown.
  • Add the tandoori masala mix and yogurt. Cook chicken for about 4-6 minutes until the chicken is done. When cooked, the mixture should be moist, but with no liquid or gravy.
  • Add the bell pepper/capsicum, lime juice and liquid smoke. Turn off the stove and allow the chicken mixture to cool completely before using it to fill the empanadas. Preferably, cool the chicken in the fridge before making the empanadas.

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Tandoori chicken empanada filling

Step 2: Make the Empanadas

  • Place dough on counter. Using a large glass or bowl, cut out rounds in the pie crust dough.(I used a glass Pyrex bowl, 4.5 inches in diameter to cut out the rounds in the pie crust dough.)
  • Place about 2-3 teaspoons of chicken filling in the center of each dough circle. Don't overfill the dough circle. Make sure to keep a clean and clear margin all around the edges of the dough circle.

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  • Dip your finger into a bowl of water and run your finger along the entire outer edge of the dough circle. Then fold the dough in half, encasing the filling to create a half moon shape. Press the edges of the dough together firmly to create a seal. Either crimp the edges with your fingers or use the tines of a fork to seal the edges together.
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Here are a couple of ways to seal the empanadas. Fold over method or with a fork.

Step 3: Bake

  • Pre heat over to 425°F.
  • Place the empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush egg wash over each empanada.
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  • Place in the center rack of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until the empanadas are golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Kitchen Tips:

  • For crispy, flaky empanadas, make sure that the filling is not watery. It should be moist but not juicy or else it will make the dough soggy when baked. Make sure to use cold filling when filling the empanadas.
  • While filling empanadas, I  like to cradle the dough circle in my hand and spoon the filling in. It's easier to tell how much filling to put in this way. And it's also easier to seal the edges without the filling spilling out.
  • The empanadas can be made ahead of time and refrigerated (covered) until it's time to bake them. Brush with egg, just before baking.
  • If freezing empanadas, freeze them on a tray. Once frozen, remove them from the tray and store them in an airtight bag in the freezer. Defrost before baking. Brush with egg before baking.
  • It's not required to poke holes in the empanadas before baking, as long as you have not overfilled the empanadas.
  • They are delicious eaten warm or cold (room temperature). I prefer not to reheat baked empanadas since the crust will get soft when reheated.
  • If you have any left over empanada filling, use it to make wraps, kaati rolls, chicken frankies and even lettuce wraps.  It's a perfect filling for chapatis, naans, parathas, dinner rolls and fresh iceberg lettuce.

Visit 'My Cookbook Index' to browse my other recipes that might tickle your taste buds. 

Or click on the 'Anglo Indian' or 'Global' tags below to see some of my other recipes in a similar vein.

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