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Air Fryer Empanadas

by Karly

These AIR FRYER EMPANADAS have a simple, savory chicken filling. We start with pie dough to keep things extra quick and easy. Serve them up with our avocado crema for dipping!

A stack of cooked empanadas on a cutting board

Mexican inspired dishes are my absolute favorite. There is seemingly no end to the options available with those yummy meals.

Ever since I started cooking with the air fryer, I have been playing with different empanada recipes. We’ve fried them on the stove, baked them in the oven, and now air fried them. Chicken empanadas in the air fryer are so easy and tasty!

The filling is a creamy mixture of salsa, cheese, chicken, and Mexican spices. We packed it all together inside of personal sized pie crusts.

Ingredient List:

Shredded Chicken -I usually buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it as soon as I get home while it is still warm. They are easier to shred when warm and will last a few days in the fridge.

Salsa – Homemade or jarred salsa will work great.

Cheddar Cheese – Buy the shredded cheese or grate your own.

Cream cheese – Adds a nice creaminess to the filling.



Onion powder

Chili powder

Egg – This is for brushing over the crust. It gives it a deep golden color.

Refrigerated Pie Dough – We’ll use a round cookie cutter to cut out small circles of dough to create the empanadas.

Cooked empanadas in an air fryer basket

How to make chicken empanadas:

Prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, cumin, onion powder, and salt and give it a good stir. You could also use leftover Mexican chicken and skip the extra seasoning of the chicken. Add cheddar, cream cheese, salsa, and garlic to the same bowl and mix all that in.

empanada filling ingredients in a clear glass bowl

Cut the dough: Roll out your pie crust into a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 inch circles with a biscuit cutter, or cookie cutter. We used about a 3 inch round cutter for this.

Reroll and recut if needed until you get 8 circles of dough from the pie crust.

Fill the dough: Spoon the chicken mixture into the center of piece of dough and crimp the edges with a fork. Brush them with a beaten egg and sprinkle the top with chili powder.

Uncooked empanadas on a cutting board

Air fry: Spread out your empanadas in your air fryer basket so that they don’t touch. Cook them for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F. When done, serve hot!

Seasoned empanadas cooking in an air fryer

Avocado Crema:

We love these chicken empanadas with a side of avocado crema for dipping! It adds the perfect creamy pop of flavor to the air fryer empanadas.

Just mash a ripe avocado with a fork, mix in sour cream, and squeeze in some fresh lime juice. Stir well until smooth.

A person dipping an empanada

For a thinner sauce that you can drizzle, stir in a bit of milk. This makes a great taco topping!

We like to keep this mixture thick for dipping our chicken empanadas in this recipe.

More easy air fryer recipes you might like:

Close up of seasoned empanadas
Close up of seasoned empanadas on a wooden plate

Air Fryer Chicken Empanadas

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes

These cheese and chicken stuffed empanadas are a wonderful, full flavor meal that is ready in just 20 minutes.


For the empanadas:

  • 1 ½ cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts
  • Flour, for rolling out the pie crust
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

For the avocado crema:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • pinch of salt


To make the empanadas:

  1. Add the chicken, cumin, onion powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir well to evenly season the chicken.
  2. Add the cheddar, salsa, cream cheese, and garlic to the bowl and stir until the mixture is well combined.
  3. Sprinkle the flour on your work surface and roll out the pie crusts to a 12 inch circle. Cut each crust with a 4-inch biscuit or cookie cutter. Re-roll the scraps as needed to get a total of 16 circles of dough.
  4. Spoon the filling evenly into the center of the dough. Fold the dough over and use a fork to crimp the edges.
  5. Brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with chili powder.
  6. Place the empanadas in a single layer in an air fryer basket. You'll likely need to work in batches. Subsequent batches will cook faster as the air fryer will be preheated.
  7. Cook at 350 for 7 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve hot with the avocado crema for dipping.

To make the avocado crema:

  1. Mash the avocado with a fork.
  2. Stir in the sour cream, lime juice, and salt until smooth.
  3. Taste and add additional lime, if desired.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 2 empanadas
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 563Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 839mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 18g

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Karla Vanessa Zuniga June 29, 2021 - 4:56 pm

How do you make the dough for the empanadas? This recipe seems yummy!!! Can’t wait to make it.

Karly June 30, 2021 - 11:14 am

Hi Karla! We use refrigerated pie crust for these. 🙂


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