These baked Chicken Taco Empanadas make the most delicious and festive small bites ever! Just imagine how scrumptious it will be to enjoy them with a margarita? It positively screams FIESTA, all the way!!! And you know what? They can be fully prepared within 35-40 minutes. Was that a ‘viva’ or ‘olé that I just heard?
These Chicken Taco Empanadas are made with simple ingredients: store-bought pie crusts, chicken seasoned with taco seasoning, pico de gallo, and of course, Cacique Queso Quesadilla . All one needs to do is to cut the thawed pie crusts into rounds using a cooking cutter. Then, cook the seasoned chicken fillets in oil and red wine vinegar or lime juice. Shred the chicken and mix with pico de gallo (a mixture of diced tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, and cilantro). And last, fill the pie crust rounds with a bit of the chicken/pico de gallo mixture, fold the crust, brush with an egg wash, and bake them until lightly golden brown. Voila! They are ready to be devoured, by themselves or accompanied by guacamole or salsa verde, and if desired, a margarita or drink of your choice.
The Cacique Queso Quesadilla used in this recipe can easily be located here. Just click on the product and type in your zip code to locate availability in stores near you. Queso Quesadilla is part of their delicious line of artisanal cheeses. It’s wonderfully nutty and buttery, making it a fabulous melting cheese for our empanadas, as well as for quesadillas and other dishes. As you can see, it’s a versatile cheese that can be used in place of most melting cheeses, similar to Monterey Jack cheese.
Queso Quesadilla goes very well in these Chicken Taco Empanadas. There is only one problem here: you may find yourself eating too many of them! Make them to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style and enjoy!
WHAT YOU NEED
- 2 (9-inch) pie crusts, thawed
- 1 (0.85 ounce) pack taco seasoning mix
- 3/4-pound boneless skinless chicken fillets, thawed and pat dry
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3-4 Tablespoons red wine vinegar or fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 small white onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and diced
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 package (or 3.3 ounce) Cacique Queso Quesadilla, crumbled
- 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 teaspoon water
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a lightly floured surface, cut rounds on the pie crusts using a 3.75- inch diameter cookie cutter. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix taco seasoning with chicken fillets. Then, heat oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet and brown chicken fillets for about 3 minutes per side. Pour vinegar over them and let cook for about 4-5 minutes. Turn the heat off and shred the fillets using 2 forks. Stir in the diced tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Set aside.
- Spoon about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture and a bit of the crumbled cheese onto each pie crust round. Brush all around the margin of each round with water, fold in half, press the edges together well, and crimp edge with a fork. Brush top (not edges) lightly with the egg wash and place empanadas onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 6-10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with guacamole or salsa verde. Enjoy!
- Cook’s Note (optional): If desired, sprinkle a bit of Queso Quesadilla on top of the empanadas 1-2 minutes before removing from the oven. Remove from the oven and sprinkle a bit of the fresh oregano on top and crushed red pepper flakes