Spicy Black Bean Chicken Empanadas

"Chipotle chicken and black bean stuffed "arempanadas" made with homemade arepa dough."
-- @morethanyoucanchew
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 45mins
Cook time 30mins
Serves or Makes: 12-14

Recipe Card

Empanada (Arepa) Dough


  • 2 cups masarepa, (pre-cooked cornmeal)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Chipotle Chicken Filling


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast
  • 1 drained and rinsed 15 oz. can black bean
  • 1 chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 large chopped onion
  • 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • oil for frying


  • Step 1

    Cut chicken into 2-inch strips, season with salt and pepper and place in a bowl. Pour chipotle chilies in adobo sauce over chicken and stab with a fork a few times to ensure some of the sauce penetrates the chicken. Marinate chicken for 30 mins.

  • Step 2

    Bring a large pot of water to boil. Put chicken pieces in the boiling water, saving chilies and sauce. Cook for 15-20 minutes.*

  • Step 3

    Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from boiling water and carefully shred into small pieces, set aside. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add in onions and peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add in beans, adobo sauce from marinade (not including chili pieces), cumin and garlic powder and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until sauce is bubbling. Add in a bit of water to thin out sauce, if needed. Remove from heat and add shredded chicken, mixing together thoroughly. Allow filling to cool.

  • Step 4

    Prepare dough by heating 1 cup of water in a small sauce pan, until steaming. Water does not have to come to a boil. Remove from heat and add shredded cheese to the hot water and stir. Cheese should begin to melt and form into a large clump.

  • Step 5

    Mix masarepa, adodo seasoning and sugar in a large bowl. Add in hot water with cheese followed by cool water. Combine ingredients as much as you can with a large wooden spoon or use the hook attachment to your standing mixer. Sprinkle a bit of masarepa on a flat, clean surface and transfer the dough from the bowl to the surface.

  • Step 6

    Kneed dough until well combined. It might work best to separate dough into two sections, working on each separately. If dough is sticking to the surface, add more masa a little bit at a time. Ideal consistency should be slightly firm and easily rolled with a rolling pin without sticking to anything. Wrap dough in plastic wrap to prevent from drying out if it’s not being used right away.

  • Step 7

    Sprinkle rolling pin with masarepa and roll out one section of dough until 1/4 inch in thickness. Use a 3 to 3.5-inch round cookie cutter or the rim of a cup** to cut out sections from your dough and set them aside. Repeat until all of the dough has been cut into rounds. To assemble empanadas, evenly roll out dough flatter, to about 1/8 inch in thickness. Place about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the dough. Fold the dough over the long side and gently press the edges. Use the back of a fork to seal around the edges.

  • Step 8

    Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan or large pot. When temperature reaches 375 degrees F, fry empanadas for 3-4 minutes per side or deep fry for 6-7 minutes until golden brown. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve with chimichurri sauce or chipotle mayo.

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