Recipe: Chicken and Black Bean Empanadas

…I am really kind of smitten with this recipe. I’ve made it twice in the last two weeks. You could easily reduce the cost (and calories) by substituting the puff pastries with lettuce leaves…but I’m partial to the flakey-goodness of the puff pastry. It makes a nice treat.

This recipe makes 8 servings (but really four; everyone seems to want two)  and costs about $5 to make, not including the leftover chicken. *cough* Four of those  five dollars are from the puff pastries *cough*. This recipe originates from the oh-so-adorable Dave Lieberman but has been modified to suit my laziness.


1 onion, diced small

4 cloves of garlic, minced and/or crushed

1/4 cup olive oil

a little vegetable oil

some leftover chicken, shredded. Use what you’ve got and don’t worry about not having enough or too much.

a can of black beans

1 tsp dried cumin

1.5 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried cilantro

a dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

Kosher Salt to taste


>>THAW THE PUFF PASTRIES. Let me say that again: the second you decide you might want to make this, take the puff pastries out of the freezer and thaw them. They take about an hour to thaw–much longer than the rest of the recipe takes to prep. It should surprise no one that I forgot to thaw the puff pastries the first time I made these…and attempted to thaw them in the microwave, which did not end well.<<

Heat the olive oil over medium in a large saute pan. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add spices. Saute some more. Drain and rinse the black beans, then add them and the chicken and heat through.

Preheat oven to 400. Cut the puff pastry sheets each in to four squares (so with one package you will end up with eight squares). Put about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling in the center of each square. Dab water along the edges of half of the square and fold the other half of the pastry over to make a triangle. A dry edge of the pastry should marry a wet edge so they stick; placing two wet edges together will not stick, just like two dry edges wont stick. Brush the top of the empanada with vegetable oil. Cook for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned and puffed.

Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.