Baked pastries filled with ancho chile chicken, red bell peppers, and asadero cheese picadillo.


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup store-bought rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Hash Browns, cooked
  • 7 oz Crystal Farms Shredded Asadero
  • 2 (12 count) packages frozen puff pastry dough for turnovers, thawed
  • 1 Eggland’s Best® large egg, plus 1 tbsp cold water, beaten
  • Ganish sesame or poppy seeds
Recommended Crystal Farms Product Substitutions: Crystal Farms Shredded Oaxaca


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the Stuffing

  • Add canola oil to a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and bell pepper for 1 minute. Gradually add remaining ingredients and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Turn heat off. Cool slightly. Add the potatoes, chicken, and cheese gradually and blend well with folding strokes using a rubber spatula.

Form the Empanadas

  • Make empanadas in batches of 4 to keep the dough from becoming too soft. Put 1-1/2 tablespoons of filling at the center of each dough circle. Carefully pick up the dough, place it on your palm, and working quickly fold gently and enclose the stuffing inside the dough by pressing the dough together around the edges. Repeat this procedure until all empanadas have been made.
  • Seal the stuffing further using the roping technique (overlapping folds), or use a fork to make ridges around half of the empanada. Place all empanadas on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, paint the top of the empanadas with egg wash, making sure all visible surfaces are well coated. Sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top of each empanada.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway through for even baking. When done, the dough changes from opaque to shiny and medium brown. Allow the empanadas to cool slightly before eating.

Tips from Guatemalan Chef Amalia Moreno-Damgaard: 

  • If the dough will not stick together after pressing to form the empanada, use a little water as glue. Run a wet finger over the edge and press firmly to enclose the filling.
  • Latin frozen empanada dough is available at major grocery stores and Latin markets. They come in packages of 12 or more. This dough is light and flaky when baked. Puff pastry or pie dough may also be used. Baking time and texture may vary.
  • Empanadas can be made the previous day and saved in the refrigerator covered with plastic. To ensure freshness, varnish and add the seeds of choice right before baking.
  • Alternatively, make one or two batches, freezing the remaining filling for a later time. This will cut future time and effort!