Empanadas are a wonderfully easy-to-make appetizer and one that I not only love to eat, but am happy to say, my family has grown to love as well! Though I grew up calling them pastelillos in Puerto Rico, my kids have come to know them as empanadas, much like the majority of Latin America calls them and how they are known here in the United States. Empanadas are versatile and can be filled with just about anything – some of our favorites are pizza empanadas and the traditional pastelillos de carne, for which I have a southwestern empanada recipe variation. And since today is National Empanada Day, it was only natural for me to share a new empanada recipe with you!
Incorporating a new ingredient that I recently received as part of a grocery bundle of new products now available at Walmart, I tried my hand at something a little different than the empanadas I’m accustomed to eating. I decided to give Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce a try, a Thai sauce which you can find at your local Walmart or on Walmart.com. It’s not very spicy, which works great for me since I’m not a fan of too much spice! Check out this easy empanada recipe and try it out with your family for a quick appetizer or afternoon snack!
Sweet Chili Chicken & Rice Empanadas Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- 3 tsp Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce
- 8 Tbsp diced tomatoes
- salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cups rice, cooked
- Empanada discs, 1 package thawed per instructions – Depending on where you live, you may find these in the freezer section with other Latin/Caribbean products.
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a skillet, mix chicken, sweet chilli sauce, and tomatoes. Stir to combine and cook on low heat until warmed through.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, along with rice. Stir and continue cooking on low heat for just a few more minutes until the rice is incorporated and the mixture is warm.
- Line empanada discs on baking sheet, leaving ample space between each one.
- Add about 1 Tbsp of chicken and rice mixture to an empanada disc. (Don’t overfill, since it will be hard to close empanada.)
- Fold each empanada disc half-way to make a half-moon shape and pinch closed with a fork around the edge.
- Brush each empanada around the edges and over the top with a little olive oil and bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. (Note: You can fry your empanadas too, which is how they are traditionally cooked.)
- Serve with more Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce for dipping if you’d like!
I am sure your family will enjoy these sweet chili chicken and rice empanadas! They’re a great way to use leftover chicken or rice and you could even purchase rotisserie chicken from the Walmart deli for a shortcut in preparing them! For even more empanada recipes, be sure to take a look at those we previously shared!
Empanada Recipes for Celebrating National Empanada Day
- Pizza Empanadas (Pastelillos de Pizza)
- Cheesy BBQ Chicken Empanadas
- Southwestern Empanadas
- Sweet Potato & Cream Cheese Empanadas
What is your favorite type of empanada?
All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™