Crispy buffalo chicken empanadas are made entirely in the air fryer in MINUTES and stuffed with a spicy buffalo chicken filling. Serve these flaky empanadas with plenty of blue cheese dressing and celery sticks!
Your life is about to made significantly better and it’s all thanks to a humble little empanada packed with buffalo chicken that takes a trip to the air fryer.
Sounds simple right? These empanadas are easy as heck to pull off and Jason and I both agree they’re hands down, the best empanadas we’ve ever had in our lives, period.
It all starts with my tried-and-true buttery pastry crust followed by buffalo chicken filling stuffed inside…
…then letting the air fryer work its magic and transform these pastries into the FLAKIEST, most incredible little pockets ever.
No fancy ingredients and no huge time investment either! You can even oven-bake these empanadas if you don’t own an air fryer (keep reading for those instructions)
I’m here to tell you though that these little guys may look innocent, but they are ADDICTIVE and just way too easy to eat.
These Buffalo Chicken Empanadas feature…
- Buttery, flaky pastry crust (my keeper pie crust recipe with just a very minor change)
- Buffalo chicken filling (creamy, cheesy, and just a little bit spicy)
- We recommend celery sticks + blue cheese dressing for pairing! (the classic buffalo chicken experience)
Making the Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
(scroll to the bottom of the post for the full recipe!)
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Crust Ingredients – flour, sugar, salt, cold grated butter, an egg yolk, and
- Leftover Chicken – shredded or cubed chicken both work great here! We love making this recipe with leftover rotisserie chicken.
- Hot Sauce – we love Frank’s hot sauce for this recipe.
- Cheese – a mix of cream cheese + mozzarella make the filling super rich and creamy.
- Spices – garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Egg Wash – this is for brushing on the empanadas right before air frying.
- Pan Spray – a must-have for air frying!
If you’re short on time, you can definitely speed up the process and use a pre-made pie crust! You will need enough to make one (9-in) pie.
However, if you’ve got a few extra minutes I highly recommend taking the time to make the crust homemade! It’s so very easy, uses basic pantry ingredients, and mixes up in one bowl.
I add an egg yolk to my classic pastry dough recipe to help it bake up extra flaky from the added extra bit of fat.
My best tip for making the crust is to chill your dough after making it. As with all pastry crusts we want the fat to be as cold as possible prior to rolling out dough, filling, and baking.
Tips for Air Frying Empanadas
- Preheat your air fryer 3 minutes before adding the empanadas
- Make sure the empanada dough is chilled before baking. If your dough got too warm while rolling + filling, stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
- Brush empanadas with egg wash + spray with pan spray to help them brown.
- Cook the empanadas in batches. It’s important you don’t crowd them while they’re air frying – we typically do two at a time in our 4-qt air fryer.
- Flip the empanadas halfway through baking. This helps both sides brown evenly!
How to Oven Bake Empanadas
To convert this recipe to oven bake, preheat oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Follow the recipe as it is written for rolling out dough, filling empanadas, crimping the edges, brushing with egg wash, and spraying with pan spray.
Bake empanadas at 400F 30-35 minutes until they are a deep golden brown.
Buttery, crispy, and just bursting with creamy, spicy buffalo chicken. These are just RIDICULOUS in all the best ways!
If you end up with extras, these little gems store in the fridge up to a week or in the freezer beautifully for up to 2 months! To reheat, stick them back in the air fryer for 5 minutes at 400F.
There’s no telling how many of these empanadas you may eat and quite frankly, that’s just between you and the empanadas. No judgement from anyone else!
More ways to use leftover chicken!
- Sesame Honey Garlic Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Avocado Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Avocado Quinoa Salad
Watch these empanadas made step-by-step on Google Web Stories!
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
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Empanada Dough (alternatively you can use pre-made pie dough*)
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted cold butter, shredded on box grater and frozen
- 1 large egg yolk
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
Buffalo Chicken Filling
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup hot sauce (such as Frank's)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-1/2 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped or shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Canola or vegetable oil pan spray
- Blue cheese dressing and celery sticks for serving, optional
- Place flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and use your fingers or a pastry cutter to work butter into flour until butter is in pea-sized clumps. Drizzle egg yolk and 4 tablespoons ice water over flour and gently toss until dough comes together into a shaggy mass. (if dough seems too dry, drizzle in extra tablespoon)
- Turn dough onto a surface and very gently knead several times until smooth. Divide dough into 6 portions, form into smooth discs, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough 30 minutes while you prepare the filling.
Buffalo Chicken Filling
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella, hot sauce, garlic powder, and chicken. Season filling with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove dough from fridge and turn onto a lightly-floured surface. Roll each disc out into a 6-inch circle and place 3-4 tablespoons filling in center. Fold dough over to create a half-moon shape and use a fork to seal and crimp edges.
- Spray the grate of air fryer with pan spray and preheat to 400F. Working in batches, brush both sides of empanadas with egg wash and spray well with pan spray.
- Air fry empanadas 2-3 at at time in a single layer (we typically cook 2 at time in our 4-qt air fryer) for 10 minutes, flipping empanadas to opposite side halfway through cooking. Repeat cooking process with remaining empanadas.*
- Serve empanadas hot with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks if desired. Enjoy!