Ya Gotta Empanadas

To make your taste buds cry olé, bake up a batch of Ya Gotta Empanadas. This traditional favourite has a mix of spicy jalapeno peppers, green olives and shredded chicken combined with brown rice, baked into a crisp half-moon pie shell. If you are using frozen prepared pie shells, allow them to thaw on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes.

Ya Gotta Empanadas

Makes 4 servings.


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 6 green olives, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cooked U.S. brown rice
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded roasted chicken
  • 2 9-inch (23 cm) unbaked pie shells
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat; add onion and pepper and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce, brown sugar, salt, olives and rice. Reduce heat; simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken. Let cool completely.
  2. Spoon half of rice mixture on half of each pie shell. Fold crust over filling; seal and crimp edges. Brush with egg and place on baking sheet.
  3. Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven until golden and crisp, 20 to 22 minutes. Cut each empanada in half; serve immediately.