Air Fryer Empanadas are easy to make and perfect for feeding a large family or crowd and are ready in just under 30 minutes! They’re freezer friendly and packed full of seasoned rotisserie chicken, melted cheese, ranch dressing and pieces of bacon.
Easy Air Fryer Empanadas Recipe
Air fryer empanadas are a healthier alternative to empanadas made in a deep fryer but they still have a crispy outside and flavorful inside! Deep frying at home is such a mess, you wouldn’t want to do that anyways!
Air fryer beef empanadas are more traditional, but I can’t get enough of these chicken empanadas.
There are so many different variations of empanadas that you can make but my favorite are these chicken bacon ranch empanadas.
This recipe is great if you want to meal prep for the week because they’re so easy to reheat once they’re cooked. They also last a long time in the freezer, so if definitely make some extras to have on hand for lazy weeknight dinners!
They’re also a total fan favorite in our house. We love to make them during the week but they’re great to have on hand for when friends come over and for football Sundays. We just pop them back in the air fryer to warm up and it makes for the best quick appetizer!
What do I need to make easy Air Fryer Empanadas?
Rotisserie Chicken: I like to use shredded rotisserie chicken for this recipe because not only does it have a delicious flavor, I’ve found that it’s the perfect texture for the empanada filling…and it’s one less thing to cook!
If you want to use ground turkey or ground chicken instead, that will work too.
Mozzarella: Using shredded mozzarella cheese adds a mild tangy flavor and helps bind the filling together. Cheddar cheese works well in this recipe too!
Parmesan Cheese: adds a salty and nutty flavor to the filling mixture.
Bacon: You will need cooked crumbles of bacon for this recipe, which pairs perfectly with the chicken and ranch. You can use turkey bacon too if you like.
Ranch Dressing: acts as a binder to all of the ingredients in the filling. It also adds a great flavor.
Egg: You will need a few eggs to use for an egg wash. Egg wash is what gives the empanadas the beautiful golden brown color!
Pie Crust: You can use any kind of pie dough or puff pastry that you prefer. I like to use the premade dough (you can also get frozen empanada discs at the grocery store) because it’s the most simple. Using your own empanada dough or pastry dough works well too.
All-purpose Flour: You’ll just need a sprinkle of all purpose flour to roll the pie crust in so it doesn’t stick.
Tip: I like to add a bell pepper to my empanadas too when I’ve got an extra one on hand!
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Empanadas
1. Prepare the filling. Mix the shredded chicken, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, cooked bacon, and ranch dressing in a large bowl.
2. Prepare the dough. Roll the pie crust over a lightly floured surface out and cut circles with a round container or a biscuit cutter.
3. Make the empanadas. Add two tablespoons of the chicken mixture to the center of each circle. Brush the edges of the circle with the beaten egg using a pastry brush.
Then, fold the circle in half to cover the filling, making sure to align both round edges. Use a fork to seal the empanadas. Brush the top side of the empanadas with the egg wash.
4. Air fry the empanadas. Place the uncooked empanadas into the air fryer basket. Air fry the empanadas for 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to turn golden brown.
Note: the cooking time will vary if you are only making 2-3 empanadas vs an air fryer full of them. The less you have in the air fryer, the less time it will take to cook.
5. Serve. Remove the empanadas from the air fryer basket using kitchen tongs and place them in a single layer on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.
How to Bake Empanadas in the Oven
Whether you’re baking fresh empanadas or frozen empanadas you can easily pop them in the oven to reheat them.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and then place your empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
If you’re baking frozen empanadas, bake them for about 20 minutes, if your empanadas are thawed, you can cook them for about 10 minutes or until warm all the way through.
How to Freeze Homemade Empanadas
To freeze your fully cooked empanadas, you will first need to make sure that they cool completely. Once your empanadas are cooled you can individually wrap them in plastic wrap and then place them in the freezer bag.
Or you can place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and pop them into the freezer and wait until they’re frozen solid and then toss them into a freezer safe bag. They will keep in the freezer for about six months and are great to have when you’re looking for an easy snack!
Pro Tip: You want to make sure that when you’re freezing your empanadas that they don’t touch. If your empanadas are touching while they’re freezing, they will become a big solid lump and it’s very hard to get them apart.
Is it okay to use egg wash in an air fryer?
You can definitely use an egg wash in the air fryer. It will help your empanadas turn a beautiful golden brown color and it will help them get a little more crispy.
For the best results, be sure to coat your empanadas lightly with an egg wash, don’t use too much or they may get a little soggy. We’re not looking for scrambled eggs!
What can I use instead of egg wash?
There are a few different things you can use as an egg wash substitute:
Milk: For every 1/4 cup of egg wash, use 1 tablespoon of milk. It still gives that crispy texture and golden brown color we all love.
Mayonnaise or olive oil: Brush a light layer on the top of your empanadas and you will get a gorgeous sheen on them!
What to Serve with Empanadas
More easy recipes in the air fryer
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Air Fryer Empanadas
- 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- ½ cup cooked bacon, chopped (about 7 bacon Strips)
- ¼ cup ranch dressing
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 lb pie crust
- all-purpose flour to roll the pie crust
- Mix the shredded chicken, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, cooked bacon, and ranch dressing in a medium bowl. Set aside for later.
- Roll the pie crust over a lightly floured flat surface out to ¼” thick. Cut circles with a 4.5” round container or a circle cutter.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350℉.
- Add two tablespoons of the chicken mixture to the center of each circle. Brush the edges of the circle with the beaten egg with a pastry brush. Then, fold the circle in half to cover the filling, and make sure to align both round edges. Use a fork to press the round edges to seal the empanada. Brush the top side of the empanadas with the egg wash.
- Place the empanadas into the air fryer basket. Air fry the empanadas for 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to turn golden brown.
- Remove the empanadas from the air fryer basket using kitchen tongs and place them on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
- Cooking for 10 minutes works best if you cook 4-5 empanadas simultaneously. If you cook 1-3 empanadas, reduce the cooking time to 8 minutes.