Christmas Empanadas (Air Fryer + Oven)

Experience the festive spirit with Christmas Empanadas, baked or air-fried, in the shape of a Christmas tree. These delightful treats are filled with a green mixture of chicken and avocado with diced red bell pepper—perfectly embodying the holiday colours. A sure hit with the kids!

Christmas Empanadas

All kids on Christmas Eve have difficulty eating if the gifts are nearby. But rest assured that these Christmas Empanadas will keep them busy until unwrapping time! A green and red filling of creamy avocado and chicken mixed up with crunchy red bell pepper dice! It is a typical filling for Cachapas or Arepas in Venezuela, usually served with corn flour bread. The empanadas are Christmas trees formed with special moulds to make them ultra festive, but any cookie cutter would do, too! Then air-fried or baked until golden perfection!

A Winning Filling

Christmas Empanada

I took the filling idea from these popular ‘Arepas a la Reina‘ but added more red bell pepper to give them this Christmas look! The filling is shredded chicken with avocado, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime and mayo. For this version, you can do it traditional ‘the shredded way’ or blend these ingredients in the food processor to make it fast, easy and smooth for the kids. I also replaced the onion with chives, and if you fear fresh cilantro will ruin it for the kids, since it’s a powerful herb, you can make it with parsley instead or without it.

The Empanada Moulds

For these Christmas Empanadas, I’ve used lovely Christmas tree press/cutters made for this online. It makes it easier, but it’s not obligatory; you can use any big cookie cutter or cut triangles and close them up with your hands. These Christmas-style presses/cutters I got online are fun for the kids, and you can use them with so many fillings, sweet or savoury! A great addition to your Christmas toys! (I leave the link here). You can cut through the dough with one side of the mould and fold it on the other! Additionally, it could be a fun activity with the kiddos.

Air Fryer or Oven?

Air fryer vs. Baked

I’ve cooked them both ways, and the air fryer is my favourite! It gives a more even golden look to the empanadas, the oven tent to burn extremities, while the Air Fryer made it uniformly golden. The downside of the Air fryer is that only a few empanadas go in at a time, so I would say that depending on how many you intend to serve, choose the cooking method accordingly.

Storage

You can keep the Christmas Empanadas pre-cooked in the freezer for up to a month and in the refrigerator for three days. They are great to make ahead and pop them in the Air Fryer or Oven for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Christmas Empanadas

FAQ

Can I substitute the empanada dough for pie dough?

Yes, both are similar, except maybe the quantities of grease and type of grease used. The pie dough usually contains butter, while the empanada has vegetable shortening or lard fat. But then again, if you buy pre-made dough, they are often made with butter, although the empanada version would contain more. Similar, so yes!

Can I use the turkey leftovers instead of the chicken?

Yes, brilliant idea!

Can it be eaten cold, too?

Yes, these Christmas empanadas are made to be eaten warm, although there is no problem if they are cold.

Can I Deep Fry them?

Yes, in theory, you can deep fry them until golden, although healthwise, I will always propose the Air fryer first.

Christmas Empanadas

Other Air Fryer Recipes

Christmas empanadas

Christmas Empanadas (Air fryer and Oven)

A fun Christmas tree-shaped empanada filled with a chicken, avocado mixture, and dice of red bell pepper to keep it festive! Baked or Air fried both methods are provided.
5 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Latina
Keyword: a la reina, air fryer, avocado, baked, chicken, Cilantro, empanada, empenadas
Servings: 6 empanadas
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Marie Breton

Equipment

  • empanada or pie mould/cutter *optional (link)

Ingredients

  • 2 empanada or pie dough pre-made
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 2 avocado
  • 1 chicken breast or turkey
  • ½ red bell pepper diced
  • 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove mashed
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • chives to taste
  • cilantro to taste
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Add all the filling ingredients except the red pepper to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add the diced red pepper and mix with a spoon.
  • Spray oil into the mould, cut the dough into the desired form, and add the filling. Cover with another cut dough and press the sides until close.
  • Whisk the egg, brush over the empanadas and sprinkle some salt.
  • Cook in an air fryer or oven at 180°C (350F°), 10 minutes in AF and 15 minutes in the conventional oven.
  • Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 510mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 468IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Facts
Christmas Empanadas (Air fryer and Oven)
Amount per Serving
Calories
200
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
0.02
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
8
g
Cholesterol
 
53
mg
18
%
Sodium
 
91
mg
4
%
Potassium
 
510
mg
15
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
5
g
21
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
11
g
22
%
Vitamin A
 
468
IU
9
%
Vitamin C
 
23
mg
28
%
Calcium
 
20
mg
2
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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