Butter Chicken Empanadas

Everyone loves a hand pie, and these butter chicken empanadas are no exception. Marinated chicken thighs, creamy sauce, and flaky dough all come together to make the most more-ish pies you'll ever get your hands on!

Done in 1 hour

Serves 4




350gplain flour

1 tspbaking powder

3/4 tspsalt

1/2 tbspsugar


113gunsalted butter, room temperature and diced

4 tbsporange juice

1 tbspnigella seeds

Vegetable oil, to fry

Chicken marinade:

500gboneless, skinless chicken thigh


2 tbspginger garlic paste

1 tbspgaram masala

2 tspturmeric

1 tspground cumin

1 tspground coriander

1 tspchilli powder

Salt, to taste

Butter chicken sauce:

4 tbspneutral oil

1 tspcumin seeds

1onion, diced

2 tbspgarlic ginger paste

2 tspground coriander

2 tspground cumin

2 tspgaram masala

1 tbsptomato paste

400gchopped tomatoes

2 tspsugar

200mldouble cream

Salt, to taste

To serve:

Green chutney


Mango chutney

Lemon wedge

While these might just look like samosas in a different shape, I promise you they're not! The buttery, flaky empanada dough is made extra special with the addition of nigella seeds, filled with creamy butter chicken and fried to perfection. Served with a variety of dips so there's something for everyone.


In a large bowl, add your diced chicken thighs, yoghurt, ginger, garlic, spices and salt. Mix well, coating the thighs in the marinade. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least three hours. 

Meanwhile, start on the empanada dough. Add all dry ingredients (except for nigella seeds) and butter to a food processor, then pulse until the butter is incorporated into the dry ingredients. Add the liquids, pulse again, then when it comes together add nigella seeds and briefly pulse again.

Knead briefly so the dough comes together, cover in cling film and leave to sit for 1 hour at room temperature.

Once the chicken has marinated, place the chicken thighs on a rack set over a baking tray and grill at 250 C for 10 minutes or until nicely charred and cooked through.

For the sauce, add oil to a large pot on medium heat. Tip in your cumin seeds, then diced onion and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Saute until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 mins.Then  turning down the heat, add your spices, followed by the tomato paste. Allow both to toast and become fragrant. 

Once the spices have toasted, tip in your chopped tomatoes followed by salt and sugar. Fill the tomato can with water and tip that in too. Allow to simmer and reduce for 15 mins. 

Once the sauce has thickened, blend with an immersion blender if you want a smoother sauce. Finish with double cream, then tip in the chicken with all of its juices. Allow to cool.

Roll out the dough, then cut out circles. Add a spoonful of the saucy chicken to the middle of the dough, fold over into a half moon shape, and crimp the edge with a fork.

Preheat the oil to 180 C. Fry your empanadas in batches until golden brown and crispy. Place on a paper towel lined baking tray, and finish with flaky salt. 

Serve with whatever dips you like, we like to use raita, green chutney, and mango chutney!

What do you think of the recipe?

Spencer Lengsfield

Spencer Lengsfield

Spencer has been cooking since she got her first Easy-Bake oven at four years old, and began recipe developing professionally whilst completing her Master’s degree in 2020. Born in Los Angeles, she has an inherent love for all things Mexican, Japanese, and Korean, but is also heavily influenced by her family's Louisiana heritage. Spencer loves bright flavours, spice and fusion food. If she were a food, she'd be kimchi - versatile, spicy and funky.


nav icon