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Creamy Chicken Hand Pies: Empadinha de Frango

Creamy and packed with flavor, these chicken hand pies are the finger food you were looking for! This family recipe is pretty straightforward and will receive lots of compliments in your home!

Chicken hand pies Pinterest graphic

Chicken hand pies

These chicken hand pies are by far one of the most delicious comfort food we have in Brazil.

Their crumbly crust is flaky, while their filling is creamy and salty, but also packed with a mouth-watering chicken and cheese flavor. Oh, it’s delicious!

As you might have imagined, no chicken broth is needed as the filling as it is already very creamy. I can almost taste it.

In Brazil, these savory hand pies are a popular snack, and together with coxinha, pastel, kibbeh, and cheese bread, they are a fundamental part of traditional Brazilian food.

Chicken hand pies are called empadinhas de frango in Portuguese
Chicken hand pies are called empadinhas de frango in Brazilian Portuguese

Beyond that, we also have several other fillings for empadinha (the Portuguese word for hand pie), as I will talk about below.

Still, these mini chicken hand pies are simply delectable, that’s why they deserve to be shared!

So enjoy this little piece of Brazilian comfort food!

For how long can I keep these savory hand pies?

You can keep the baked hand pies in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months in an air-tight container.

To thaw them, bake the frozen hand pies for about 35 minutes at 350°F/180°C.

Chicken hand pies stacked on top of each other
Chicken hand pies are a delicious afternoon snack

What will you need to make this recipe

  • Muffin pan – standard size (Or egg tart molds, but in that case, you’ll also need a baking sheet)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pastry brush
  • Small saucepan and wooden spoon
  • Cutting board and a sharp knife

How to serve chicken hand pies?

You can serve it at room temperature, but we personally prefer it warm at home.

Back in Brazil, we usually serve these chicken hand pies as appetizers or finger food during family reunions, birthday parties, or just as an afternoon snack. It’s easy to find it in varied eateries around the country.

Oh, and if you like spicy sauces, you might want to serve it with this homemade Brazilian hot sauce–it’s a delicious pairing!

Savory hand pies with chicken filling

Some other fillings for your mini pies

There are hand pies of all flavors in Brazil, from the sweet ones–for those who have a sweet tooth (like me)–to the savory pies that make a delicious snack.

Here are some other fillings:

  • Hearts of palm
  • Chicken (it doesn’t have cream cheese, but it’s still delicious!)
  • Shrimp
  • Jerky
  • Ham and cheese
  • Cheese pizza (cheese, tomato, and oregano)
  • Chocolate and strawberry
  • Dulce de leche
  • Sweetened condensed milk
Hand pies with chicken filling

Tips for making perfect mini pies

  • If your dough turns out very sticky, add more flour. If it turns out too dry, add some more butter.
  • Make it in batches: cover half of the muffin pan with dough, then stuff them with the filling. It saves time.
  • As mentioned above, I made these mini pies in a muffin pan, but you can also use egg tart molds. In Brazil, we have what we call empadinha molds, but these are pretty similar.
  • I like to use chicken breasts, but you can use any kind of pre-cooked chicken you have. At home, we usually cook the chicken in the instant pot, cut it into chunks, and put it in the food processor–it shreds the chicken in no time!
Chicken hand pies on a wooden cutting board
These chicken hand pies are so easy to make!

How to make these savory hand pies

In a saucepan, cook the chicken bouillon cube over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, lower the temperature and cook the chicken for about 20 minutes.

Drain the chicken and shred it with a fork. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in the instant pot and shred it in the food processor.

Set aside.

Crumbly crust

In a large bowl, add half of the flour, all the butter, egg yolk, and salt.

Using your hands, knead the flour mixture well until all ingredients are incorporated. It will be a sticky dough, but that will improve.

Now, gradually add the remaining flour and knead the dough until it isn’t sticking to your hand anymore.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it in the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, you can make the filling.

Savory hand pies with chicken filling

Mini pie filling

In a large skillet, saute the onion in butter until translucent over medium-low heat. Next, add the garlic and saute it further for a minute or two.

Alternatively, you can use this delicious Brazilian sofrito recipe.

Then, lower the heat and add the shredded chicken and paprika powder and saute it for a few more minutes.

Remove it from the heat and add the cream cheese, olives, and parsley. Stir it well.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Hand pies with chicken filling
Hand pies with chicken filling

Assembling the chicken hand pies

Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, take a small dough ball measure in your hands, and make a flat disc to place in the muffin pan.

Gently press the dough onto the muffin pan covering the bottom and sides. Make sure there is a little extra dough hanging off the edges.

Using a spoon, stuff the dough with the chicken mixture until it is slightly higher than the edge.

Chicken hand pies are called empadinhas de frango in Portuguese

Grab another small portion of dough, and make a new disc with your hands. Use this small piece of dough to cover the filling. Gently press the sides to close each mini pie and remove the excess dough, if any.

Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling. Once they’re all assembled, brush the top of the hand pies with the egg wash.

Bake them for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve and bom apetite! Enjoy!

Pin it or share this recipe with a friend who might like it too!

Chicken hand pies Pinterest graphic
Chicken hand pies stacked on top of each other

Creamy Chicken Hand Pies

Yield: About 10-12
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Creamy and packed with flavor, these chicken hand pies are the finger food you were looking for! This family recipe is pretty straightforward and will receive lots of compliments in your home!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Egg wash to brush over the hand pies

Chicken filling

  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (15 grams) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) olives, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, cook the chicken bouillon over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, lower the temperature and cook the chicken for about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain the chicken and shred it with a fork. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in the instant pot and shred it in the food processor. Set aside.

Crumbly crust

  1. In a large bowl, add half of the flour, all the butter, egg yolk, and salt.
  2. Using your hands, knead the flour mixture well until all ingredients are incorporated. It will be a sticky dough, but that will improve.
  3. Now, gradually add the remaining flour and knead the dough until it isn't sticking to your hand anymore.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it in the fridge for 20 minutes. In the meantime, you can make the filling.

Mini pie filling

  1. In a large skillet, saute the onion in butter until translucent over medium-low heat. Next, add the garlic and saute it further for a minute or two.
  2. Then, lower the heat and add the shredded chicken and paprika powder and saute it for a few more minutes.
  3. Remove it from the heat and add the cream cheese, olives, and parsley. Stir it well.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Assembling the chicken hand pies

  1. Preheat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
  2. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, grab a small dough ball measure in your hands, and make a flat disc to place in the muffin pan.
  3. Gently press the dough onto the muffin pan covering the bottom and sides. Make sure there is a little extra dough hanging off the edges.
  4. Using a spoon, stuff the dough with the chicken mixture until it is slightly higher than the edge.
  5. Grab another small portion of dough, and make a new disc with your hands. Use this small piece of dough to cover the filling. Gently press the sides to close each mini pie and remove the excess dough, if any.
  6. Repeat this process with the remaining dough and filling. Once they're all assembled, brush the top of the hand pies with the egg wash.
  7. Bake them for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

The number of hand pies might vary depending on how much filling you add in each pastry as well as on the size of the muffin pan.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 519mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g

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