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A quick google search won’t turn up a concrete answer to the difference between pastelillos and empanadas. It could be a difference in size, or the amount of lard in the dough, or even the origin of the recipe in question. What I am certain of though, is that, once you make this recipe, these handheld meat pies will become a staple in your home.
After enjoying a version a former co-worker used to make, I decided to recreate the recipe myself and, through trial and error, settled on the recipe I’m sharing with you today.
The More the Merrier
If you like to cook with your kids, this is a great recipe to set up an assembly line and get everyone involved. In fact, recently, I had a friend over and we spent an afternoon making 4 batches of these pastelillos. After we were done baking, we each poured a glass of wine and divvied these up in freezer bags for our families…the definition of a successful day in my book!
These pastelillos are awesome right from the oven and also freeze extremely well, making them a convenient item to pull out of the freezer for a quick lunch or snack. Just thaw and pop them in the toaster oven to reheat quickly.
- 3 packages (10 count) frozen Goya pastry disks (I use a mixture of the orange and plain disks)
- 2 lb. of cooked, shredded chicken
- 2 medium sized potatoes, diced into ¼ inch cubes
- 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 packets of Sazon con culantro y achiotoe seasoning (made by Goya)
- 6 tbsp Sofrito (Goya makes a version that is found in the freezer section)
- 3 tbsp Adobo Seasoning (again, Goya)
- 6 tbsp lime juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup water
- Cooking spray (or olive oil in a MISTO)
- First, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic and sofrito until fragrant. Next, add the shredded chicken, lime juice, and potatoes, cover, and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the Sazon packets and Adobo seasoning, along with 1 cup of water and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Next, stir in cheese and remove from heat.
- Allow chicken and potato mixture to cool slightly and transfer to a large bowl.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry disks out just a bit, until they are slightly larger in diameter and thinner.
- Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken and potato mixture on one side of the pastry disk. (Really, just eyeball this…you will get the hang of the correct amount as you go along.)
- Moisten the edges of the disk with water and fold the disk in half, creating a half moon shaped pastry. Next, use a fork to crimp the edges to seal.
- Transfer pastelillos to a cookie sheet. In additon, use your MISTO or cooking spray to lightly spray the tops of the pastelillos. (This will help give them a slightly crispy, “fried” feel, even though we are going to bake them.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until crispy.
If you have kids, this is a great recipe to set up an assembly line and get everyone involved. Recently, I had a friend over and we spent an afternoon making 4 batches of these pastelillos. After we were done baking, we each poured a glass of wine and divvied these up in freezer bags for our families!
Keywords: Chicken and Potato Pastelillos recipe