Amazing chicken empanadas and easy dessert make the perfect weeknight meal

If you ever find yourself at a loss for what to make for dinner, look no further than Plated's Cuban chicken empanadas recipe (with an amazing dessert too!). had the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with these delicious recipes in the Plated test kitchen with the company's head chef and culinary co-founder Elana Karp. Plated delivers easy-to-prepare recipes, along with the ingredients, right to your door at an affordable price, and thanks to Karp and the
culinary team, everything you'll be making will be pretty tasty! Users can choose from 11 distinct recipes a week.

Also, fun fact: the recipes from the video above really are as easy as they seem.

The truth is, you can have restaurant caliber chicken empanadas at home with this recipe. A few simple tricks and tips from Karp will ensure that your chicken stays moist and your avocados are ripe!

As if that wasn't enough, you can impress whoever you're cooking for even more with the simple and delicious chocolate turtle dessert recipe as well.

Check out the rundown of both recipes below, and watch the video above for a full walkthrough of each step!

Cuban Chicken Empanadas Recipe:


  • 2 cloves garlic, divided

  • 1 red onion

  • 2 limes, divided

  • 1 plum tomato

  • ¼ ounce cilantro

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 spice mix

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 avocado

  • 3 ounces Monterey jack cheese

  • 6 pieces empanada dough

  • ⅓ cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • 1 parchment paper

You'll Need:

  • 1½tablespoons olive oil

  • kosher salt

  • black pepper

  • aluminum foil

  • baking sheet

  • blender or food processor (optional)

Recipe Tips:

  • Empanada dough becomes more pliable as it warms. Once tempered, you can gently stretch it over the filling to seal.


Prepare Ingredients

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Mince garlic. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice half. Rinse remaining produce. Halve limes. Quarter tomato. Roughly chop cilantro leaves, discarding stems. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Save remaining onion for another recipe.

Roast Chicken and Vegetables

  • Season chicken all over with spice mix, .5 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Place on half of a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle over .5 tablespoon olive oil. On other half of baking sheet, toss onion and tomato with half of garlic, .5 tablespoon olive oil, and .125 teaspoon salt. Arrange in a single layer. Transfer baking sheet to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink and vegetables are tender, 13-15 minutes.

Prepare Avocado

  • While chicken and vegetables roast, halve avocado and discard pit. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out flesh, discarding skin. Thinly slice, and divide evenly between 2 plates. Squeeze over juice of 1 lime and drizzle over .5 tablespoon olive oil, dividing evenly. Season with .25 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

Assemble Empanadas

  • Place Monterey Jack in a medium bowl. Once roasted, roughly chop chicken and vegetables, add to bowl with cheese, and stir to combine. Discard foil from baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Add empanada doughs in a single layer. Spoon about .25 cup filling onto half of each dough. Carefully fold dough over filling (see Recipe Tip). Using the tines of a fork, seal edges tightly. Cut a small slit on top of empanadas so steam can escape.

Bake Empanadas

  • Transfer empanadas to oven and bake until puffed and light golden, 12-14 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, food processor, or small bowl, combine sour cream, cilantro, remaining garlic, and juice of remaining lime until smooth. Season with .125 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

Make Crema and Plate Empanadas

  • Plate empanadas with avocado. Serve with any remaining empanada filling, and lime crema for dipping.

Chocolate Turtles Recipe:


  • 10 caramel squares

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 3 ounces sliced almonds

  • 3 ounces chopped pecans

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate

  • ½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt

  • 1 parchment paper

You'll need:

  • 8" small nonstick pan

  • baking sheet

Recipe tips:

  • No microwave? No problem. Create a double boiler: Bring 2 inches water to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Please bowl with chocolate over pot and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth, 2-4 minutes.


Prepare ingredients

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap caramel squares. roughly chop pecans.

Make Caramel

  • In a small nonstick pan over low heat, combine heavy cream and caramel squares. Once caramel squares begin to melt, whisk constantly, until caramel sauce is smooth, 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in almonds and pecans.

Shape Turtles

  • Using a tablespoon, carefully scoop 12 mounds of caramel-nut mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Set aside to harden slightly while chocolate melts in the next step.

Melt Chocolate

  • Place chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals until melted (see Recipe Tip). Spoon melted chocolate evenly over turtles so nuts are fully covered.

Plate Turtles

  • Sprinkle Maldon salt over turtles, and freeze, on baking sheet or plate, until chocolate is solid, 15-20 minutes. Enjoy your homemade candies! Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

RELATED: How to make chicken thighs in the oven

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