Jalapeno Cream Cheese Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce

Might I interest you in a fancy-sounding snack that’s super easy to make? These Jalapeno Cream Cheese Empanadas are insanely delicious and they can fool anyone into thinking you just spent 3 hours in the kitchen preparing them.

But let me tell you, the hardest thing about this recipe is pronouncing the name right! Pair these up with a delightful Chimichurri sauce and you’ve got THE BEST snack to share with your friends or loved ones. 

Now, before we get started, let me share why this is one of my absolute favorite recipes in the world. First, there’s something you should know about me – I love a little heat in my meals. Spiciness brings life to any and every recipe and the jalapeno in these cream cheese empanadas takes them to a whole new level.

The cream cheese balances perfectly the fiery kick of the jalapenos. And when paired with the explosion of flavor given by the chimichurri sauce, it creates a culinary experience that will have you begging for more – just like it did with most of my spicy lover friends!

What do these empanadas taste like?

These empanadas are truly heavenly – from texture to taste. The dough has a light and flaky texture and is one of the easiest pastry crusts I ever made, using only simple ingredients you most probably already have in your pantry. The jalapeno cream cheese filling provides a unique twist on traditional empanadas, by adding a little heat that is balanced by the cream cheese. 

The combination of textures, with the crispy crust and creamy filling, is so delicious, it will leave you craving for more (I am drooling over the keyboard even talking about them!). The chimichurri sauce completes this snack with a refreshing and tangy element to the empanadas, taking the flavor to new heights.

These empanadas can be enjoyed hot or cold, but I prefer them warm right out of the oven.

So, why should you make this recipe?

  • These empanadas are the perfect snack to share at parties, potlucks, or as appetizers. 
  • You can easily adjust the spice level to your liking – you can choose to even exclude the jalapeno altogether and have a non-spicy version of the empanadas! 
  • Making these empanadas is an opportunity to showcase your culinary skills and wow your loved ones with a homemade snack that’s bursting with flavors.


Flour – The base ingredient for the empanada dough, providing structure and a tender texture.

Baking powder – This leavening agent helps the empanada dough rise and become light and flaky.

Butter – Adds richness and flavor to the dough, creating a delicious pastry crust.

Cold water – Helps bind the dough together, resulting in a smooth and workable consistency.

Eggs – Eggs are used in the dough to add moisture and structure.

Cream cheese – The creamy and tangy cream cheese balances out the heat of the jalapenos and gives a delicious filling to the empanadas.

Jalapeno – Adds a spicy kick to the empanadas, giving them a bold and exciting flavor.

Salt & Pepper – These basic seasonings help to bring out the flavors and enhance the overall taste of the empanada dough and filling.

Chimichurri sauce – A vibrant and herbaceous sauce made with ingredients like parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and spices, providing a fresh and tangy accompaniment to the empanadas.

Tips for recipe success

  • Properly chilling the dough is crucial. After mixing the dough, make sure to refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out. This helps the dough firm up and makes it easier to handle.
  • When working with jalapenos, it’s essential to protect your hands. Wear gloves or use a knife and fork to handle the peppers, as the oils can irritate your skin. Be mindful not to touch your face or eyes after handling them.
  • Adjust the spice level according to your preference. If you prefer milder empanadas, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapenos before chopping them. For an extra kick, leave some or all of the seeds in.
  • Seal the empanadas properly to prevent filling leakage during baking. Use a fork to press the edges firmly together or crimp them with your fingers. You can also lightly brush the edges with water to help them seal better.
  • Serve the empanadas with chimichurri sauce on the side or drizzle it over the top for an extra burst of flavor. The fresh and tangy chimichurri complements the spicy cream cheese filling beautifully.
  • Make a double batch! These empanadas are so delicious that they disappear quickly. It’s always better to have a few extra to enjoy or share with others.

Spicy Cream Cheese Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce

Course: SnacksCuisine: ChileanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





An insanely delicious snack, that’s so easy to prepare! This recipe is a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone begging for the recipe and asking for seconds!


  • Chimichurri sauce
  • 65 grams olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar

  • 30 grams parsley (chopped)

  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed or finely minced)

  • 2 red chilies

  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

  • Filling
  • 300 grams cream cheese

  • 2 jalapeños

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt

  • 1⁄4 teaspoon p0epper

  • Dough
  • 500 grams flour (all purpose)

  • 1 teaspoon baking Powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 150 grams butter (chilled and cut into cubes)

  • 100 milliliters cold water

  • 3 eggs


  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Mix together all ingredients and allow the sauce to cool in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
  • Filling
  • Mix together the cream cheese, salt, pepper, and finely diced jalapeno and set aside.
  • Dough
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and mix with a handheld mixer on low (or a food processor), then add 2 eggs and mix until combined.
  • Pour in the water little by little until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it cool in the fridge for 30 min.
  • When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a thin sheet (about half a cm) using a rolling pin.
  • Cut out circles in the dough sheet (they should be about 6-7 cm in diameter); you can use a round cookie cutter, a cup, or something similar.
  • Add a teaspoon of cream cheese filling to each dough circle and fold it in half. Using a fork, press the edges together (you can also use an empanada press for this process). Repeat for each empanada.
  • Place the empanadas on a parchment-lined tray, brush the tops of each empanada with egg wash, and bake for 20 min. or until golden brown.

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