Trader Joe’s Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas

My family loves tacos, tamales, quesadillas, fajitas, chimichangas, and any food with a Mexican or Spanish flair. Trader Joe’s, which is a cousin to Aldi, sells many of our favorites. During a recent TJ’s run, I picked up some empanadas from the freezer aisle.

Empanadas consist of bread or some type of pastry filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, spices, or other ingredients. The dough is folded over the filling — like a turnover — and then baked or fried. They possibly originated in Spain but are common in many countries and cultures now, especially in South and Central America.

Trader Joe's Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas

Trader Joe’s Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas cost $4.29 for a 7.75-ounce box at the time of publication. Each box contains two empanadas. The package describes this as “dark chicken meat, vegetables & chimichurri sauce in a traditional flaky pastry.”

If you’re looking out for allergens, these contain wheat. Some of the veggies in the filling include potato, carrot, green cabbage, onion, bell peppers, and diced tomato.

The box has directions for baking these in a conventional oven or in an air fryer. They are to be cooked from frozen.

To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the empanadas from packaging and place them on an oven-proof dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

To air fry, lay frozen empanadas in the basket. If cooking both empanadas at the same time, make sure they do not touch each other. Set the air fryer at 375 degrees and cook for 15 minutes or until the inside of the empanada reaches 165 degrees. Remove from the basket and allow to cool for 3 minutes before serving.

Trader Joe's Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas

Nutrition information and ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

One empanada (110 grams) has 250 calories, 10 grams of total fat (13% DV), 2 grams of saturated fat (10% DV), 25 mg of cholesterol (8% DV), 560 mg of sodium (24% DV), 28 grams of total carbohydrates (10% DV), 2 grams of total sugars, and no added sugars.

Trader Joe's Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas

Ready to serve after air frying.

I cooked our empanadas in our air fryer and served them alongside some tacos and nachos. They are flavorful, with lightly crisp outer breading and tender filling. We mostly tasted and saw the chicken and carrots inside, and all the other filling components were fairly soft and indistinguishable. My husband and I liked these, while our kids thought they were okay. They’re not spicy but simply have good chicken and vegetable flavor with some seasoning. We’ve had some excellent empanadas from a local Mexican restaurant during the past couple of years, and while these Trader Joe’s empanadas are not on the same level as what we’ve bought at restaurants, they’re pretty good on their own merits.

The Verdict:

Trader Joe’s Chicken & Chimichurri Empanadas feature tender dark meat chicken, vegetables and seasonings wrapped in a pastry.  They’re decent as far as empanadas go, and they’re easy to bake or air fry. They make for a good snack or a nice side dish or appetizer as part of a Mexican- or Spanish-themed meal.

About Rachael

Rachael is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. When she isn't busy shopping at Aldi, she enjoys cooking, gardening, writing gothic romance, and collecting more houseplants than she probably should. You can learn more about her at

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