Low Carb Chicken Tinga Empanadas

Fathead dough is such a staple in my home. Whenever I really want to create something close to dough whether it be for pizza crust or bagels, it never dissapoints! I don’t use the traditional fathead dough recipe, I use Emily (@keto.copy’s) recipe because she omits the cream cheese, which allows room for more calories somewhere else. She has a wonderful tutorial on the highlights of her instagram that you can check out here. I’ve made this recipe a million times and I’ve learned that the key to get it to the right consistency is to kneed the heck out of it! I just put on my favorite show, zone out, and go to town.

Chicken tinga is shredded chicken served in a tomato/chipotle sauce. Did you know that chipotles are just smoke-dried jalapeños? I always thought they were a completely different pepper.

This dish originated in Pubela, Mexico and this authentic recipe was given to me by a family friend’s mother. And although I am of Mexican descent, I didn’t learn about this dish until a couple of years ago. My family doesn’t make anything with chipotle peppers. It’s so mind-blowing to me how food in Mexico really varies from state to state!   You can make this recipe without the empanada dough and make lettuce wrapped tacos or crack an egg over it and have it for breakfast. It’s so versatile.

Chicken tinga in any form very comforting to me. I love the spicy earthiness of the sauce and I hope you enjoy it too.

Chicken Tinga Empanadas

  • Servings: 3-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A lowcarb version of a turnover filled with shredded chicken in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce



    Chicken Tinga
  • 1 lb cooked and shredded chicken
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (roughly chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tspn dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 cup canned tomatos
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • salt to taste
  • Empanadas

  • 3 c (10 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2.5 c (5 oz) almond flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder


Chicken Tinga

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once warm, add the olive oil and onion. Allow to cook till transparent and tender. Add garlic.
  2.  Stir in the cumin, oregano, and chipotles. Continue to stir for a couple minutes.
  3.  Add in the tomatoes, chicken stock and salt to taste. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Once done simmering turn off heat and allow to cool for a bit. This is a good time to start working on the empanada dough.
  4.  Once cooled. Carefully pour the sauce into a blender and process on high until smooth. Periodically, turn off the blender and scrape the sides to make sure its integrating evenly.
  5.  Pour the sauce back into the pan and turn the heat to medium. Once warm add in chicken and cook till heated through. Don’t over cook!


(see step by step picture tutorial below, for double boiler method)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Place mozzarella in a medium microwave safe bowl and cook in 30 minute intervals, stirring with a greased spatula after each interval for up to 90 seconds or until completely smooth and melted.  I don’t own a microwave so I use a double boiler method.
  3. Add egg and mix in.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the almond flour and baking powder together until combined, then add to mozzarella mixture.
  5. Kneed, kneed, kneed until dough is completely smooth and all ingredients are perfectly combined. May take up to 5 minutes. Great way to get your upper body workout in!
  6. Roll out dough til 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Using a cookie cutter, knife, or empanada press (I used this one and loved it!) cut out 4 inch circles out of the dough.
  8. Add a couple of spoonfuls of chicken tinga to the center of each circle, fold over and seal by pressing a fork on the edges. If using the empanada press add chicken to one side then fold over press to create empanada.
  9. Carefully place the empanadas on cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten + 1 tbsp of heavy cream + pinch of salt).
  10. Bake in oven for 10-25 depending on the size of the empanadas. If using the large empanada press like mine, bake for 25 minute till golden brown.
  11. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving if necessary. Serve with desired garnish. I like diced onion, cilantro and my avocado salsa.

Keto Empanadas
Add the shredded mozzarella to a double boiler.
Continue to stir occasionally with a wooden spoon thinly coated in oil.
You’ll want to reach this level of stretch with your cheese. It should stretch widely without breaking.
Add in the egg.
Kneed the “living heck” out of it. For at least 5 mins. If you have a stand mixer, this is a good time to break it out. Use the dough hook. You know it’s ready when its completely smooth and you don’t see bits of cheese.
Roll out your dough to 1/4 inch thick.
Drape it gently over the empanada press.
Be sure to have the entire cavity of the press covered.
With a sharp object trim off the edges.
Place a small amount of filling inside the cavity.
Be sure not to overstuff.
Fold over the press.
When done correctly it should be neatly pressed without any filling oozing out or broken edges.
Egg wash and a pastry brush.
Apply a thin layer of egg wash over one side of the empanada.
Low Carb Chicken Tinga Empanadas

5 thoughts on “Low Carb Chicken Tinga Empanadas

  1. This looks sooo good 🤤 I haven’t had Tinga in a while since starting keto! But this is a good alternative will definitely be trying this out & come back for an updated review 😁


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