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.
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  3. Stir in the cumin, oregano, and chipotles. Continue to stir for a couple minutes.
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  5. 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.
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  7. Once cooled. Carefully dump 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.
  8. 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!
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  10. Preheat oven to 350F
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  12. 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.IMG_7327
  13. Add egg and mix in.IMG_7328
  14. In a separate bowl whisk the almond flour and baking powder together until combined, then add to mozzarella mixture.
  15. 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!
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  17. Roll out dough til 1/4 inch thick.IMG_7348
  18. Using a cookie cutter, knife, or empanada press (I used this one and loved it!) cut out 4 inch circles out of the dough.IMG_7349IMG_7350IMG_7351
  19. 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.IMG_7352IMG_7353IMG_7354IMG_7358
  20. 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).IMG_7368
  21. 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.
  22. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving if necessary. Serve with desired garnish. I like diced onion, cilantro and my avocado salsa.
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    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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