Mini Chicken Empanadas

I frequently hear from patients that it’s hard to find a good appetizer other than a veggie or fruit platter that fits within a bariatric meal plan. I found this recipe for Chicken Empanadas that is delicious and can easily be modified to fit your nutrition needs!

Recommended Modification:  Make the empanada filling (mostly protein!) and instead of wrapping in the dough, use the filling with a lettuce cup to decrease the carbohydrate content and increase fiber. 

Tell me what you think or other ways you might modify this recipe to make it fit your needs!

Servings:  12

Serving Size:  2 empanadas

Prep Time:  50 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced green onions
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 10.5 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 diced hard-boiled egg
  • 1 Tbsp diced black olives
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 package refrigerated pie crust dough


  1. Heat oven to 375 F (191 C) and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray
  2. In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and saute green onions and bell peppers about 2 minutes, until tender and lightly browned
  3. Stir in chicken and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently
  4. Turn off heat and add egg, olives, paprika, salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool
  5. On a clean surface, unroll dough and make 24 discs with a 2.5-inch round cutter
  6. Place about 1 Tbsp filling in the middle of each dough disc, being careful to avoid the discs’ edges
  7. Lightly wet the edge of the dough with water. Fold each disc in half and press to seal edges, so the shape resembles a half-moon
  8. Crimp around the edges with a fork. Place empanadas on prepared baking sheet at least 1 inch apart
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes

NOTE:  Prior to baking, empanadas (or filling) can be frozen. Freeze until solid on a baking sheet, then transfer into a freezer bag. When ready to cook, bake frozen empanadas without thawing, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

Nutrition Facts: (including the empanada dough)

Calories:  185

Total Fat:  11g

Saturated Fat: 4g

Cholesterol: 33mg

Sodium: 248mg

Carbohydrates: 16g (without the dough, carbohdyrate content decreases to approximately 2g)

Fiber: 0g

Sugars: 0g

Protein: 7g

Tips to Reach Your Nutrition Goals

March is National Nutrition Month, so I wanted to share some tips (taken from on how to reach your nutrition goals – either before or after weight loss surgery!

Start with small changes
Instead of a diet overhaul, make small changes to what you eat and drink that will work for you now and in the future.


Take one day at a time
Sometimes things don’t go as planned, even with the best of intentions. If you miss one day or one milestone for your goal, don’t give up!


Be active your way
Pick activities you enjoy! If you focus on having fun or learning a new skill that interests you, you will be more likely to stick with it.


Team up
Find a friend with similar goals – swap healthy recipes and be active together. Staying on track is easier with support and a cheerleader.


Celebrate successes
Think of each change as a “win” as you build positive habits and find ways to reach your goals. Reward yourself (with something other than food) – you’ve earned it!

What tips do you have for others on how to reach their nutrition goals? What has worked for you in the past?


Thank you for visiting our Weight Loss Surgery Support Forum! This is a support group sponsored by North Cypress Medical Center for people who have had or are planning to have weight loss surgery.

We hope this forum will be a place where you are encouraged and are able to find support throughout your weight loss journey, as well as a place to find reliable information from our staff! While this group is not meant to be a place for exchanging medical advice, we do have physicians available who can discuss any medical concerns you may have – please contact our office at 832.912.3717 for more information.

Comments on the forum will be moderated, but all supportive, constructive comments are welcomed and encouraged! In order to post a comment, click on the title for the blog post you wish to comment on. This should bring up the full post and a comment section is available at the end of the post. You are required to type your name and e-mail address in order to leave a comment!

How to Fit “Combos” into your Meal Plan

A lot of clients ask me, “how can I use recipes in my healthy meal plan?” Whether you like to cook or not, you should be able to follow all different kinds of recipes and make them work into your plan. Using recipes also helps you to add variety and excitement into your diet. If you are intimidated, don’t be! Most recipes will list the difficulty at the top so you can choose based off of your skill level.

Continue reading “How to Fit “Combos” into your Meal Plan”