Sunny's Pumpkin and Chicken Bites with Sunny's Creme Fraiche Dipping Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 50 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 48 bites
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One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 rotisserie chicken, skin discarded, meat shredded or chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, 3 to 4 leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, 10 to 12 sprigs

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 scallions, finely chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss or gruyere


24 empanada wrappers, such as Goya discos

2 eggs

Sunny's Creme Fraiche Dipping Sauce, to serve, recipe follows

Sunny's Creme Fraiche Dipping Sauce: 

8 ounces creme fraiche

3 scallions, cut into thirds

1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp

1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. For the filling: In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, chicken, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, walnuts, scallions, dried cranberries and Hungarian paprika. Taste, making sure to get a bit of each ingredient in the sample. There should be a nice balance of sweet and savory; adding a nice pinch of salt can bring you to the right place. Stir before tasting again and adjust as needed. Once done with the salt, add a few grinds of black pepper. Add the cheese and stir to combine. Refrigerate until mix is firm and less sticky, about 20 minutes. 
  3. For the wrappers: Wrappers should be packed with paper between each. Remove one wrapper at a time along with the paper and roll and flatten each slightly with a rolling pin. If not packed with paper, roll on a sheet of wax paper. Cut each in half to create 48 half circles. Fill one side of each half with a heaping tablespoon of filling and fold the empty side over the filled side to create a triangle with a curved edge. Then, using the tines of a fork, close both open sides by pressing them together with the top 1/2 inch of the fork. Repeat for the rest. 
  4. In a small bowl whisk the eggs and 1 tablespoon water. Lightly brush one side of each bite and place the brushed side up on a parchment or nonstick aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 24 minutes. Serve with Sunny's Creme Fraiche Dipping Sauce.

Sunny's Creme Fraiche Dipping Sauce: 

Yield: 1 1/4 cups.
  1. In a food processor, add the creme fraiche, scallions, garlic and hot sauce. Taste the dip and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Blend again and taste, seasoning again if needed. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving cold.  
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