Leftover solution: Turkey empanadas

By Krista,

This Thanksgiving, my lovely mom finally relinquished a little bit of control and let me do a little bit of the cooking. I took care of the turkey in an apple cider brine and made the traditional vat of gravy, as well as two pies: apple and pumpkin.

To be honest, the pie baking bit didn’t go as orinally planned since all my mom had in the house was whole wheat flour. Thankfully. I used a top secret recipe lent to me by dear friend Sarah over at Fruit and Flour, which turned out to be a dream even with the healthy whole wheat. Everyone loved the flakiness that the whole wheat lent, plus the consolation prize of being (somewhat) guilt-free. But because Sarah’s recipe makes enough for a pie top and bottom, I was left with a ball o’ dough after Turkey Day.

Enter the empanadas. I hate to admit it, but I got the inspiration from a Guy Fieri segment my mom was watching. At one of his dive’s a chef was making turkey empanadas with puffed pastry. There were just a few scraps of leg meat left (evidence of the brine’s success), so I sauteed that with some butter, onions, crimini mushrooms and a slice of brie and baked it in my leftover crusts. I guestimated the amount of turkey and gravy, simply because I was just chucking together leftovers. In hindsight, I’d love to have some peas or carrots in the mix, but they were still lovely savory little snacks — sort of like a pot pie pocket.

Turkey empanadas 

1 fresh or pre-made pie crust

chopped turkey meat

1/4 cup crimini mushrooms, finely chopped

1/4 cup onions, finely chopped


1 beaten egg for wash

Sweat the onions in butter, then add chopped mushrooms. Once the mushrooms get thier umami on, add the chopped turkey and gravy. Set aside.

On a floured surface, roll out your dough a bit thinner than your average crust. Then use a 4-inch cutter to cut circles. I used a coffee tin top, but if you’re fancy and have an actual cutter, more power to ya! Gather the remaining dough, roll and repeat. You should have around 10-12 pieces.

Place a teaspoon of filling in each of the circles, then top with a small slice of brie. Brush a bit of egg wash on the edge of each empanada, fold over, then press with a fork to close. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, and then rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.



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