American Turkey Turnovers Recipe - Delicious and Easy-to-Make

American Turkey Turnovers

American Turkey Turnovers Recipe - Delicious and Easy-to-Make
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 12


American Turkey Turnovers
American Turkey Turnovers

American Turkey Turnovers are a delightful and versatile dish that combines the savory flavors of turkey, vegetables, and spices encased in a flaky pastry. Perfect for using up leftover turkey, these turnovers are a hit at gatherings, make for a great snack, or can serve as a main dish when paired with sides. This recipe offers a step-by-step guide to creating these delicious pockets of joy, ensuring a crispy exterior with a moist and flavorful filling.


The concept of turnovers dates back centuries and spans many cultures, with each having its own version of this portable meal. In America, the turkey turnover became popular as a way to repurpose leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and other holiday meals. Over time, it evolved from a simple turkey and gravy filling to include various vegetables and spices, making it a more rounded and flavorful dish.




How to prepare

  1. Sauté the onion and celery in butter.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients for the filling.
  3. Sift together the flour, curry powder (if using), and salt.
  4. Using either a butter knife or a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Sprinkle in 0.25 cup of the ice water, reserving the rest.
  6. Toss with a fork to mix well.
  7. Quickly press the dough into a ball and set it aside.
  8. If there is any flour left in the bowl, use the reserved water to dampen it and then press it into the rest of the dough.
  9. There are two ways to do this next step, the second being the one I came up with myself.
  10. On a floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of 0.13 inches, and then cut it into twelve 6-inch rounds or make twelve balls of dough and roll them into 6-inch rounds.
  11. Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto half of each of the rounds.
  12. Brush the edge of each round with a little warm water.
  13. Fold the empty half over.
  14. Use a fork to seal the edges, and then prick the top here and there.
  15. Use a spatula to carefully transfer the finished turnovers to a cookie sheet.
  16. Cover loosely with wax paper and freeze overnight.
  17. Package the turnovers in foil or freezer bags and label them as necessary.
  18. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
  19. Place the desired number of turnovers on a cookie sheet and bake for as little as 15 minutes.


  • Consider adding cheese to the filling for a creamy texture, or mix in different vegetables such as carrots, peas, or mushrooms for added flavor and nutrition. For a spicier kick, incorporate a dash of cayenne pepper or your favorite hot sauce.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the pastry is flaky and light, keep the shortening cold and handle the dough as little as possible. Overworking the dough can lead to a tough pastry. When sealing the turnovers, press the edges firmly to prevent the filling from leaking during baking. For an extra golden finish, brush the tops of the turnovers with an egg wash before baking.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the turnovers hot from the oven with a side of mixed greens or a light soup for a complete meal. They also pair well with cranberry sauce or gravy for dipping.

Cooking Techniques

For a crispier pastry, consider brushing the turnovers with melted butter or an egg wash before baking. Another technique is to chill the formed turnovers in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before baking to help the pastry set and become flakier.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a vegetarian version, substitute the turkey with a mix of beans and lentils or a meat substitute. The cream of chicken soup can be replaced with a vegetarian cream soup to maintain the creamy texture of the filling.

Make Ahead Tips

These turnovers are perfect for making ahead. Prepare and freeze them unbaked, then bake straight from the freezer when ready to serve. This not only saves time but also ensures the pastry remains flaky and crisp.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the turnovers on a platter garnished with fresh herbs for an elegant presentation. A drizzle of gravy or a dollop of cranberry sauce on the side can add color and enhance the flavors.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair the turnovers with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a sparkling cider for a refreshing contrast to the savory filling.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover baked turnovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through, about 10-15 minutes, to maintain the crispiness of the pastry.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of American Turkey Turnovers contains approximately 350-400 calories. The exact calorie count can vary based on the specific ingredients used and the size of the turnovers.


Each serving of American Turkey Turnovers contains approximately 30-35 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of carbohydrates in this recipe comes from the pastry flour used in the dough. Opting for whole wheat pastry flour can increase the fiber content and slightly alter the carbohydrate composition for a healthier twist.


The turnovers contain about 15-20 grams of fat per serving, mainly from the vegetable shortening and butter used in the pastry and filling. To reduce the fat content, you can substitute the butter with a lower-fat alternative and use a light or reduced-fat cream of chicken soup.


Each turnover is a good source of protein, providing approximately 20-25 grams per serving. The protein comes from the turkey, making these turnovers a satisfying and muscle-friendly option. For an even leaner protein source, consider using turkey breast.

Vitamins and minerals

These turnovers are rich in several vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A from the butter, B vitamins from the turkey and flour, and iron from the turkey. Including a variety of vegetables in the filling can boost the vitamin and mineral content, making the turnovers more nutritious.


Common allergens in this recipe include gluten (from the pastry flour) and dairy (from the butter). Those with sensitivities or allergies to these ingredients can find suitable substitutes, such as gluten-free flour blends and dairy-free butter alternatives.


Overall, American Turkey Turnovers offer a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. They can be part of a nutritious meal when consumed in moderation and paired with healthy sides.


American Turkey Turnovers are a delightful and versatile dish that can be customized in numerous ways to suit different tastes and dietary needs. Whether made ahead for a quick meal or prepared for a special occasion, these turnovers are sure to impress with their flaky pastry and savory filling.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for American Turkey Turnovers. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl learning to cook from my own grandmother. She was a remarkable woman, full of knowledge and wisdom, and she had a way of making even the simplest of dishes taste like a gourmet meal.

One summer afternoon, as I sat at the kitchen table watching my grandmother prepare dinner, she pulled out a tattered old cookbook from her cupboard. Flipping through the pages, she landed on a recipe for Turkey Turnovers. I had never heard of such a dish before, but as she read aloud the list of ingredients and instructions, my mouth began to water.

The recipe called for diced turkey meat, mixed with a savory blend of onions, garlic, and herbs, all wrapped in a flaky pastry crust. It sounded like the perfect comfort food, something warm and filling to enjoy on a chilly evening. My grandmother must have sensed my excitement, because she smiled and said, "Would you like to give it a try, my dear?"

I eagerly nodded, and before I knew it, she was guiding me through the process of making the turnovers. She showed me how to sauté the onions and garlic until they were golden brown, how to season the turkey meat just right, and how to roll out the pastry dough so it was thin and flaky. I watched in awe as she worked her magic in the kitchen, turning a handful of simple ingredients into a delicious meal.

As the turnovers baked in the oven, filling the kitchen with a mouthwatering aroma, my grandmother sat me down at the table and told me the story behind the recipe. She explained how she had learned to make Turkey Turnovers from her own mother, who had learned it from a dear friend many years ago. It was a recipe that had been passed down through generations, each cook adding their own twist to make it their own.

When the turnovers were finally ready, my grandmother pulled them out of the oven and placed a steaming hot one on my plate. I took a bite, savoring the buttery crust and the flavorful filling, and I knew that this dish would become a favorite in my own kitchen for years to come.

Over the years, I have made American Turkey Turnovers countless times, each time adding a little of my own flair to the recipe. I have shared it with friends and family, who have all marveled at its delicious taste and comforting warmth. And every time I make it, I am reminded of that summer afternoon in my grandmother's kitchen, when I first learned the magic of turning simple ingredients into a culinary masterpiece.

So, here is my recipe for American Turkey Turnovers, passed down through generations and perfected over time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have, and that it brings a little taste of home and tradition to your own kitchen. Happy cooking!


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