These Thanksgiving leftovers turnovers are filled with cold turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing or dressing, cranberry sauce, whatever leftovers are lurking in your fridge. An easy supper solution that’ll earn you accolades.
These leftovers turnovers handily disguise those leftovers from a feast lurking in your refrigerator. They’re essentially hand pies made with flaky pie crust or puff pastry filled with…whatever. Easy. Inexpensive. And innovative as heck. Prepare to be more enthralled with Thanksgiving leftovers than ever before.–Angie Zoobkoff
- All-purpose flour for dusting
- About 1 pound store-bought or homemade pie crust or frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 large egg beaten
- About 1 pound cold cooked leftovers, such as shredded turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, or whatever you please (3 to 4 cups)
- Mustard for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the pastry into a large rectangle about 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles (or circles, if you prefer turnovers of a more traditional “pasty” shape). You want them all to be roughly the same size. Brush the edges with a bit of beaten egg.
☞TESTER TIP: In a large bowl, mix the leftovers together, breaking up any pieces that may be a bit too chunky.
- Ensure that the leftovers have been in the fridge long enough to be completely cold. The turnovers will assemble so much more easily.
- Spoon the leftovers generously onto the center of each portion of pastry. Now fold the dough over in half over the filling. Use your fingers to crimp the edges and seal the dough. Repeat with the remaining dough and leftovers. Lightly brush the turnovers with some of the remaining egg, lightly sprinkle with salt, and place on the parchment paper.
- Bake the turnovers for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Serve hot or cold with mustard on the side, if desired.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
What an innovative way to serve leftovers using some pastry and those pesky little bits of this and that hiding in the fridge. These were delicious warm and smelled great while baking.
I made 2 types of turnovers—we had some taco meat and fixings in the fridge as well as some beef and Guinness stew. I used pastry from my freezer and made 8 turnovers. These would probably be slightly smaller than the recipe called for but we found them to be an adequate size for lunch. They could be made larger for dinner by cutting the pastry sheet in half instead of quarters.
I found that since the filling was cold, the turnovers were easy to fill. Baking time was only 20 minutes, but I attribute that to them being a smaller size. I would recommend using parchment paper on the baking sheet in case one of the seams springs a leak.
This is a fabulous way to use up those bits in the fridge that aren’t enough for whole other dinner or leftovers you just want to serve another way. My family is already thinking of other things we can make dinner turnovers with.
This is a creative technique for repurposing leftovers from a Thanksgiving feast or even from a homey Sunday supper of roast with potatoes and carrots. The combinations and possibilities are wide-ranging.
The puff pastry I bought (Dufour) came in a 14-ounce package, so I scaled down the amount of filling accordingly. After rolling the pastry out into a rectangle (a little under 1/8 inch thickness), I assembled the turnovers, being careful not to overstuff them (something I tend to fall victim to) and I had 1 cup filling (1/4 pound.) left unused. They went into the oven and were browned and ready to come out and be devoured after 35 minutes.
I might try this again with a little less guilt using a regular pie crust, though the turnovers wouldn’t turn out as beautifully flaky. And they were beautiful and they were oh so flaky. Between the two of us, we ate 2 1/2 of them along with big bowls of creamy squash, carrot, and ginger soup. It was a fitting meal to end Thanksgiving weekend. And, butter aside, we got lots of veggies! The leftovers I used included roasted yellow beets, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, and fennel.
Originally published November 24, 2019