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Thanksgiving Empanadas

Trying to find the perfect way to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers? Look no further!

These turkey empanadas are all the goodness of Thanksgiving dinner wrapped up in a pocket of delicious, flaky pastry. You can use a premade dough, or make your own from scratch with the directions below. You could also try it with puff pastry or even leftover pie crust!

This recipe leaves plenty of room for creativity. While the traditional half-moon shape of an empanada is fun, feel free to experiment with other shapes and sizes.


Empanada Dough:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp Real Salt
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional: Eggs (for egg wash)

Suggested Leftovers:

  • Turkey
  • Gravy
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Green Beans
  • Stuffing
  • Yams



  1. Mix together the flour and salt. Add the melted butter, yolks, and water to the flour mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is clumping together. 
  2. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead it until it becomes one cohesive mass. You can add more flour if the dough is too sticky, or more water if it’s too hard to work. 
  3. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a towel. Let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Gather any leftovers you want to include. It’s best to err on the side of under-filling your empanadas, so if you’re looking to use a lot of different kinds of leftovers, just use a small portion of each for the filling.
  3. Roll out the dough to about half a centimeter thick. Use cookie cutters or a wide bowl to cut out circles of dough, at least 5 inches across.
  4. Place fillings on one half of the circle, making sure to not overfill. Leave about a centimeter of room on the pastry edge so you can close it. For best results, try to place the driest leftovers on the bottom to prevent your bottom crust from getting soggy.
  5. Once your pastry is filled, fold over the empanada dough to form a half-moon shape. Using a fork, firmly crimp the edges all around the seams so that your fillings don’t run out. Place your sealed empanada on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until the pan is full.
  6. Brush the tops with an egg wash for an extra-crispy top layer. Bake pastries for 30–40 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Enjoy!

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