Story by Karyl Henry, KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com
Growing up we ate tons of leftovers. So when I moved out of my parents’ house, I swore them all off except for Baked Homemade Mac & Cheese and pizza.
I’ve evolved since then, and have a few recipes that I love to make extra just so I’ll have leftovers. Broccoli Salad with Homemade Dressing may be better the next day. And pork carnitas will last for several days for delicious Street Tacos.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays where you always end up with leftovers. You always make more than you need just in case and end up with food for days.
Baked Monte Cristo Sliders are a great way to use up extra turkey and ham. Loaded Mashed Potato Balls give new life to plain mashed potatoes.
And my new favorite leftovers recipe is Turkey Cranberry Hand Pies.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
- You can prep them ahead and then bake as needed.
- You can be creative with what you add into the hand pies.
- They’re great as a snack all year round.
INGREDIENT TIPS FOR TURKEY CRANBERRY HAND PIES
Yes, you could make the dough for the hand pies. But I don’t do that. Instead, I use store-bought puff pastry dough. You can buy it fresh or frozen; I normally buy it frozen and then just thaw it as needed.
I like to use puff pastry because then you get beautiful flaky layers.
Puff Pastry Tips:
- Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough! it will cut more smoothly than a knife.
- Don’t thaw the dough until you’re ready to prep; if the dough gets too warm it doesn’t hold its shape very well.
Leftover turkey is the fastest and easiest ingredient, especially around the holidays. And I cut the turkey into bite-sized pieces to make it easy to eat.
I’ve never tackled making fresh cranberry sauce, so I use canned whole cranberries. If you prefer the jellied cranberry sauce you can use that as well. I don’t recommend fresh cranberries because they are super tart.
Don’t add too much cheese. You want the creaminess of the cheese, but you also don’t want it overpowering the other ingredients or leaking out of the hand pie.
The great thing about Turkey Cranberry Hand Pies is its versatility. This means you can use what you’ve got, and/or make some easy substitutions.
- Don’t have puff pastry? Substitute crescent roll dough or make your own dough.
- Don’t have leftover turkey? Buy some roasted turkey breast or deli turkey meat…or totally switch it up with chicken!
- Don’t have prepared stuffing? You can make the boxed Stuffing in about 10 minutes.
- Don’t have brie cheese? Substitute another good melting cheese, or use a little gravy instead.
SERVING AND MAKE-AHEAD OPTIONS
Turkey Cranberry Hand Pies are best served immediately after baking. Once the dough cools down it loses its trademark flakiness. And when the hand pies get cold they’re just not very good.
I don’t recommend reheating Turkey Cranberry Hand Pies because then you’re just cooking the leftovers AGAIN. And you not only lose the flakiness of the dough, it just doesn’t taste that great reheated.
Turkey Cranberry Hand Pies are freezer-friendly!
- Prep the hand pies to seal the dough together.
- Place the hand pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- pPt the baking sheet into the freezer for 3-4 hours, until the hand pies are frozen.
- Transfer the hand pies to a large Ziploc bag and store in the freezer.
- To use, thaw the hand pies for 1 hour, add egg wash and bake.
Turkey Cranberry Hand Pies from KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com
- 1 sheet frozen Puff Pastry Dough
- 6oz roasted turkey breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 6oz cranberry sauce
- 6oz stuffing
- 3 oz brie cheese, rind removed and cheese cut into 1/2oz pieces
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Take the puff pastry out of the freezer and set out to thaw for 40 minutes. After 15 minutes, unfold the pastry sheet so it thaws flat.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle the pastry sheet with a little bit of flour. Lightly roll the sheet to eliminate the fold lines.
- Using a pizza cutter, lay the pastry sheet horizontally. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 strips, and then each strip into 3 pieces. You will end up with 12 pieces.
- In the center of 6 of the dough pieces, evenly distribute the filling: turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and cheese.
- Use a pastry brush or your finger to spread a little bit of the egg wash along the edge of each filled dough piece.
- Cover each piece with the remaining empty dough pieces. Press the edges together. If desired, press the edge of a fork along the edges as well for a more secure seal.
- Carefully transfer the hand pies to the baking sheet.
- Brush the top of each hand pie with a little egg wash.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.