Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey Empanadas

Turkey empanadas recipe from leftover turkey

Here’s a fun and creative idea for using up leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Empanadas!

Empanadas are little meat and/or veggie-filled pockets. They’re popular in the Caribbean and Latin America, where you can find them filled with beef or chicken, potatoes, hard-boiled egg, olives, raisins, onions, and other good stuff.

If it’s not Thanksgiving – or if you don’t have turkey – you could certainly use chicken to make these empanadas. I made a quick roasted red pepper sauce, but you could serve these with a fruity chutney or chipotle cream sauce.

Empanadas are great for parties. They’re a breeze to prepare, and you can bake dozens of them at a time. Especially when you use a ready-made dough like I did.

Turkey empanadas

Where To Buy Empanada Wrappers

I buy empanada wrappers at a local Mexican grocery store. They’re usually in the freezer section. If you’re stuck and can’t find them, you can:

  • Make your own
  • Use pie crust
  • Use refrigerator crescent rolls
  • Make these pot-pie style using puff pastry

Empanada wrappers

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Turkey Empanadas Recipe With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Yield: 20 empanadas

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 15 min

Total Time: 30 min

If you're using ready-made empanada dough, be sure to check the package instructions for bake time and temperature.


For turkey empanada filling:
1 package empanada wrappers
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leftover turkey
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded Mexican-style cheese
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons capers (or 1/4 cup chopped green olives)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

For roasted red pepper sauce:
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 400F. Mix all turkey filling ingredients together and season to your liking. Place one large tablespoon of turkey filling in the middle of each empanada dough round. Fold the dough over and seal edges by pressing together. Seal with a little water, if necessary. Place in oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until crust is browned and filling is hot.
To make roasted red pepper sauce, combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree.

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One Response to “Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes: Turkey Empanadas”

  1. 1

    12 leftover turkey Recipes » My Mommy Style — May 13, 2014 @ 1:47 am

    […] Turkey Empanadas […]

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