Cook this Now - Empanadas de Guajalote (Turkey Empanadas)

By / Photography By Jenn Duncan | March 21, 2016


Make the dough: Add the flours and salt to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse several times to blend. Add the cream cheese and butter and pulse again several times. Add the cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you achieve a shaggy dough that barely holds together.

Transfer the dough to a clean work surface, form it into a disk, wrap the disk in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Make the filling: In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, lightly sauté the diced turkey meat in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the stock, garlic, onion, salt, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, vinegar, and honey. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the pecans and berries and remove the skillet from the heat. Season to taste, and add more honey, as needed, to moisten (the mixture should be slightly sticky).

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the chilled dough on a floured work surface and roll out to a 3/16-inch thickness. Invert a small (4- to 4 ½-inch-diameter) bowl over the dough, and cut a circle using the point of a knife.

Repeat with the rest of the dough, gathering the scraps and re-rolling to use all the dough.

Hold a dough circle in the palm of your hand and place 1 rounded tablespoon of the filling in the center of it. Dip the forefinger of your free hand in water and moisten the inside edges of the empanada, then fold it in half gently. Dry and lightly flour your fingers; then, starting at one end of the semicircle of dough, pinch the edges together with your index finger on top, then twist the dough to bring your thumb to the top. Continue this process to seal the edges of the dough, forming the traditional braided edge on empanadas called the repulgue.

Place the empanadas on the parchment-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg white with 2 teaspoons water, and use a soft pastry brush to lightly coat the tops of the empanadas with it. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans and continue to bake for another 10 minutes, or until the empanadas are a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature.

*Susan uses wild turkey or you could use heritage turkey from Tejas Heritage Farm (


For the Dough
  • 1 ½ cups organic all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup mesquite flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
For the filling
  • 4 cups diced cooked dark meat turkey*
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup turkey bone stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4-6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 cup dried dewberries, blackberries, mulberries, or chopped raisins
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