Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas



Ah, Black Friday! A day to buy the half-priced stretchy pants you realized you needed about halfway through last night’s dinner; a day to plan what you’re going to do with all of your leftovers. Below is a simple recipe for empanada dough (originally from this recipe for breakfast pockets).  Make a filling by combining leftover mashed potatoes, turkey, corn, and/or whatever else needs to get eaten up (right out of the fridge–don’t heat it up!), then enjoy your hand-held Thanksgiving feast with leftover cranberry sauce or gravy for dipping!

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, chilled
  • 10 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
  • water
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  Cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with two knives, until well blended.
  2. Whisk the 2 egg yolks with 1 1/2 cups water. Stir the water/egg mixture into the dry ingredients a little at a time until the dough starts to come together.  Keep kneading the dough, adding more water/egg a little bit at a time as necessary, until the dough is smooth.
  3. Cover the dough with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.  On a floured surface, roll or press out the dough to about 1/3 of an inch and cut into 5-inch circles. Let circles rest for 5 minutes, then stretch them out a little more.
  5. Spoon your filling of choice into the circles, leaving plenty of room to fold and seal the pockets.  Take a fork to crimp around the edge, and if the empanadas aren’t sealing tightly, dip your finger in water, run it on the edge of the dough, and try again.  Place empanadas (you’ll probably have between 14 and 18) on a couple of parchment lined baking sheets.
  6. Whisk an egg with a tablespoon of water, then brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool till you can pick them up.