Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Hand Pies recipe from CHOW

The world’s best cold-weather food may not be soup after all. We’d argue that thet title ought to go to the oft-overlooked hand pie. Consider this: What other food allows you to enjoy an on-the-go meal even while donning mittens and a scarf? The hand pie, turnover, and empanada recipes here prove flaky dough is the ideal vehicle for any seasonal filling, whether savory or sweet. Just picture biting into a piping-hot pocket on a frigid day—it’s an instant way to achieve winter cheer.

1. Spiced Pear and Almond Turnovers

Our spiced pear and almond turnovers are a true winter treat: diced pears doused in cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and brown sugar, then packaged in crunchy, almond-topped pastry envelopes.
Recipe and photo from CHOW

2. Natchitoches Meat Pies

In northern Louisiana, the food of the land is the Natchitoches meat pie, a savory turnover stuffed with ground beef, onions, garlic, and seasonings before getting a deep-fry in peanut oil.
Recipe and photo from CHOW

3. Fried Pumpkin Hand Pies

For a different take on pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, serve your dinner guests these impossibly cute pumpkin hand pies that are finished off with a heavy dusting of cinnamon sugar.
Recipe and photo from Heather Christo

4. Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

If you want to impress a crowd with your ability to make ridiculously flaky hand-held pastries, then these butternut squash and goat cheese hand pies are the way to go: The filling can be made a couple of days in advance and the dough up to a month ahead of time.
Recipe and photo from CHOW

5. Chicken Empanadas

Empanadas—stuffed breads filled with meat or cheese or vegetables or fruit—are a staple in just about every Latin country, derived from the term empanar, which means “to wrap in bread.” This chicken variation is a classic Argentine example.
Recipe and photo from CHOW

6. Curried Jamaican Beef Patties

Can’t afford a trip to Jamaica? Do the next best thing: Bring a bit of the country to your kitchen with classic beef patties that have been vibrantly colored with yellow curry powder, and packed with heat thanks to minced Scotch bonnet peppers.
Photo and recipe from Jennifer Olvera / Serious Eats

7. Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hand Pies

Reinvent or repurpose a ubiquitous holiday appetizer, spinach and artichoke dip, by using it as the stuffing for a petite-sized turnover.
Photo and recipe from Inquiring Chef

8. Cheese and Onion Pasties

This English-inspired hand pie is filled with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese, which means it pretty much covers all the bases.
Photo and recipe from My Name Is Yeh

9. Brie and Jam Pretzel Hand Pies

If you’re the type who can’t decide between sweet and savory, then this pastry, with its gooey Brie and jam filling, is for you. Encase your hand-held treat in pretzel dough for a departure from the norm.
Photo and recipe from Girl Versus Dough

10. Picadillo Empanadas

We turned to Mexico and its version of picadillo as inspiration for the stuffing in these empanadas, which call for sautéing ground beef with pimento-stuffed green olives and dried currants before encasing in a flaky shell.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

11. Chocolate Pudding Mini Pies

Yes, we know—these aren’t exactly stuffed hand pies. But our chocolate pudding mini pies are so lovely to eat out of hand that we couldn’t help but include them. The filling is so luxurious, you won’t be able to hold just one.
Photo and recipe from CHOW

Susannah Chen is a San Francisco–based freelance writer. When she’s not cooking or writing, she’s on the hunt to find the world’s best chilaquiles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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