Spiced Pear and Almond Turnovers recipe

The world’s best cold-weather food may not be soup after all. We’d argue that that 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

Spiced Pear and Almond Turnovers recipe


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. Get our Spiced Pear and Almond Turnovers recipe.

2. Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches Meat Pies recipe


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. Get our Natchitoches Meat Pies recipe.

3. Fried Pumpkin Hand Pies

Fried Pumpkin Hand Pies recipe

Heather Christo

For a different take on pumpkin pie next Thanksgiving (or whenever the craving hits you), serve your dinner guests these impossibly cute pumpkin hand pies that are finished off with a heavy dusting of cinnamon sugar. Get the Fried Pumpkin Hand Pies recipe.

4. Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Hand Pies

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Hand Pies recipe


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. Get our Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Hand Pies recipe.

5. Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Empanadas recipe


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. Get our Chicken Empanadas recipe.

6. Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican Beef Patties recipe

Immaculate Bites

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 turmeric (sub in mild yellow curry powder if you like), and packed with heat thanks to minced Scotch bonnet peppers, though they are optional. Get the Jamaican Beef Patties recipe.

7. Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hand Pies

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hand Pies recipe

Inquiring Chef

Reinvent or repurpose a ubiquitous holiday appetizer, spinach and artichoke dip, by using it as the stuffing for a petite-sized turnover. Get the Spinach and Artichoke Dip Hand Pies recipe recipe.

8. Cheese and Onion Pasties

Cheese and Onion Pasties recipe

My Name is Yeh

This English-inspired hand pie is filled with caramelized onions and cheddar cheese, which means it pretty much covers all the bases. Get the Cheese and Onion Pasties recipe recipe.

9. Brie and Jam Pretzel Hand Pies

Brie and Jam Pretzel Hand Pies recipe

Girl Versus Dough

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. Get the Brie and Jam Pretzel Hand Pies recipe.

10. Picadillo Empanadas

Picadillo Empanada recipe


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. Get our Picadillo Empanadas recipe.

11. Chocolate Hand Pies

Chocolate Hand Pies recipe

Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cutting these rich chocolate hand pies into hart shapes makes them extra-endearing, but they’re easy to love even if you make them the usual crescent shapes or squares. (While not exactly stuffed hand pies, our Chocolate Pudding Mini Pies are an easier way to get your chocolate fix while counting as small, self-contained desserts.) Get the Chocolate Hand Pies recipe.

Related Video: How to Make a Turkey Hand Pie

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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