Turkey Cranberry Empanadas

These turkey cranberry empanadas combine your favorite Thanksgiving flavors into a handheld meal that’s perfect for using up leftovers.

Disclosure: The post is sponsored by the Cranberry Marketing Committee. All opinions are our own.

Picture this: It’s 3 days after Thanksgiving and you’re still eating leftovers. There are only so many turkey sandwiches one can take.

If you made way too much food this Thanksgiving and are looking for some creative ways to use up those leftovers, you’ll definitely want to make a batch of these Turkey Cranberry Empanadas!

Best Turkey Cranberry Empanadas

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Empanada Discs: We buy these in the frozen aisle and thaw them out for 1-2 hours before getting ready to prep. Our grocery store carries two sizes, opt for the larger size for these ones. Or, try a homemade dough.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Use up leftover homemade or canned cranberry sauce for a tangy addition to these empanadas. Plus, save some extra for dipping!
  • Turkey: White or dark meat works well in these. Dice or shred for the filling. Chicken or ham also works well in place of turkey.
  • Stuffing: Add a little leftover stuffing to give these a real taste of Thanksgiving. Leftover mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes or other sides would be a creative spin as well.
  • Swiss Cheese: Turkey and Swiss cheese pair really well together and the unique flavor of Swiss cheese gives these empanadas a great taste. Not a Swiss cheese fan? Opt for your favorite cheese in its place.
Tasty Turkey Cranberry Empanadas

Cranberries are America’s Original Superfruit®. They are fat, sodium and cholesterol free, which make them a healthy choice to add to your Thanksgiving menu.

While cranberry sauce is a staple, consider creating a fun mocktail with 100% cranberry juice, adding dried cranberries to dishes or even using fresh cranberries in a vase or other tablescape idea for a festive place setting.

Easy Turkey Cranberry Empanadas

They’re great fresh out of the oven or you can refrigerate up to 5 days and reheat when you’re ready to eat. Better yet? Freeze and enjoy a taste of Thanksgiving any time.

To Freeze:

  1. Let empanadas cool completely before freezing.
  2. Place cooked empanadas single layer on small baking sheet or plate and freeze. This prevents empanadas from sticking together.
  3. Once frozen, transfer to freezer-safe Ziplock bag or airtight container.

To reheat, remove from freezer, place on baking sheet and bake in oven at 375F for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.

How to make Turkey Cranberry Empanadas

Turkey Cranberry Empanadas FAQs

Q: What are the main ingredients in turkey cranberry empanadas?
A: The main ingredients are empanada dough discs, cranberry sauce, cooked turkey, leftover stuffing, swiss cheese, and an egg for the egg wash.

Q: How do you make turkey cranberry empanadas?
A: Add cranberry sauce, diced turkey, stuffing, and swiss cheese to thawed empanada dough discs. Fold over into half moons, crimp edges with a fork, brush with egg wash, and bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Q: Can you freeze turkey cranberry empanadas?
A: Yes, you can freeze the empanadas after baking and cooling completely. Freeze in a single layer first, then transfer to an airtight container or bag. Reheat from frozen at 375°F for 25-30 minutes.

Q: What sides go well with turkey cranberry empanadas?
A: Extra cranberry sauce for dipping pairs nicely. You could also serve them with a salad or vegetable side dish.

Q: Are these empanadas good for using up Thanksgiving leftovers?
A: Yes, this recipe is perfect for repurposing leftover turkey, stuffing/dressing, and cranberry sauce into a handheld portable meal.

Q: What are the benefits of eating turkey and cranberries:
A: Let’s break it down. First, let’s talk turkey. Turkey offers the following benefits:

  • An excellent source of lean protein to support muscle growth and development
  • Provides nutrients like selenium, zinc, and vitamin B6
  • Turkey is low in fat
  • The tryptophan in turkey may promote healthy sleep patterns

Cranberries also pack a nutritious punch. Their benefits are:

  • Packed with antioxidants like polyphenol antioxidants
  • The nutrients in cranberries are linked to improved immune function
  • Contain anti-inflammatory properties that could aid heart health
  • Provide a good source of vitamin C

So these empanadas let you enjoy nutritious leftovers in a creative way, while getting protein, nutrients, antioxidants and fiber from the turkey, cranberries and other fillings. Let’s make these tasty and relatively nutritious hand pies!

Turkey Cranberry Empanadas

Amber Gray
These turkey cranberry empanadas combine your favorite Thanksgiving flavors into a handheld meal that's perfect for using up leftovers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Snacks
Servings 10 servings
Calories 116 kcal


  • 10 frozen empanada dough discs thawed
  • ½ cup cranberry sauce
  • cups diced cooked turkey breast
  • 1 cup leftover stuffing
  • 5 slices Swiss cheese halved
  • 1 large egg


  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Lay empanada discs on flat surface. Add about 1 Tbsp. cranberry sauce to each round. Top evenly with turkey and stuffing. Add cheese on top. Fold in half and use fork to press and seal edges.
  • Beat egg in small bowl. Brush over tops of empanadas.
  • Place empanadas on baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until browned.
  • Serve with extra cranberry sauce for dipping.


Calories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 7gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 350mgPotassium: 31mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 163IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 1mg
Keyword empanadas, thanksgiving
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