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Ground Turkey, Butternut Squash, Pepper, Cheese & Rosemary Empanadas

Cold weather requires warm meals and, during this time of year, I can't quit the feeling of needing hot comfort food to nip the chill from my bones. The problem with comfort food is that I often feel full and sluggish after eating it because of it's richness and being generally carb heavy. Enter from the right, a sophisticated finger food option that hits all the marks without overloading me with the feeling of needing to take a nap afterward...Empanadas!

Now wait wait wait, hear me out...this isn't your typical frozen beef and cheese empanadas from the freezer food section, I kick this up a notch by throwing in ground turkey, peppers, butternut squash and rosemary to take elevate this into a nourishing and interesting pocket of flavor. The great thing about it, is it only takes one or two empanadas to satisfy that rich-meal filling without overdoing it.

Here's how to make it:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

  • Two packages of prepared pastry dough (each box contains 2 sheets, you will need 4 sheets total). Lay out dough and cut into six (6) 8" circles and place on parchment lined baking sheets, set aside.

  • On medium high heat, place Two (2) pounds of ground turkey into a skillet and cook until meat turns brown. Place in a large bowl and, set aside.

  • In a pot on the stove, heat 2Tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat and throw in one (1) cup of peeled/diced butternut squash, one (1) seeded/diced orange bell pepper and two (2) sprigs of fresh rosemary (needles removed from stem and chopped). Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.

  • Combine both turkey meat and vegetable mixture into one large bowl and add one (1) cup of monterey jack cheese to bowl, mix well. Season with salt and pepper and one (1) tsp of garlic powder.

  • Add 1/4 cup of mixture to each pastry dough circle and fold in half.

  • For each empanada, crimp the open sides with the back of a fork, add three slits on the top and egg-wash the tops of each pastry to create a shiny finish on top.

  • Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Remove from oven and, with one (1) additional sprig of rosemary, sprinkle a teaspoon of chopped rosemary on top before serving.

  • Enjoy!

We love to serve these empanadas with a delicious side salad to help lighten things up. I can't wait for you to try this recipe and let me know how you like it! Please comment below!

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