Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers (an Appetizer!)

5 Average
These Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers are a perfect solution for potluck events. Throw them in your freezer and pull out however many you need for each event.
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If you’ve got lots of potluck events coming up this month, then I’ve got the perfect solution for you. Make a big batch of these super yummy (and also impressive) savory Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers, throw them in your freezer, and then pull out (and defrost) however many you need to take to each event! They can be reheated and served warm, but they’re also great at room temperature, which is often unavoidable at long holiday parties. And I know these look like they’re for grownups, but I’m just warning you—my kids devoured them, too. Enjoy! :)

Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers on 100 Days of #RealFood

Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers on 100 Days of #RealFood

Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers

These Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers are a perfect solution for potluck events. Throw them in your freezer and pull out however many you need for each event.
5 Average
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 24 turnovers


For the Filling

For the Pastry Crust

  • 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour plus extra for rolling out the dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter unsalted and cold (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup water plus ice
  • 1 egg beaten


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • To make the pesto, combine the basil, spinach, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil in a food processor. Puree until the mixture becomes a thick paste. Scrape it out into a bowl and set aside.
  • Rinse out the food processor, pat it dry, and insert the dough blade. Combine the flour and salt in the food processor and pulse it together briefly.
  • Meanwhile, fill a glass measuring cup with ½ cup water and add a few ice cubes to it.
  • Take the cold butter straight out of the fridge and cut it into ½-inch chunks. Sprinkle the pieces of butter on top of the flour in the food processor. Be careful to spread out the butter as opposed to letting it all clump together in one piece.
  • Turn on the food processor and blend until the mixture resembles crumbly meal. While the food processor is still running, add 1/3 cup water through the top. Watch the dough come together and add 2 – 3 more teaspoons of water as needed so a dough ball will form. If some of the dough is stuck to the sides, that's okay. You can fix it with your hands.
  • Remove the dough from the food processor, knead it a little more if necessary, and put it on a lightly floured counter. With a rolling pin (and another sprinkling of flour), flatten out the dough into one big circle that's about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Cut out 24 3-inch rounds with a cookie cutter, dumpling mold, or just an upside down drinking glass. Be sure to bring together all excess end pieces and roll them out again (and repeat) until almost every bit of dough has been used.
    Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers -- 100 Days of #RealFood
  • Spoon a half teaspoon of both the pesto and cream cheese onto each round. Put a little water in a small prep bowl. Dip your finger into the bowl and then use your wet finger to outline each round (so they will stick together when you close them). Fold each one over and pinch together with the back of a fork. Flip over and add a few more fork pinches for good measure. (Alternatively, you can use a dumpling mold to make the turnovers as well.)
  • Transfer the raw turnovers to a parchment lined baking sheet. Poke some holes in the top of each one with the fork and then brush with the beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, about 23 to 25 minutes. Either eat warm or freeze for another day! They can also be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
    Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers - 100 Days of #RealFood


We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 142 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 148mg6%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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23 thoughts on “Pesto Cream Cheese Turnovers (an Appetizer!)”

  1. These are great! I dont have a dough blade so I just used the regular blade to mix the butter with the flour and salt. Then I put it into a bowl and added the cold water. Worked perfectly.

    1. Does the food processor have to have a dough blade or component or does making it with just the regular food processor blade work? Thanks! These seem great for a party.

  2. I have the same question as Mary. Any tips on making these without a food processor? I have a Vitamix but doughs have not turned out real well using that, also no handheld pastry mixer.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Marci. I would thaw them overnight in the fridge, cover lightly with foil, and reheat until heated through in the oven or toaster oven.

  3. I’m always looking for a better way to make whole grain crust – I made a lot of gross ones – but this looks so good! I am going to be trying it! Thanks for this recipe!

  4. Those look great!! I want to make it but I don’t have a food processor. Any tips on how to make the dough without it? Thanks

  5. The recipe looks delicious but, I must confess, I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to bring nuts to a potluck. Would the recipe work if I just omit the nuts? Or is there something else I could substitute?

  6. I’m definitely going to try some variants of this! I love them. Though I’m hoping not using egg wash will be okay. I imagine that’s more for the shine effect and keeping in moisture than anything else, right? I’ll make some with cream cheese for my dairy eaters and I think I’m gonna try using some hummus for the vegan crowd! Thanks for the cute tutorial! Pictures are always so helpful! :D

  7. These are so cute, Lisa! I’m having a birthday party soon and may have to try these out! I love experimenting with different types of pesto and would love to try a few different fillings.

  8. 5 stars
    I made these today and they were so incredibly delicious! I didn’t have pesto ingredients on hand so instead I made a sweet potato, pinto bean, lime juice and tahini dip to go inside. I had no issues with the cream cheese. So good! Because it was my first time making this recipe it did take longer to prepare than I expected, but I’m sure next time will be faster. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. The dough recipe looks similar to that of the toaster pastries and when I add jelly and cream cheese to those the cream cheese absorbs into the dough. I’d be hesitant to try this recipe in case that would happen here too. Any thoughts?

      1. Stacey, that’s an interesting thought. I think I did use it from a tub. I bet that’s what happened. I’ll make sure to use the brick kind when I try this recipe. Thanks!!

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