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
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup basil fresh
- 1/2 cup spinach fresh
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
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.
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.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.