Keema Empanadas with Ground Turkey and Masala

Turkey xmas 1

Not having large family dinners during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t share good food in a safe easy way.

As we begin to approach the holidays our family members have been starting to have more conversations about how we’ll be connecting this year. All of us agree – staying home will be key and it will likely be looking like we’ll be doing the drive-by drop-off gift exchange. While we usually look forward to taking the kids to their aunt’s house, then their grandparents’ home, we’re talking to the kids as well about the importance of keeping our circle small but still enjoying our time together during this holiday and being grateful.

That’s why smaller meals are perfect for families at this year’s holiday table. We’re also looking for ways to make small portions/bites that can share the taste of turkey in a different way.

That’s why a keema-spiced empanada is a perfect comfort food for our holiday celebration. The best part of these is that we can make them in bulk and freeze them for a quick lunch when we really don’t feel like cooking. After all, what busy family doesn’t love an easy bonus meal? We also plan to drop these off in small holiday-decorated care boxes (in ziplock bags for freshness and safety) for family this holiday for a socially-distanced option.  Easy to leave on the porch!

These turkey empanadas showcase the ease of this versatile protein pairing it with flavours of keema with garam masala and peas, nestled in a flaky puff pastry.

Turkey is such a versatile option, pairing well with many different flavour profiles, spice blends, seasonings, stuffing and glazes.  Packed with lean protein and great flavour, turkey makes the perfect centerpiece for any celebration meal!  Ground turkey is easy to use and easy to flavour with some of your favourite spices from your masala dhaba. My kids love the puff pastry and these empanadas are a hit even during remote school!



For Keema (ground turkey filling)

1 pack of ground turkey

2 packages of frozen Tenderflake crust

1tsp ground masala

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon good quality cooking olive oil or grapeseed oil

1tsp salt

1tsp black pepper

1/4 cup chopped carrots

1/4 cup chopped onions

option: ¼ cup chopped garlic

1/4 cup green peas

Egg whites to brush the empanada before baking.







  1. Heat oil and add onion cook until onion softens.
  2. Add carrots, peas.
  3. Add all spices.
  4. Add ground turkey, crumble and cook until pink is gone and is fully cooked through. Drain of grease.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove from the heat and let cool.


For Filling 

  1. Thaw frozen pastry.
  2. Make medium-sized small rounds.
  3. Roll each one out flat and scoop filling until half full.
  4. Fold into half-moons and pinch ends.
  5. Heat at 375F oven bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

5 Reasons to Think Turkey During The Holidays!


  1. Perfect For Celebration And Everyday Meals

Everyone knows that turkey belongs on your holiday table, but don’t stop there!  Think turkey and make everyday meals delicious and tasty.  It’s packed with flavour and you can easily substitute turkey into any of your family’s favourite recipes for a sure hit every time.

  1. Lean But Juicy

Did you know that both white and dark cuts are lean?  That means that when you think turkey, you can enjoy any cut you prefer, and feel good knowing you are choosing a healthy protein without compromising on flavour, tenderness or juiciness.

  1. So Much To Choose From

Turkey is such a versatile protein, with so many cuts of both dark and white meat to choose from, including ground turkey, legs, drumsticks, breast steaks, breast roasts, thighs, drummettes, wings, sausages, and of course ground turkey.  With such a wide selection, you can think turkey for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with leftovers that taste delicious the next day.

  1. Pack A Flavour Punch

Turkey plays well with other flavours so you can get creative.  Its delicious taste and texture marries well with bold profiles, making it a perfect partner for spices and rubs.  Think turkey and make recipes your own by using your family’s favourite flavours and change up your everyday dishes using rubs, marinades and sauces.

  1. Perfect For Penny Pinchers

Turkeys are generally larger than other poultry options and deliver a lot of meat for the price.  Think turkey when planning for your celebrations and reach for whole birds that can be roasted for pennies per pound and are a perfect choice for batch cooking meals or freezing leftover meat that can come in handy as an everyday meal starter.  Cuts like drums, breasts and thighs are larger, so you need fewer pieces to feed your family and plan for leftovers to stock your fridge.


Are you looking for additional tips, recipes, Turkey Basics videos and HOW TOs? Visit for all your cooking inspiration.  Canadian Turkey makes your holiday cooking easy with all the recipe suggestions and turkey prep tips you need.  The year-round whole turkey HOW TOs section will help you prepare a whole Canadian turkey for any occasion.  And the recipe section is filled with delicious recipes for whole turkey, turkey cuts and leftovers so you can get tasty, nutritious and versatile turkey on your table every day.

This post is sponsored by Canadian Turkey. All opinions are my own.


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