Our website is live, but some pages are undergoing maintenance for improvements. We appreciate your patience as we work to enhance your browsing experience.

Delicious Beef Turnovers Recipe: A Savory Hand Pie Adventure!

Beef Turnovers

Welcome to a savory journey that will ignite your taste buds and fill your home with the delightful aroma of freshly baked beef turnovers. This classic snack, also known as beef pasties or hand pies, is a versatile treat suitable for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a casual get-together, preparing a quick lunch, or craving a satisfying snack, beef turnovers are your perfect culinary companions. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of making these delectable treats step by step, allowing you to recreate them effortlessly in your own kitchen.



The origins of beef turnovers can be traced back to ancient civilizations where portable, savory pies were a practical and delicious way to enjoy a filling meal on the go. These humble yet hearty snacks have evolved over the centuries, adapting to different cultures and culinary preferences. Let’s take a journey through time to uncover the fascinating history of beef turnovers.

Ancient Beginnings: The Birth of Portable Pies

The concept of enclosing meat in dough dates back to ancient times. In medieval Europe, these portable pies, known as pasties, were favored by laborers, travelers, and miners who needed a substantial and easily transportable meal. The crust, often thick and tough, served as a protective casing, preserving the flavorful filling inside.

The Cornish Pasty: A Symbol of Tradition

In the picturesque region of Cornwall, England, the pasty took on a unique identity and became an emblem of local culinary heritage. Miners in Cornwall relied on pasties as a convenient and nourishing meal to sustain them during long and arduous work shifts. The traditional Cornish pasty typically contained beef, potatoes, swede (rutabaga), and onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. Its distinctive shape, with a crimped crust on one side, made it easy to hold and eat with dirty hands.

The Migration and Global Influence

As time went on, pasties found their way to other parts of the world through exploration, migration, and trade routes. Each region adopted its own variations, incorporating local ingredients and flavors. In the United States, for instance, the pasty became popular among miners in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, who were predominantly of Cornish descent.

Evolution into Hand Pies: Modern Twists

With the evolution of culinary techniques and tastes, the concept of hand pies emerged. These smaller, single-serving turnovers gained popularity as a convenient and flavorful snack or appetizer. The fillings expanded beyond traditional beef to include a wide range of ingredients, catering to diverse dietary preferences.

The Versatility of Beef Turnovers Today

In the modern era, beef turnovers continue to hold a special place in our hearts and palates. Whether served as a comforting homemade treat, a delightful street food, or a sophisticated party appetizer, beef turnovers have become a beloved staple in many cuisines around the world.

The Allure of Homemade Goodness

While store-bought turnovers are readily available, there’s something uniquely special about crafting your own beef turnovers at home. The aroma that fills the kitchen as the turnovers bake in the oven, the satisfaction of creating a perfectly flaky crust, and the freedom to customize the fillings to suit your taste – these are the joys that make homemade beef turnovers truly delightful.


Preparing the Beef Filling30 minutes
Creating the Pastry Dough15 minutes
Shaping and Filling the Turnovers20 minutes
Cooking the Turnovers (Baking)20-25 minutes
Cooking the Turnovers (Frying)5 minutes
Total Cooking and Preparation TimeApproximately 1 hour

Please note that the total cooking and preparation time is an approximate estimation and may vary depending on individual cooking skills and kitchen setup. Additionally, it’s essential to consider any additional time required for preheating the oven and chilling the dough.


Beef Turnovers IngredientsQuantity for 2 Servings
Beef (cut into small cubes)1/2 pound (225g)
Onion (finely diced)1/2 medium-sized
Garlic (minced)2 cloves
Carrots (diced)1 small
Peas (fresh or frozen)1/4 cup
Salt1/2 teaspoon
Black Pepper1/4 teaspoon
Paprika1/2 teaspoon
Thyme1/2 teaspoon
Butter (cold, unsalted)4 tablespoons
All-Purpose Flour1 cup
Water1/4 cup

This table provides the necessary ingredients for preparing the beef filling and pastry dough for a delicious 2-person serving of beef turnovers. Adjust the quantities accordingly if you plan to serve more guests or want to make additional turnovers for leftovers. Happy cooking!


Preparing the Beef Filling:

Let’s start by creating a flavorful beef filling that will tantalize your taste buds.

Step 1: Seasoning the Beef for Flavor

  • Take the small beef cubes and season them with salt, black pepper, paprika, and thyme. Massage the spices into the meat to ensure it’s evenly coated.

Step 2: Sautéing the Onions and Garlic

  • Heat a pan over medium heat and melt a tablespoon of butter. Add the finely diced onions and minced garlic to the pan, sautéing them until they become translucent and fragrant.

Step 3: Adding Vegetables for Extra Goodness

  • Toss in the diced carrots and peas, stirring them with the onions and garlic. Allow the vegetables to cook for a few minutes until they slightly soften.

Step 4: Cooking the Beef Filling

  • Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the seasoned beef to the other side. Cook the beef until it turns brown and reaches your desired level of doneness. Stir everything together to combine the flavors.

Creating the Pastry Dough:

Now, let’s prepare the foundation for our savory turnovers – the pastry dough.

Step 1: The Perfect Balance of Ingredients

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt. Cut the cold, unsalted butter into small cubes and add it to the flour mixture.

Step 2: Mixing and Kneading the Dough

  • Use your fingers to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add cold water while gently mixing with a fork until the dough comes together. Form a ball with the dough and knead it briefly until smooth.

Shaping and Filling the Turnovers:

Now comes the exciting part – assembling the beef turnovers!

Step 1: Rolling Out the Dough

  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a thin sheet, about 1/8 inch thick.

Step 2: Adding the Beef Filling

  • Using a round cutter or a bowl, cut the dough into circles. Spoon a generous amount of the prepared beef filling onto one half of each circle.

Step 3: Sealing and Crimping the Edges

  • Fold the other half of the dough over the filling, creating a half-moon shape. Press the edges firmly together with your fingers to seal the turnovers. For a decorative touch, use a fork to crimp the edges.

Cooking Your Beef Turnovers:

It’s time to cook these delectable turnovers to perfection.

Step 1: Baking vs. Frying: Pros and Cons

  • You have two delicious options for cooking your turnovers: baking or frying. Baking results in a golden, flaky crust, while frying offers a crispy and indulgent experience.

Step 2: Achieving the Golden Crust

  • If you choose to bake, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the turnovers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the turnovers turn beautifully golden.
  • If frying is your preference, heat oil in a deep pan and fry the turnovers for about 2-3 minutes per side or until they become golden brown.

Serving Suggestions:

Your delightful beef turnovers are now ready to be served!

Step 1: Dips and Sauces for Extra Flavor

  • Pair your beef turnovers with your favorite dips and sauces, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, or a tangy aioli.

Step 2: Side Dishes to Complement Your Turnovers

  • Serve your turnovers alongside a fresh green salad, coleslaw, or steamed vegetables for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information (Per Serving)Amount
Serving Size1 turnover
Total Fat16g
Saturated Fat9g
Trans Fat0g
Total Carbohydrates32g
Dietary Fiber2g

Please note that the nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary depending on specific ingredients and portion sizes. It’s essential to calculate precise nutritional values based on the actual products and quantities used in your recipe.


  • Chilling the Pastry Dough: After preparing the dough, let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Chilled dough is easier to handle and results in a flakier crust.
  • Customize the Spices: Feel free to experiment with different spices for the beef filling. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a subtle kick or try adding a touch of curry powder for an exotic twist.
  • Consistency of Beef Filling: Make sure the beef is cooked thoroughly and tender before filling the turnovers. Tough beef can be challenging to eat in a handheld pastry.
  • Maintain a Crimped Edge: When sealing the turnovers, ensure a firm crimped edge with a fork. This not only keeps the filling intact but also adds an attractive finish to the turnovers.
  • Prevent Leaks: To prevent any leakage during baking or frying, avoid overstuffing the turnovers. Leave enough space around the edges to seal them securely.
  • Use an Egg Wash: For a beautiful golden finish on the turnovers, brush the tops with a beaten egg before baking. This will give the pastry an appealing shine.
  • Get Creative with Fillings: While beef is traditional, don’t hesitate to experiment with other fillings. Try chicken, ground turkey, or even a medley of roasted vegetables for a vegetarian option.
  • Frozen Peas Work Well: Frozen peas can be conveniently used in the filling, and they retain their vibrant color and texture during cooking.
  • Baking vs. Frying: Both methods yield delicious results, but baking is a healthier option. If frying, use oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Dipping Sauces: Serve your beef turnovers with a variety of dipping sauces to enhance the flavor. Popular options include barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, or sweet chili sauce.
  • Perfect Party Snack: Beef turnovers make fantastic party snacks. Prepare mini-sized turnovers for bite-sized treats that guests can enjoy without the need for cutlery.
  • Make-Ahead Option: You can prepare the beef filling and pastry dough ahead of time and store them separately in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble and cook the turnovers.

Pros & Cons

✅ Delicious and Flavorful❌ Prep Time Takes About an Hour
✅ Portable and Convenient Snack❌ High Calorie and Fat Content
✅ Versatile Fillings Options❌ Potential for Leaky Turnovers
✅ Great for Parties and Gatherings❌ Requires Skill to Crimp Edges
✅ Customizable to Individual Tastes❌ May Be Less Healthy if Fried


Congratulations, aspiring culinary adventurers! You’ve journeyed through the rich history and enticing steps of crafting mouthwatering beef turnovers – a delightful snack that brings joy to any occasion. The charm of these hand pies lies not only in their scrumptious flavors but also in their versatility, allowing you to experiment with fillings and unleash your creativity in the kitchen.

With the perfect balance of seasoned beef, aromatic vegetables, and flaky pastry, each bite of a beef turnover promises a burst of savory goodness that will leave you yearning for more. Whether you choose to bake or fry, these portable treats are sure to become a hit among your family and friends, making them perfect for gatherings and parties.

As you embark on this culinary journey, remember to savor each step, from preparing the filling to crimping the edges with love. Embrace the freedom to customize the spices, explore different fillings, and even create mini-sized turnovers for delightful party snacks.

Sure, the preparation may take some time, but the end result is well worth the effort. So, go ahead and dive into the world of beef turnovers – an edible adventure that will leave you with smiles and satisfied taste buds.

So why wait? Gather your ingredients, don your apron, and embark on this flavorful voyage. From tender beef to flaky pastry, the artistry of beef turnovers awaits your skillful touch. Whether it’s a cozy meal at home or a delightful treat for your guests, beef turnovers will undoubtedly win hearts and palates alike.

So, let the delightful aroma fill your kitchen, and let your taste buds dance with excitement. Your culinary prowess awaits its moment to shine with these delightful hand pies. Try out this recipe, and let the savory goodness of beef turnovers take center stage in your culinary repertoire!

Remember, cooking is a journey of exploration and discovery. Embrace the joy of creating and relishing delicious moments with your loved ones. Bon appétit!


  • The Turnover Travelers 🌍
    • Did you know that the concept of portable meat-filled pastries extends beyond Earth? In 1985, astronaut Loren Acton brought Cornish pasties aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, making them the first hand pies to venture into space! These savory delights not only satisfy taste buds on our planet but also beyond the bounds of gravity.
  • Turnover Feuds: Cornwall vs. Devon ⚔️
    • The Cornish pasty, a close relative of beef turnovers, has long been at the center of a delicious rivalry between two English counties: Cornwall and Devon. In 2011, the Cornish pasty secured Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, officially declaring it a traditional Cornish delicacy. The counties playfully compete over the correct way to crimp the pasty edges, with each region having its unique style!
  • Sweet or Savory? A Tale of Two Turnovers 🍏🥩
    • Beef turnovers aren’t limited to savory fillings! While we often associate turnovers with delectable meaty goodness, they have equally enticing sweet variations. Fruit-filled turnovers, like apple or cherry turnovers, offer a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth. So, whether you crave savory or sweet, turnovers have got you covered!
  • Turnovers: Ancient Time Travelers 🏺🕰️
    • The origins of portable meat pies can be traced back to ancient times! The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all enjoyed their versions of savory pies filled with meat, vegetables, or fruits. These culinary delights served as a practical way to transport a complete meal on journeys, much like our modern-day beef turnovers!
  • The Turnover Twist: Hidden Good Luck Charms 🍀🎲
    • In the charming world of Cornish pasties, tradition meets superstition! Legend has it that Cornish miners would mark one end of their pasty with a distinctive crimp to differentiate it from the other. This crimp, known as the “oggy,” helped miners avoid eating the end of the pasty contaminated with arsenic-laden hands. Additionally, some believed that eating the oggy brought good luck, while others thought it was bad luck to eat it. Who knew turnovers could hold such mysteries and beliefs?


Can I use pre-made pastry dough for beef turnovers?

Absolutely! Pre-made pastry dough works well for this recipe and can save you time. Just make sure to follow the instructions for shaping and filling the turnovers as mentioned in the recipe.

Can I make a vegetarian version of beef turnovers?

Yes, you can! Simply substitute the beef with your favorite meat substitute, such as plant-based crumbles or diced tofu. Alternatively, you can create a delicious vegetable-only filling using an array of colorful and flavorful veggies.

Can I freeze the unbaked turnovers for later use?

Yes, you can freeze unbaked turnovers for later enjoyment. After assembling them, place the turnovers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them until solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. When ready to bake, add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

What’s the best way to store leftover turnovers?

To keep leftover turnovers fresh, allow them to cool to room temperature. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven for a few minutes to enjoy them warm again.

Can I add cheese to the filling?

Absolutely! Adding cheese to the filling can enhance the flavor and add a delightful gooey texture. Consider using cheddar, mozzarella, or your favorite cheese for a cheesy twist on the classic beef turnovers.

Can I prepare the filling and dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the beef filling and pastry dough ahead of time. Store the filling in the refrigerator and the dough wrapped in plastic. Assemble the turnovers when you’re ready to cook them for a freshly baked treat.

How do I prevent the turnovers from leaking during baking or frying?

To prevent leaks, avoid overfilling the turnovers and ensure a secure seal around the edges. Crimp the edges well with a fork to keep the filling contained during cooking.

Can I reheat cooked turnovers the next day?

Absolutely! To reheat cooked turnovers, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and warm them for about 10 minutes or until heated through. This will restore their delicious flakiness.

Can I add other vegetables to the filling?

Yes, you can get creative with the filling by adding other vegetables you enjoy. Consider bell peppers, corn, mushrooms, or spinach for additional flavor and nutrition.

Can I make mini-sized turnovers for appetizers?

Absolutely! Mini-sized turnovers make fantastic party appetizers. Simply use a smaller cutter or glass to create mini circles of dough and adjust the filling accordingly. Bake or fry them for a delightful and bite-sized treat.