These quick ham and cheese turnovers are made with puff pastry and taste like an elevated version of a hot ham and cheese sandwich! Filled with ham, sharp aged cheddar cheese, and dijon mustard, these savory turnovers are perfect for a snack, appetizer, or meal.
Biting into one of these ham and cheese puff pastry pockets is such a treat! A hot ham and cheese sandwich, but WAY better. These savory turnovers are filled with thinly sliced Virginia ham, sharp aged cheddar cheese, and dijon mustard.
While this sounds like a basic combination (which, it is), the sharp aged cheddar and dijon give the turnovers another dimension of flavor. I chose for the ham to be super thin so it could be nicely layered and really easy to bite into. Finally, putting these ingredients into puff pastry makes for an ultra-rich and flaky pastry that's sure to please!
This is a quick recipe to throw together (you can also make it with rough puff pastry) and the ham and cheese turnovers can also be assembled, frozen, and baked off when you get the itch!
- Puff pastry. Feel free to use store-bought puff pastry or use my homemade rough puff pastry for the same results. Use puff pastry made with butter, if you can find it!
- Ham. I love to use super thinly sliced Virginia ham in this recipe, but you can (and should) also use leftover ham from the holidays like Easter or Christmas.
- Cheese. A sharp aged cheddar cheese like a Dubliner is best for this recipe. Gruyere is also another great option!
- Dijon mustard. A very small amount is used and provides an extra note of flavor. I don't recommend skipping this!
- Egg. One egg is used to brush an egg wash on top of the turnovers before baking to help get a nice golden brown color.
Note that pie crust (homemade pie crust or pre-made) can also be used to make these turnovers, but it will not be as light and flaky and will require a longer bake time.
How to Make Ham and Cheese Turnovers
STEP 1: Roll out the sheet of puff pastry until it's about ⅛" thick, then cut each sheet into 4 squares.
STEP 2: Add one teaspoon of dijon mustard to half of the pastry (note these will be folded into triangles), then add 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
STEP 3: Fold the ham a bit, then layer on a few pieces and top with more shredded cheddar cheese.
STEP 4: Brush a bit of water on the exposed edges around the filling, then fold the pastry over the filling and push it down firmly to seal it, then finish sealing with the tines of a fork.
Repeat with the remaining pieces of pastry.
STEP 5: Refrigerate the turnovers for 15-30 minutes, then brush on egg wash and use a sharp knife to add some slits into the dough. Sprinkle on fresh thyme leaves.
STEP 6: Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until very golden brown.
Tips for Success
- Gently pull and stretch the pastry as you pull it over the filling so it completely covers it.
- While folding, use your fingers to tuck the filling into the pastry to keep everything in there.
- After the chill time, use a sharp knife or pizza roller to cut a tiny piece off of the sealed edges. These clean edges create the best rise on the puff pastry.
- Add 3-5 small slits into the pastry to allow steam to release. This will help prevent the turnovers from bursting.
- Be sure the oven is fully preheated and ripping hot prior to adding the turnovers.
Storing and Freezing
Store the baked turnovers at room temperature for half a day or covered in the fridge for an additional day. Note that these are best enjoyed hot out of the oven. Reheat the turnovers in a 400℉ for 5-7 minutes until hot and flaky.
These ham and cheese turnovers can be frozen and store frozen extremely well. To freeze, fully assembly the turnovers (stopping before adding the egg wash and vent cuts) and flash freeze for 30 minutes on a baking tray.
Then, transfer the frozen turnovers to a sealed bag or container and keep frozen for two months.
Follow normal baking instructions, being sure to add the egg wash, slits, and thyme prior to baking. Be sure the oven is fully preheated before adding the turnovers to the oven.
Turnover Filling Variations
Here are some filling variations that can be used to fill the turnovers:
- Bacon - be sure to pre-cook the bacon.
- Mushroom - I would suggest cooking the mushrooms first to release all liquid.
- Cheese - any type of cheese can be used! I prefer sharp aged cheddar, however, gruyere is also a great option. You could also use Velveeta so it's like a ham and cheese hot pocket from childhood!
FAQs & Tips
A turnover pastry is an individual piece of pastry, folded in half, and filled with a variety of sweet or savory fillings.
Turnovers can be filled with many ingredients, both sweet and savory. Some popular options are cherry, apple, ham and cheese, and bacon and cheese.
Turnover pastries are typically made from puff pastry or a standard pie crust.
More savory baked goods
Puff Pastry Ham and Cheese Turnovers
- Rolling Pin
- Pastry brush or marinade brush
- Sharp knife or pizza cutter
- 2 sheets puff pastry or homemade rough puff pastry
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- 10 oz virginia ham very thinly sliced
- 8 oz sharp aged cheddar cheese shredded (like a Dubliner)
- 1 egg for egg wash
- fresh thyme for garnish
- Thaw the puff pastry according to package instructions or make the rough puff pastry.
- Roll out the pastry until it is considerably thinner (⅛") then cut each sheet into 4 squares.
- To half of each square (note they will be folded into triangles), add 1 teaspoon of Dijon, then 1 tablespoon shredded cheese, 1-1½ oz ham, and another tablespoon of cheese. Leave one centimeter of space around the filling to seal.
- Lightly wet the exposed edge around the filling with a swipe of water, then fold the puff pastry over top of the fillings. Use your fingers to press the dough together to seal it.
- Repeat the process for the remaining puff pastry squares, then use the tines of a fork to press down on the pastry edges to seal it completely.
- Add the turnovers to baking sheets lined with parchment paper (you can also add them to the sheet to assemble), then refrigerate the turnovers for 15-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉/205℃ while the turnovers chill.
- Before baking, whisk together one egg with 1 teaspoon of water, then brush it over top of each turnover.
- Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut 3-4 small slits into the pastry to allow steam to escape, then sprinkle on fresh thyme leaves.
- Bake the turnovers for 15-20 minutes until deeply golden, then serve immediately.
- These taste great dipped in hot pepper jelly
- Gently pull and stretch the pastry when folding it over the fillings so it folds over more easily. Use your fingers to push the filling back inside during the fold. Some cheese may get stuck in the seal, that's ok!
- These are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the oven
- Store the baked turnovers at room temperature for half a day or covered in the fridge for an additional day.
- Reheat the turnovers in a 400℉ for 5-7 minutes until hot and flaky.
- Fully assembly the turnovers (stopping before adding the egg wash and vent cuts) and flash freeze for 30 minutes on a baking tray.
- Transfer the frozen turnovers to a sealed bag or container and keep frozen for two months.
- Follow normal baking instructions, being sure to add the egg wash, slits, and thyme prior to baking. Be sure the oven is fully preheated before adding the turnovers to the oven.