Smoky Apple and Pepper Jack Turnovers

Smoky Apple Turnovers (from turnovers are getting an upgrade! These little pastry pockets are sweet, savory and (dare I say it?) pretty much taste like they are filled with BACON. But they are vegetarian friendly, being mostly filled with apples, onions and a little bit of cheese.

I know, it might sound a little weird. Like maybe there’s some trick at play. But I am a massive fan of apples and cheese paired together, and I thought why not make a savory take on classic apple turnovers.

So I did.

And then I promptly ate two after I had already eaten lunch.

And now I’m eating another one while I type this (which mostly means I now have flakes of puff pastry stuck in my keyboard).

P.S. Can someone come over and take the rest of these away from me???

Smoky Apple Turnovers (from Honestly, these would make an awesome Saturday morning at-home brunch option or afternoon snack (which I guess is what I’m doing so far with this batch). This is total coffee shop food, or at least that’s what makes sense in my head.

No matter when you decide to enjoy them, I HIGHLY recommend you make a batch of these soon. Even your non-vegetarian friends will be impressed.

Smoky apple and pepper jack turnovers from abeautifulmess.comSmoky Apple and Pepper Jack Turnovers, makes eight.

2 tablespoons chopped red onion
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large granny smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
a generous seasoning of salt and pepper
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
one package of puff pastry (the brand I usually buy comes in two sheets)
1 egg
sesame seeds for the tops (optional)

Sauté the red onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium/high heat for a couple minutes. Add in the apple. In a small glass bowl, stir together the soy sauce, molasses, liquid smoke and apple cider. Pour this over the apples and onions. Turn the heat down to medium, and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until the liquid has reduced some and everything in the pan has softened.

Best apple turnoversNow I like to pulse the onion/apple mixture in a food processor or good blender with some salt and pepper tossed in. I’m not looking to completely puree the mix, but almost. I guess a puree with some texture to it still. Or you can skip this step; it’s just a texture thing anyway.

Cut your puff pastry into small triangles, fill with the mixture and a little shredded cheese. Add another triangle on top and use a fork to seal the edges and poke a few holes in the top.

How to make the best turnoversIn a small glass or bowl, whisk the egg. Brush over the tops of the turnovers and sprinkle on some sesame seeds and cracked black pepper.

Bake at 400°F for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.

Smoky Apple Turnovers (from Enjoy these warm. If you don’t eat them all in one day, you can cover and store in the refrigerator, then warm for about 20 seconds in the microwave. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Looks incredibly yummy and healthy!

  • These look awesome!!! I am always a fan of apple dishes that dont involve cinnamon. (i have an allergy) Interested to see what else you may have in the baked apple department????

  • I made these to help me deal with this weekend’s subzero temps (#minnesotalife) and they were DELISH! I wouldn’t mind more of these with different flavor combos!

  • Any idea on how well these bad boys would freeze for a future occasion after being baked?

  • These turnovers look amazing! I’m going to need to try them asap!


  • You want someone to take them away from you, you say? I volunteer! …Ok, I’ll make my own.

  • I really want to try these – thank you for sharing! Also – I agree. Awesome countertops!

  • Hmm. You know I’ll be honest, the liquid smoke is pretty important for getting the flavor of this particular recipe. I do not know of a great substitute that I would recommend. Have you tried looking for the ingredient online? I use it in cooking all the time lately as it adds a really interesting flavor.


  • You know, I’m not sure. It’s Pepper Ridge Farm brand, I believe. It’s the only puff pastry sold in the grocery store I visit most often (found in the freezer section).

    I’ve been wanting to take the time to make my own but haven’t gotten around to it yet.


  • Thank you for sharing!

    Another option would be to leave the cheese out completely, or of course, as you mention-use vegan cheese. These would be totally delicious still without the cheese. 🙂


  • Gonna share more about this in a Casual Friday post soon. 🙂


  • These look so yummy, Emma! And I’m curious about your use of liquid smoke, a seasoning which I’m guessing is pretty hard (if not impossible) to find where I live (in Israel). Do you have any suggestions for a good substitute?

  • Hello Emma 🙂 This looks very good!
    I have a question for you; I just discovered the amazing wall art of the gold moon (not quite sure if you or Laura posted it) from 2014, and I was just wondering if either of you could help me. I want to do the same, but on a canvas (100 cm x 150 cm), and I don’t have a headover. Do you have any ideas on how I can do it? 🙂 I’d really appreciate your help

    Abby xx

  • Never thought about pairing apples with onions and cheese, but now that you mention it that sounds rather delicious! Must try these!

  • Sounds really seductive. Give me a hint, what kind of puff pastry you used? Yeast-free puff pastry or other?

  • I make a dessert similar to this by filling the pastry (or small pieces of biscuit dough) with sauteed pear, brie and sometimes cranberries. Bake and toss in cinnamon sugar.

  • Yum! These sound delicious! And I love your pictures too 🙂

  • Most cheeses are not, in fact, vegetarian-friendly. I’ve seen this mentioned in your comments before, but it bears repeating until it shows up in the body of a recipe post. Enzymes used in the process of making cheese, called rennet, are literally the stomachs of baby mammals. If you want vegetarian-friendly cheese, you need to either go vegan or look at the ingredients list for the following types of rennet: vegetarian, synthetic, microbial. Please consider making a note about rennet the next time you post a “veggie friendly” recipe that includes cheese! Thank you!

  • These look and sound absolutely amazing! What a perfect twist on a traditionally sweet treat! Thanks for sharing XX


  • Oh my.. so yummy lookin’

    Would never have imagined onions, apples, and cheese would make a good combination, but how could anyone resist tasting these?

    x //

  • What a flavor combination! At first it sounds a little bit crazy but it actually makes a lot of sense! How lovely!

  • What an awesome flavor combo!

    I have always loved your food photography and I couldn’t help but notice the ‘theme’ of your last handful of posts. I have to know- did you make different tile arrangements for staging and backdropping your food photos? I would love to see a full blog post on some of your food photography tricks!

    As always, thanks for the awesome content!

  • So now I’m dying to know – does Emma have multiple counter top samples that she is switching out for food photos?

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