onion, mushroom, and barley turnovers

Now that Halloween is over it feels like we’ve just stepped onto a slip ‘n slide and are speeding towards Thanksgiving. One pattern I’ve noticed is that many families seem to be doing something slightly different than the “traditional” dinner this year. If that is you, more power to you; there’s no rule book saying that we all have to stress cook a turkey and mashed potatoes every Thanksgiving. If you are vegetarian, or at least in the group “I’m-not-making-a-turkey-this-year”, these savory turnovers are a great alternative. The best part is you get to buy the dough and save yourself some time (shocking I know, since my MO is generally “I can make that”). But we all deserve a few extra minutes, especially when it’s Thanksgiving. So buy some puff pastry, make the filling, and pop these in the oven. Whether you call them a hearty side dish or a light main dish, I dare say these might become a recurring guest on your Thanksgiving or festive fall menus.

makes 8 turnovers*

Note: you will need to defrost the puff pastry prior to making these, I recommend putting 2 sheets of puff pastry in the refrigerator the night before

2/3 cup uncooked barley, rinsed well
2 cups broth (any kind of broth)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 lb mushrooms, washed, de-stemmed, and diced (I used crimini)
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce**
3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons sherry or cream sherry (optional)
2 oz cheddar, grated
1 oz gruyere, grated
1 oz parmesan, grated
salt, if needed
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted overnight to fridge temp
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
everything seasoning (optional)
to serve: sour cream, chopped chives, hot sauce


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line one large or two small baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.

1. Cook the barley: Combine barley and broth in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil for 1 min, then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer uncovered, until softened but still chewy and barley has absorbed the broth, about 30-35 min.

2. Make the filling: Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and diced onion; saute for 5 min, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and start to look translucent. Add the mushrooms and soy sauce and cook for approximately 15 min, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have shrunk and started to brown and all the juices have cooked off. Add grated garlic, thyme leaves, red pepper flakes, sherry (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, for another few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the barley, cheddar, gruyere, and parmesan. Taste and add salt if needed, though it may be fine without since the soy sauce and cheeses are all salty.

3. Assemble: Roll out one puff pastry sheet into a 12×12 inch square. Cut the pastry sheet into 4 equal squares, 6×6 inches each. Brush the edges (about 1/2 inch or so) of the pastry squares with the beaten egg. Divide the filling into 8 equal portions and spoon 1 portion onto the middle of each square. Fold the pastry sheet over diagonally (so it forms a triangle) and press the edges together with a fork. Lightly brush the egg wash on the tops of the turnovers, then sprinkle on some everything seasoning, if using. Make a small slit on the top of each pastry to let out steam while cooking (not pictured above, because I forgot to do this). Repeat with remaining puff pastry sheet and 4 remaining portions of filling. Place turnovers on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake: Bake for 25 min, or until deep golden brown.

*feeds 8 people as a side or 4 people as a main dish

**if you don’t have low sodium soy sauce, use 4 teaspoons regular soy sauce and 2 teaspoons water

3 thoughts on “onion, mushroom, and barley turnovers

  1. These look so delicious, Alicia! I love mushrooms! Two questions: Could these be made bite-sized (maybe 4×4)? Can they be assembled ahead of time and baked later?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! And yes, you can definitely make them smaller. You could roll out the two puff pastry sheets to 8×12 inches each which would yield six 4×4 squares per sheet (if I do my math correctly). The filling can definitely be cooked/prepped ahead of time, but I’d wait to assemble the turners until right before putting them in the oven so the pastry doesn’t get soggy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s