A bowl of tuna chaussons or turnover

Chaussons au thon or mini tuna and cheese turnovers

Tuna turnovers or empanadas are a bit of an international recipe which revolves around a dough and a tuna filling.

I like this simple version with cream cheese which can also be served as triangles or rolls, using phyllo or ouarka or warqa sheet for a lighter version.

This is not how my mother makes it. She actually uses a regular shortcrust dough or a rough puff pastry..

Since I started making the cream cheese or fromage blanc dough, I decided that this is the right wrapping for these mini-bites which are quite welcome at any time of the day.


Makes  about 10 – 12 mini chaussons
Prep: 20 min – Resting time (for the dough): 20 min – Baking : 20 min

The dough which is an equal amount of cream and flour + 1/2 of that amount in butter
  • 180g of cream cheese (petits Suisses, kirri, philadephia, or anything similar with 40% fat)
  • 180g flour, sifted
  • 90g butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of parsley leaves, finely chopped (Optional)

The filling

  • 200 g can tuna meat, drained
  • 200 g of cream cheese, ricotta or Jben (Moroccan cheese)
  • 3 – 4  tbsps of chopped spring onions
  • 2 tbsps of parsley leaves, chopped (or 1 tbsp of chives)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A generous pinch of paprika or chili powder
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest (optional)

Eggwash and finishing

  • 1 + 1 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp of milk or water



  • Make the dough (ahead of time)
  • Drain the cheese at least a couple of hours before hand; kirri or philadelphia do not need draining but quark or petit suisse or any thick fromage blanc will still need this step.
  • Mix all the ingredients as if you are making a shortcrust dough: flour, salt and butter are mixed first for the crumbly texture, then fold in the cheese and form a bowl dough. And of course, DO NOT OVERWORK.
  • Cover with a cling-film, place in the freezer for 10 min..
  • Now that’s where you will make it look like a cousin of puff pastry:
  • Roll the dough, form an envelop (puff pastry) or a book buy folding the dough on 3 or 4 on itself. Turn it 1/4 and do the same two more time.
  • If you haven’t made puff before roll the dough to a rectangle (2 mm thick), then bring the right side to the centre then the left side, turn a quarter, roll in length and repeat…
  • Place in the freezer for 10 -20 min or about 90 min in the fridge
  • Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C.
  • Make the filling (can also be done ahead of time).
Mix all ingredients and place ideally in the fridge.

Shaping the tuna chaussons/turnovers

  • Roll the cold dough thin between two squares of baking sheets. Cut into circles about 8 to 10 cm diameter/
  • Place about a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each circle and dip your finger in egg yolk and smear a bit of the edge with it. Bring the sides together to form a turnover. Pinch to seal.


  • Place each tuna turnover on a baking tray cover with a baking sheet.
  • Bake for approximately 20 min until the dough is colored golden form top and bottom.
  • Serve at room temperature.

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