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Kale and Kalamata Olive Turnovers

Kale and Kalamata turnovers

Kale and Kalamata olive turnovers. To go. They tuck in your hands–knife, fork and spoon not required–all you need are napkins.

Empanada, calzone, spring roll, hand pie or turnover—different names—different cuisines. Delicious fillings, conveniently packaged. They’re all handy.

Traditional turnover envelopes are flaky pie dough or bready pizza dough. To streamline preparation, these kale and Kalamata turnovers use store-bought egg roll wraps. They not only save time, egg roll skins mean less dough and more of the good stuff.

Inside are tender savory greens, briny olives and salty cheese. Outside, the egg roll skin is oven-crisp with paprika butter. Picnic perfect and irresistible.

Kale and Kalamata final turnoversCollage.jpg

This recipe is an adaptation of a Deborah Madison recipe–from my favorite cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. My 1997 copy has notes jotted all over the margins and next to ingredients. It’s a (good) habit. I scrawl in all my cookbooks, a scribble with the date and what I did differently.

Margin notes next to her Empanadas with Greens and Olives recipe say they were made for a Bob Dylan concert on 8/29/02. I wrote, “Bob Dylan and his band knew I was in the audience eating these empanadas to go, for they sure put on a rock and roll show.”

Kale and Kalamata turnoversPark City’s summer music lineup, with over 300 concerts, kicks in this week. Choose your genre and pack a picnic.

Bring these rocking and rolling kale and Kalamata turnovers. With a nod to Chuck Berry and the Beatles: Turn-over Beethoven and dig these rhythm and blues.

My favorite cookbook, the one with lots of scribbles—it’s updated! Let’s just say I’m looking forward to writing in the margins of my copy of new edition. Okay—I bought it. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is as much a treasure as the original, a continuation of Ms. Madison’s lyrical writing and approachable recipes for home cooks. I am grateful to know her work.

Cut ‘N Clean Greens sent me a sample of their Organic Hearty Greens, which I used to test this filling recipe.

The link to The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is Amazon affiliate link. If you purchase a product via my link, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting me.

kale and Kalamata Turnovers

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Kale and Kalamata turnovers
Kale and Kalamata Olive Turnovers
Prep Time
50 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
These turnovers are picnic perfect. Paprika butter brushed on the wrapper before baking adds great color and flavor. Everyone will love the filling of savory greens, briny olives and salty cheese.
Author: Letty Flatt
  • 10 cups kale , or a mixture of greens, such as spinach, arugula, beet greens, chard and kale (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion or shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives , coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1 egg , beaten
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper (see note)
  • 12 egg roll wraps (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  1. Make the filling:
  2. Wash the greens. Trim and discard the stems. You want moisture for cooking them, so the leaves should be wet. (see note)
  3. Heat the oil in a wide skillet. On medium-high heat, sauté the onions with the garlic, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes, until the onion has softened--about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the greens. Cook and stir until the leaves wilt and become tender, about 15 minutes. (see note)
  5. Stir in the chopped parsley. Discard the bay leaves.
  6. Move the cooked greens to a cutting board and chop into small pieces.
  7. Mix with the chopped olives and goat cheese. Mix in the beaten egg, Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. To assemble:
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With scissors, trim the egg roll wraps to rough (5-inch) circles.
  10. Melt the butter, stir in the paprika. Keep warm.
  11. Portion the green mixture into 12 mounds, about ¼ cup per portion. (see note)
  12. Place one filling portion on one half of each egg roll circle. With your fingers, moisten the edges. Fold the skin over and pinch with your fingers to seal. Fold about ¼-inch of the edge up and in. Crimp with the tines of a fork. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or lined with a silicone baking mat. If lining the sheet pan with parchment, coat the parchment with cooking spray.
  13. Brush with the paprika butter.
  14. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until the turnovers are deep golden brown.
Recipe Notes
  • Kale can be Lacinato or curly kale. I used 12 ounces of a pre-washed and pre-cut mixture of greens, which saved me those prep steps.
  • Add more water as needed to keep the greens moist, particularly if you used pre-washed greens.
  • I added about 1/8 teaspoon of salt. The olives and cheese are salty--taste and salt after the filling is mixed. You may not need to add salt.
  • I used Nasoya egg roll wraps.
  • Pre-portioning the filling saves time and insures the same amount of filling for each turnover.



  • I have been making a point of eating kale and recently I read an article which advised people to check kale and and any meds they take. I suppose true of anything.
    Chris, your biggest carrot cake fan Reply · 17 June, 2014

    • Letty

      Chris, I know that kale is loaded with Vitamin K, which helps keep your blood thin. I think the biggest contraindication is with blood thinning meds.
      If I understand it, if one regularly consumes kale and other veggies full of Vit K, the med level can be adjusted. E.G. Coumadin. Good question to ask your doctor. Reply · 18 June, 2014

  • Judi G.

    The Kale and Kalamata Olive Turnovers sound yummy! Reply · 17 June, 2014

  • omg. omg. omg. These look amazing and I want them. Kale and Kalamata…my faves! Reply · 19 June, 2014

  • Letty, you have OUTDONE yourself! These look so, so good, and your pairing of the Hearty Greens with Kalamata and goat cheese is inspired! Also like your paprika butter gloss on top. Can we just say YUM!

    As always, we’ll be sharing this on our social media sites with a link here. This is the picnic recipe of the summer!

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut ‘N Clean Greens Reply · 19 June, 2014

  • Really delicious and so very “handy”. GREG Reply · 19 June, 2014

  • Ricardo

    Look yummy! Got any demos? Reply · 19 June, 2014

  • savvy

    Made these with rainbow chard and kale mix, and olive oil/paprika. Stashing recipe for a bit cooler weather! Temps hovering @ 100 do not make for a terrific baking day. Fall hiking?? you bet! Reply · 3 July, 2014

  • Letty these are gorgeous. I was looking for a vegetarian nibble to make for concert in the park this week. Can’t wait to give these (or some variation) a whirl! Reply · 7 July, 2014

  • kathleen

    I’m looking for an appetizer I an make ahead, and freeze for during the holidays. Do you think this would freeze well?
    Thanks! Reply · 9 November, 2014

    • Letty

      I think they will freeze just fine, baked or before baking. If you put them in the freezer filled but not baked, do’t thaw them much. Those doughs dough, phyllo too, like to go from freezer to oven direct. Reply · 10 November, 2014

  • looks very good Reply · 19 November, 2015

  • try it soon Reply · 19 November, 2015

    • Thanks Katelyn–let me know how they come out for you! Reply · 19 November, 2015

  • Suzanne Halloran

    Thanks for the great recipe! Was delicious and even the kids liked it. We have some leftover which will hopefully make a great snack during the week. Reply · 20 June, 2016

    • Hi Suzy,
      Thanks for the letting me know you all liked the recipe. And the kids–bonus!! Reply · 22 June, 2016

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