Hand pies have a lot going for them:

  • They are individually portioned -- so you're not tempted to eat a whole pie!
  • They're perfect for crust-lovers, with a higher crust-to-filling ratio than traditional pies;
  • They bake in less time than their full-size counterparts;
  • They taste just as good at room temperature or re-warmed, so they're ideal for work lunches, picnics, and potlucks, and even a savory breakfast on-the-go.

They're so delicious and easy to eat, they're a traditional fare in many countries around the world. Why not give your lunches a global spin by cooking up a couple of batches to get you through the work week? Here are 7 perfect hand pies from around the world for you to try.

1. Argentine Meat Empanadas from Argentina

A celebration meal in Argentina is unlikely to happen without some freshly made Empanadas. These meat-filled pastries also include the addition of green olives, boiled egg, and even raisins. Try them dipped in Argentinian Chimichurri.

Photo by Andy Lyons

2. Taylor's Piroshki from Russia

Piroshki are a popular pastry in Russia, Eastern Europe, and especially in Ukraine. They can be both baked and fried and come with a variety of fillings. In addition to the beef, try filling piroshki with braised cabbage and sauteed onions, boiled eggs and fried mushrooms, or boiled rice, ground beef, and onions. If you're looking for something to dip them in, sour cream is always an excellent choice.

Taylors Piroshki
Photo by Yasmee dilapanga

3. Cheese Bourekas from Israel

Israeli bourekas are mainly vegetarian, to keep with the kosher dietary laws. Favorite fillings include mashed potatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, and even chickpeas. The origin of bourekas can be traced to Greece, Turkey, and Crete. This recipe is a great one to try for a novice baker, as it uses puff pastry as a shortcut.

Cheese Bourekas
Photo by sugarplum

4. Samosas from India

Although this recipe includes a spiced lamb filling, traditionally, samosas are made vegetarian. The most common filling is a combination of curried potatoes and peas. These triangular-shaped fried or baked pastries go hand-in-hand with mint chutney or a cooling raita.

Photo by Karla Conrad

5. Bolivian Saltenas from Bolivia

Similar to Argentinian Empanadas, these baked savory pastries from Bolivia are often made with a filling of beef, pork, chicken, olives, eggs, and potatoes. This is a more advanced recipe to try, but the results are definitely worth the effort.

Bolivian Saltenas
Photo by Cassy

6. Chef John's Cornish Pasty from United Kingdom

If you are a meat and potatoes kind of person, this is the hand-held pie for you. Made with steak, potatoes, onions, turnips, and a touch of cayenne, this is the ultimate comfort food. No wonder these pasties were said to originate in the working class neighborhoods of Cornwall. Eating even a single one of these will sustain you and give you energy for a long time!

Cornish Pasties
Photo by pelicangal

It's up to you if you'd like one of these pumpkins filled empanadas for breakfast or save them for dessert. Either way, you might way to take the advice of our community members and add a dash ground cinnamon to the dough itself, as well as the filling.

Photo by Allrecipes

It's like a taco/empanada mashup. "Pico de gallo and pepper Jack cheese round out the flavors of the taco beef," says bd.weld. "Taco hand pies are perfect for parties and on-the-go meals. Serve with picante sauce for dipping. "Serve with picante sauce for dipping."

Taco Hand Pies
Photo by bd.weld

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