Paneer Puff Pastry Turnovers with a flaky golden crust with spicy flavorful paneer filling. Perfect appetizer for a party that can be prepared ahead of time. So easy and delicious!
A flaky golden crust with spicy flavorful paneer filling. A perfect snack with tea - Paneer Puff Pastry Turnovers! Who would not love a warm savory puff?
In many places in India, you get this at breakfast or snack shops. They used to be a favorite growing up. You get this similar puff pastry in the US, but most of the time it is with sweet filing.
I did find a similar one in Germany which was savory filled with spinach and feta, which was delicious. I had one everyday on the way to work, picking it at the train station. Oh...I had forgotten all about counting calories then 🙂
I wanted to make these at home. Making puff pastry sheets can be hard, but guess what? You can buy these in stores and that makes this the easiest appetizer ever! Just add your favorite filling - potatoes, ground meat, paneer, cheese maybe? Oh...I am already looking forward to have these with my tea this evening!
These pastry puffs are perfect for a party, similar to paneer pakora and sabudana vada. I have been making these for a very long time and they are my go to appetizer when I have friends visiting. These can be easily prepared in advance and baked when needed.
You can make these puff pastries in the air fryer or in the oven. When I need to make these puff's in bulk for a gathering, I use the oven. However when just preparing puffs for two, my Philips air fryer works best. I don't have to heat the oven and the house for just two puffs. Let's get cooking!
Preparing Paneer Filling for Puff Pastry
Before you start preparing the filling, get the puff pastry squares out of the freezer and let them thaw. You can use puff pastry squares or sheets, but I prefer squares as they are pre-cut to the size and saves me some effort.
For the filling, you need paneer. The paneer can be homemade or store bought. I made the paneer for this recipe in the instant pot, which I love for my everyday cooking. If you are not aware of it, check it out here.
Mash the paneer using a masher or with your gentle hands. You can also just cut them into small pieces. We will cook the paneer with onions, tomatoes and spices in a pan. I add more salt and red chili powder as it will not feel as spicy once filled in the puff pastry.
Paneer filling can be stored easily in refrigerator for about a week or freezed for longer. This filling is very versatile and can be used as a side with roti/naan...it is basically paneer scramble or paneer bhurji!
If you dont have puff pastry, use this filling to make paneer sandwiches or stuffed parathas or quesadilla's.
If you love paneer, don't forget to check out my 20 Best Paneer recipes.
Preparing Paneer Puff Pastry Turnovers in the Air Fryer or Oven
If using oven, set it to preheat to 450°F when you start preparing the puff pastries.
Spread the puff pastry squares on a baking tray. I spread them on my cutting board and then moved them to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Place the paneer filing at the center or closer to one edge of the puff pastry square.
Gently fold the square and pinch to the other side to make a triangle. All the edges should be closed. Use a fork to seal the edges well.
Beat the egg white and brush them on the top side of the stuffed puff pastry. Sprinkle some nigella seeds to get the perfect looking puff! Nigella seeds are optional. You could also use sesame seeds if you like.
Now, pop them in the oven or air fryer. For the oven, bake at 450°F for 10-12 minutes. For the air fryer, place two stuffed puff pastries into the air fryer basket. Bake at 390°F for 10-12 minutes. Flip them at about 7 min.
Don't they look just so warm and welcoming.
Some people like to enjoy them with tomato ketchup, while others with mint chutney. All of them surely love a cup of warm tea or coffee with them.
I love the Maggi Hot and Spicy Tomato Ketchup with these puffs. If you like a spice kick, you can find this in your nearest indian grocery store.
Looking for more air fryer recipes? Check out this collection of 20+ vegetarian air fryer recipes.
Savory Paneer Puff Pastry Turnovers - Air Fryer
- 6 squares Puff Pastry
- 1 Egg White to brush for a glaze
- 1 teaspoon Nigella seeds (Kalonji) (optional)
For Paneer Filling:
- 200 gm Paneer or Cottage cheese mashed or cubed (homemade or store bought)
- 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- ½ Onion diced
- 1 Tomato diced
- ½ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne or Red Chili powder adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala adjust to taste
Prepare the Paneer Filling:
- Remove the frozen puff pastry sheets from the freezer and let them thaw while you prepare the filling.
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. When the seeds start to change color in about 30 seconds, add the diced onions. Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently till they start to turn golden brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes. Cook them for 3-4 minutes, until they form a thick mixture with the onions.
- Add the salt, turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala. Mix well.
- Add the paneer and mix with the onion tomato masala. Cook for 3 minutes until the paneer becomes soft.
- The paneer filling is ready. You can also enjoy this as paneer bhurji or scramble along with roti or naan.
Prepare the Puff Pastry:
- If baking in oven, preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spread the puff pastry squares on a parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place the paneer filling at the center of the puff pastry square. Make sure the paneer filling is at room temperature when filling in the puff pastry.
- Gently fold it and pinch to the other side to make a triangle. All the edges should be closed. Use a fork to seal the edges well.
- Beat the egg white. Brush the egg whites on the top side of the stuffed puff pastry. Sprinkle some nigella seeds to get the perfect looking puff!
- If using an oven, bake for 12-15 minutes until the paneer puff's are golden browned.
- If using an air fryer, place 2 stuffed puff pastries into the air fryer basket. Bake at 390°F for 10-12 minutes. Flip the puffs at about 7 min.
- Remove the puff pastries from the oven/air fryer into a serving dish and let them cool for couple of minutes. Enjoy with a dip or chutney and a cup of hot tea.
- For this recipe, you can just mash paneer or just cut it into small cubes.
- If you like to skip egg, brush with melted butter or olive oil.
- To prepare these ahead of time, stuff the puff pastries and freeze them. When ready to cook, take out of the freezer and let them thaw for some time (not completely to room temperature, we want the puff pastry to still be cool to get a flaky puffs). Brush with egg white and pop them in the oven.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
If you like this recipe, you might also like Tandoori Paneer Naan Pizza, Cauliflower Tikka Bites and Taro Fries in the air fryer recipe.
Zubeida shariff says
I put 5 puff pastries in my air fryer cause that’s how many it would hold (small ones). 390 degrees for 5 mins and they cooked fine.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Zubeida - Thats great. It is nice to be able to make more at once.
we dont eat eggs. What can we substitute for egg wash?
Meeta Arora says
Hi Vibha - I would just skip the egg wash. It will work well without it too. Hope you enjoy the puffs.
You can use 1/4 cup milk with a tsp of sugar and use this liquid as a to substitute egg wash.
Meeta Arora says
Thanks for the suggestion, Subha!
How did you make paneer in instant pot. Can you please share that recipe.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Prachi - Will share it soon. Thanks!
I have been using egg roll wrappers and a dumpling press to make samosa for decades. Puff pastry is probably a little closer to samosa dough (except a lot sweeter and with a ton of butter in it) but the egg roll wrappers are super easy to find and cheaper.
The dumpling presses come in several sizes, right up to a great big calzone size. Just get whatever size you feel is appropriate for your samosas - I have 2 or 3 sizes so I can make mini-size samosas up to "regular" size samosas. I don't see why it wouldn't work as well with puff pastry as it does with the egg roll wrappers. I brush the edges with a beaten egg, press, and cut of the excess dough.
Piping Pot Curry says
That's a great way to make samosas easily, and can do that in the air fryer. I guess the taste would be a bit different with the flakiness and as you mention buttery texture of the puff pastry. I will definitely try egg roll wrappers. Thanks for the tip 🙂
Where do buy the indo European puff pastry squares?
Piping Pot Curry says
Hey Riya - I got them at the Indian grocery store in the bay area. You can find pepperridge farm brand puff pastry sheets at other grocery stores or I found the sheets at Trader Joe's too.