Moroccan spiced pie

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 35 mins

More effort

Serves 6
The perfect showpiece to your Christmas Day meal - and it's suitable for veggies

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal987
  • fat66g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs82g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre7g
  • protein21g
  • salt1.64g
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  • 2 tsp each coriander and cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika, plus extra for dusting



    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 150ml/¼ pint olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 900g squash, peeled and cut into small chunks (about 2cm)
  • 12 shallots, quartered



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 4cm/1½ in piece root ginger, finely chopped
  • 140g whole blanched almonds


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • 140g shelled pistachios
  • 75g pack dried cranberries


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 6 tbsp clear honey
  • 225g pack fresh spinach



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 8 large sheets of filo pastry
  • lemon wedges to serve



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

For the harissa yogurt sauce

  • 200g carton Greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 3 large sprigs mint, leaves chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 2-3 tbsp harissa paste


  1. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Dry fry the seeds briefly in a small pan over a medium heat until toasty – don’t let them burn. Grind coarsely using a pestle and mortar (or a bowl and the end of a rolling pin), then mix in the paprika, cinnamon, 1⁄2 tsp salt and 4 tbsp oil. Tip the squash into a roasting tin, pour over the spiced oil and toss. Roast for 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they start to brown. Stir in the ginger and 100g/4oz each almonds and pistachios.When brown, toss in the cranberries, 2 tbsp honey, and the spinach so it wilts. Take off the heat and stir into the squash, when it comes out of the oven. Set aside.

  3. In a food processor, whizz the chickpeas with the garlic, cumin, remaining oil, lemon juice, 2 tbsp water and salt and pepper to make houmous. Stir in the coriander.

  4. Melt the butter in a small pan. Put a loose-bottomed 28cm quiche tin on a baking sheet and brush with some butter. Keeping the filo covered with a damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out, lay one sheet over half of the tin so that it hangs over the edge by about 10cm. Lay another sheet on the other side, so it overlaps the first in the centre and hangs over the opposite edge. Brush with butter. Lay two more filo sheets in the opposite direction in the same way and brush with more butter.

  5. Build up two more layers in this way, so you use a total of eight sheets of filo. Pile half the squash mixture in the centre of the pastry. Spread over the houmous and then the rest of the squash mixture.One at a time, bring the edge of each filo sheet up to the centre to cover the filling, creating voluptuous folds as you go. Brush carefully with more butter. (If making a day ahead, cover now with cling film and chill. To reheat, remove the pie from the fridge, heat the oven, then bake for 35-40 minutes.)

  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until crisp and golden. Just before the pie is ready, reheat any remaining butter in the pan, tip in the rest of the nuts and fry until golden. Spoon in the 4 remaining tbsps of honey and, when it melts, take off the heat and pour over the pie. Serve with Harissa yogurt sauce (mix the yogurt and milk together to make a thin sauce, stir in the herbs and season. Swirl in harissa to taste) and lemon wedges.

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Comments (93)

sares33's picture

Absolutely delicious! Like other people suggested i reduced the oil drastically and did not use butter. Instead i lightly sprayed the filo with olive oil spray. I also used only 2 tbsp of honey plus 1 tbsp on the top. Yoghurt dressing was delicious although i'd advise you to taste your harissa before adding 3 tbsp because mine was super spicy and only needed 1tsp!!!

myrecipes2's picture

I tried the Harissa sauce with another dish & loved it. I made my own Harissa oil from a recipe found on the web site.
I will try the pie for a special occaision.

rakshakali's picture

I made this for my family when my brother came home - he's vegetarian but hates mushroom and my mum's allergic to cheese so finding veggie meals suitable for us all can be a pain. Everyone absolutely loved it - wonderful mixture of textures. Would say you need to have plenty of free time - has to be lovelingly prepared over a good 2 1/2 hours if your not an experienced chef.

linbal's picture

Made this for a dinner for veggie friends. It was absolutely delicious and well worth the time it took to make. Once assembled it kept well in fridge for a few hours until cooking. Flavours were superb and the harrissa sauce truely wonderful. It was huge but I resisted the urge to add fake horns to the 'Cow pie' effect especially given the guests! Served it with moroccan tomato salad and tzatziki ( glut of cues from greenhouse). A masterpiece especially if you can use really fresh herbs and spices. Sit back and bask in the compliments.

alisonworne's picture

Absolutely Fab. Enough for six, but three of us almost completely demolished the pie. Slightly reduced the nut content and added pine nuts. Couldn't source harissa locally so made my own, very easy and the sauce definitely makes the whole dish. Served it with a sweet corn, pepper, spring onion, lime and corriander salsa.
Would highly recommend this pie and worth the effort made to do it. Aslo very useful as everything could be prepared before hand and then cooked just before serving.

angmunchkin's picture

I'm looking forward to trying this, and just a thought — add some tahini (creamed sesame paste) to the humous? I would use less nuts/olive oil for this.

carinah's picture

This must be one of the best recipes I have ever made, absolutely delicious! Even the very first time I made it my friends and I were amazed by the intense flavours and how well it came out, very moreish!!! Quite a lot of effort goes into it, but absolutely worth it at the end! My suggestion would be to get some smaller dishes and make a little pie per person as I do find the large pie quite hard to cut.... Enjoy!

juliehorsfield's picture

I made this for a dinner party at Easter as one of my guests is a vegetarian. Decided to base the whole menu as veggie with a slight moroccan/middle eastern theme. My Hubby who hates vegetables absolutley loved this! It was huge though so there were left overs for the following day. I left out the cranberries and honey and instead added a touch of fresh red chilies instead as didn't want it to be too sweet as some reviewers had mentioned. It was delicious. Served it with a fresh green salad and some roast potatoes.

lukestallard's picture

Awesome. And huge.

muffinmum's picture

I've been making this ever since it was first published and its so gorgeous.I'm not veggie and first made it as a veggie alternative to a christmas dins.have since made it for boxing day etc etc. definately the best veggie special dinner ever and all the veggies always appreciate the lack of mushrooms!delicious and really not at all hard to do once you've done it once.

ashleygboyle's picture

After many years of saying I'd love to learn to cook and host dinner parties, my wife suggested that it was about time I stopped talking about it and practiced on a recipe just for the two of us....
I had to choose a vegetarian meal as my wife (and children) have been veggies for 30 years.
Well, despite being a veggie at home but being a fairly regular meat eater when dining out, I would recommend this recipe to EVERONE!!!! It was superb. excellent flavours and textures that seem to remain distinguishable through every mouthful.
As suggested by others before me, I would strongly recommend it for special ocassions (both veggies and carnivours- a particlularly excellent choice for Crimble.... TRULY YUMMIE!!!!

EstellaLaru's picture

Really worth the effort! The harissa sauce really makes this dish sing!

milosmum's picture

This is truly easy to make for a dinner party. I got it all ready in advance. It tasted great and was very impressive. A winner!

lynnhallam's picture

I made this pie as the vegetarian option at a dinner party for a group of girlfriends, only one is a vegetarian but they all loved it and went home with the recipe. It looks so good, it was the highlight of the meal!!

wendypatterson's picture

Made this yesterday as a 'rehearsal' for xmas day. Really enjoyed making it even though it takes a while. It assembled beautifully which is the part I expected to find tricky. It looked spectacular BUT we found it far too sweet and not really very spicy. I wonder what I did wrong? One of my teenagers queried whether it was supposed to be a pudding (!)- and I only used a small spoon of honey for the glaze. Will definitely make again but will omit the honey completely (except for a little glaze) and probably reduce the nuts and cranberries and use more spice. So I am still searching for the perfect non-meat xmas day dish - I am going to try a courgette/mushroom/cheese loaf with apricot and oatmeal stuffing in puff pastry next ...

scalywitch's picture

I spotted this yesterday and it made my mouth water looking at it and reading the reviews so just had to make it, I didn't change a thing and it is wonderful, it looks beautiful and has such a range of flavours it would not fail to impress. It would make a stunning centrepice for a vegi xmas but appeals to carnivores too, lovely.

freya99's picture

Great recipe. I always use shortcrust. I usually blitz the shallots as dont like chunks of onion. Have used the filling to make small pasties for parties. Ive also used it with bread dough (roll out, pile on filling, then roll up and cook as a loaf) Chilled overnight, then sliced, it makes a lovely spicy sandwich for a picnic.

pkccat's picture

Fantastic! I made this last year for myself and my sister in law, for our Christmas meal. I'm veggie, and so is she but she also dislikes mushrooms and cheese (usual veggie alternatives). All the meat eaters tried some and at the end of the meal it was all gone! Only problem I have now is trying to upstage it this Christmas!!

catcooks's picture

Delicious! To cut down the time and effort involved (and because there was no filo pastry in my nearest 3 supermarkets!) i was reduced to changing the whole thing to a shortcrust pastry open pie experiment. The filling was versatile enough to take the abuse, and it meant i skipped steps 4-6 and just had to blind bake the pie crust for 5 mins, layer up the squash mix and houmous, and pop the pie in the oven for 30-35 mins.

(served with oven roasted root veg and red onions)

kayspinnaker's picture

I'm going to make this for a dinner party on Saturday. What would you suggest I serve with it?


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