Christmas pie

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins Plus cooling

More effort

Cuts into 10-12 slices
Combine a few key Christmas flavours here to make a pie that both children and adults will adore

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal488
  • fat28g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs39g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre2g
  • protein23g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 2 tbsp 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…

  • knob butter



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

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 500g sausagemeat or skinned sausages
  • grated zest of 1 lemon



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

  • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 85g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • 50g chestnut, canned or vacuum-packed, chopped



    'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…

  • 2 tsp chopped fresh or 1tsp dried thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 100g cranberries, fresh or frozen


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

  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 500g pack ready-made shortcrust pastry
  • beaten egg, to glaze



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…


  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Heat 1 tbsp oil and the butter in a frying pan, then add the onion and fry for 5 mins until softened. Cool slightly. Tip the sausagemeat, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, apricots, chestnuts and thyme into a bowl. Add the onion and cranberries, and mix everything together with your hands, adding plenty of pepper and a little salt.

  2. Cut each chicken breast into three fillets lengthwise and season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan, and fry the chicken fillets quickly until browned, about 6-8 mins.

  3. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry to line a 20-23cm springform or deep loose-based tart tin. Press in half the sausage mix and spread to level. Then add the chicken pieces in one layer and cover with the rest of the sausage. Press down lightly.

  4. Roll out the remaining pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and cover with the pastry lid. Pinch the edges to seal, then trim. Brush the top of the pie with egg, then roll out the trimmings to make holly leaf shapes and berries. Decorate the pie and brush again with egg.

  5. Set the tin on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 mins, then cool in the tin for 15 mins. Remove and leave to cool completely. Serve with a winter salad and pickles.

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Comments (151)

countingfish's picture

Disappeared completely in less than 15 mins with 4 people! Very tasty and impressive, but pretty foolproof, even if you make your own pastry.

janezt's picture

This pie has become a family favourite, and I have now passed it on to my son who plans to make for his friends at St Andrews Uni before he comes back home for Christmas. I will have to make sure that mine is better than his!
The great thing about this recipe is that it can be tweaked to make into a summer picnic pie.

jolly_tall's picture

Made for a Little Jack Horner themed dinner and even in July it tasted gorgeous. A real treat and delicious for lunch yesterday too. Would def make again for the Christmas season

henriot's picture

I've made this pie several times now & it's a real winner everyone loved it, I made it for a Sunday buffet. It's worth making it a day in advance.

6dinnersid's picture

Made this for the first time xmas 2010, enjoyed it but found fresh cranberries way too tart. Had another go for Boxing Day this year and used dried cranberries - perfect! It cut beautifully and got lots of compliments. Nice change to the usual xmas pork pie.

emma052's picture

Made this for boxing day and it turned out just like the picture. Really delicious pie, served warm or cold, and not as difficult as i thought it would be. Will definately be doing this one again.....

rhodes06's picture

Third year I have made this pie. Its a firm favourite with all the famil and looks so impressive on the buffet table. I cut the chicken into smaller pieces for ease when serving.

adamj1984's picture

Very tasty, although not as good as the picnic pie on bbcgoodfood.

mrspeakley's picture

I used this recipe this Christmas, on Boxing Day in Italy. It was fantastic and all my guests gave it the wow factor. Easy to make, I made it and froze it beforehand.

Do try not only looks good, it tastes so very good.

diane7liverpool's picture

Love love love this recipe. It's extremely easy to make yet it's so delicious and looks fantastic. What more could you ask for!

janaskar's picture

Made this ahead for Boxing day and it was a great hit! I made the chicken pieces smaller in order to make cutting it when cold easier. Will be a favorite in this house!

rosiemcposie's picture

Really delighted to have found this recipe. I made it for a Christmas Eve buffet lunch and it not only looked very festive with its pastry holly leaves and berries on top, but all those who helped themselves to large slices were full of praise. My husband says it is delicious to eat cold, even on the fourth day!
As a non-meat eater I look forward to adapting the recipe and constructing the pie with layers of veg and grains, perhaps with olives and feta or goats cheese as well.

fairypetal's picture

I have made the pie numerous times, but i have made today as small individual ones for the Christmas Day buffet,and they are delicious!!!!!!!

kaymendrek's picture

Made this last year with leftover turkey and homemade cranberry sauce from the christmas dinner. It looked very professional - like a shop bought pie - and was very tasty and filling. Am looking forward to it again during the week after!

bayleaf1963's picture

Made for this last night as a Christmas treat for my work colleagues today...and I have to say it went down a storm ...lots of compliments...enhanced my baking reputation loads...repeat orders already in !! So easy to make. Will definitely make again...and again.

cas444's picture

I made this in advance last year, froze it before baking and it was lovely when cooked on Boxing day for the buffet.

I put it in the fridge Christmas Eve to defrost.

Took about 1hr and a half to cook once defrosted (at the temp stated in recipe)

fortunao5's picture

Delicious!! Just made this and it is fabulous. Will serve it to my friends at our Christmas party.

fairypetal's picture

I have had this recipe for the last 3 years and I have said each christmas that I will have a go at making it...This year I have decided to do it. i have made the pie this week , for a practice before christmas, and it is delicious!!!! simple to make, and it is soooooooo tasty. Everyone that has tried it has loved it, hot or cold, there isnt any left!!!!! Will definitly be making this for the christmas buffett, and i am going to try to make small individual ones....hope they turn out as well.

ctlarnold's picture

I would also love to know if this can be eaten hot? planning a hot boxing day buffet and this would work really well if it works as well warm

katetea's picture

Can I ask has anyone tried to do this hot? I want to make it, looks great, but would like to know if it works hot as well as cold? Thanks


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