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)

mammasmith's picture

Absolutely super. We had this served hot as part of a buffet. I probably could have made two and they would have all gone. Froze previous to cooking as well, so thumbs up all round.

kittybriggs's picture

An essential part of our Christmas now. The other half refuses to eat cold pies, so he has his warm - equally delicious. I have also made a "Summer Pie" - reducurrants instead of cranberries and no chestnuts - Perfect for picnics.

deralia's picture

great recipe! i took it to a boxing day buffet with and all the uncles went mad for it! many many compliments. i couldnt get any cranberiies in such a small quantity, and i bought some cheap chestnuts from the corner shop that had maggots in! yeuck!! so both of those ingredients were omitted and it was still great!

caroline1010_3's picture

I cooked this in between Christmas and New Year, it looked very impressive and was very easy to make. I would definitely make it again but use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast if eating it cold as I think breast is very dry when cold. I used very expensive free range breast from Waitrose! For me thighs always win hands down as they are much more moist.

cjeajj's picture

Easy to make and was very popular.
My only suggestion is to make sure that your pastry holly leaves have more than five spikes (plus a stalk) otherwise they look like 'roadkill' mice!!!

vivienmary's picture

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed with this pie! I was so looking forward to it, but for me, it just didn't deliver. However, my family loved it, so maybe it was just me expecting too much? I have to admit, I didnt have either dried or fresh thyme! my tyme in my poly tunnel had been frozen to death, and out of all my herbs and dried spices, would you believe I didnt have dried tyme, thats because I usually use it fresh. Anyway, I am going to make it again, for a summer bbq and see how it turns out then! ~Good cooking in 2011 to you all.
ps: I used dried sage as a substitute, but didnt use too much as my husband is not a huge fan of sage!

julietc's picture

This was fantastic. I had bought a shop pork pie as well and wish I hadnt now as this was much better and tastier and looked so good. Will definitely be doing it next year if not before!!

martinique972's picture

This went down very well in Martinique (French West Indies) our French friends loved it. Personally I thought it was a little dry but on the whole tasty.

misterscraggs's picture

Had it at a friend's 3 years ago and again this year. Thought I would have a go myself! Friends and family impressed, so will have to make it again!!

tigercat's picture

This is a brilliant recipe. It looks impressive when sliced and tastes delicious. Ive been sending copies of it to friends and family, who have tried the one I made and asked for the recipe. Definately one to make each Christmas. I've also made mini ones, which work well too.

agnieszkab's picture

Very good and rather easy to make. Had only dried (80g) cranberries
(80g) and they worked fine.

doldderwen's picture

Easy to make and looks impressive, I couldn't care what it tastes like as it's appearance is so fab I don't want it to be eaten, however, it does contain the most wonderfully tasty ingredients so it won't be anything but delicious!
Looks enough to feed about 20 as part of a buffet.

kassia70's picture

I forgot to rate the recipe.. definitely 5 stars!

kassia70's picture

Have made this many times and it is always a huge winner. Also replaced the chicken with pheasant breasts as I always have a freezer-full in winter, which has proved even more popular than the chicken. Looking forward to making it again this year, for our Christmas evening buffet.

pammy1's picture

At what stage do you freeze this?

chissie's picture

We have made this numerous times and not just at Christmas, it is really delicious. My neighbour halves everything and cooks it in a loaf tin as there is only two of them and their verdict is also five stars. Can't wait to make it this Christmas.

vivienmary's picture

I am making this pie for the first time this Christmas and was thinking of freezing it, but am a bit worried that the pastry might go a bit soft? Can the people who have aleady frozen this pie tell me if this was the case or was the pastry ok? Thank you.

feeney567@googlemail's picture

So nobody made it as small pies? I've made it again, baked and frozen it. I know it will turn out well

fairytailcastles's picture

I have made this christmas pie since it was first printed then sadly i lost it every one who has tried it love it,i was so pleased to find it on the web page s once again it will be on the menu for our christmas party i did not change a thing Ann .

carolgriffiths's picture

Has anyone frozen this uncooked and then cooked it straight from the freezer? What temperature and how long does it take to cook this way?


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