Christmas pie

Christmas pie

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(92 ratings)

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, questions and tips

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9th Nov, 2011
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
26th Jan, 2011
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.
20th Jan, 2011
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.
18th Jan, 2011
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!
13th Jan, 2011
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.
5th Jan, 2011
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!!!
30th Dec, 2010
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
30th Dec, 2010
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!!
29th Dec, 2010
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.
29th Dec, 2010
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!!


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