Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 20 mins Cook: 55 mins plus 1 hr chilling

More effort

Serves 6 - 8

This vegetarian main course is packed with festive flavours and wrapped in flaky butter pastry - a real Christmas treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving (8)

  • kcal889
  • fat62g
  • saturates28g
  • carbs60g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre8g
  • protein19g
  • salt2.1g
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  • 50g butter



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

  • 500g pack leeks, thickly sliced



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 240g bag baby spinach
  • 415g can chestnut purée
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 for glazing



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

  • ½ nutmeg, finely grated



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 200g pack vacuum-packed whole cooked chestnuts, halved



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

  • 85g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 220g pack blue Shropshire cheese, rind trimmed, diced
  • 500g pack all-butter puff pastry

For the sauce

  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 300ml pot double cream


  1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the leeks and garlic, stir well, cover and cook for 10 mins until the leeks are soft, stirring a few times to check that they don’t catch. Tip into a large bowl. Put the spinach in the pan and allow it to wilt. Leave to cool and, when cold, squeeze out as much liquid from it as you possibly can.

  2. Tip the chestnut purée into the bowl with the leeks and add the 3 eggs, the nutmeg, chestnuts, spinach, breadcrumbs, cheese and seasoning, and stir until well mixed. Chill for at least 1 hr until the mixture firms up.

  3. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a rectangle large enough to completely enclose the filling. Carefully lift onto a large, long baking tray that has been lined with baking parchment, then brush round all the edges of the pastry with the remaining egg. Spoon the filling down the centre of the length of the pastry, leaving the ends clear. Tuck the ends over the filling, then firmly lift up the sides to wrap them round, trimming away any excess pastry as you go. Brush with more egg to glaze, then make a few holes in the top so steam can escape as it cooks. Bake for 40 mins until golden and the filling is firm. Remove from the oven, brush with more glaze and bake for 10 mins more.

  4. To make the sauce, heat the stock in a medium pan, add the leeks, boil for 5 mins, then take off the heat and scoop out 2 tbsp of the leeks. Blitz the rest in the pan with the cornflour using a hand blender, then cook, stirring, until thickened. Pour in the cream and reserved leeks and warm through. Can be made 2 days ahead and chilled. Serve the pastry in thick slices with the sauce.

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Comments, questions and tips

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1st Oct, 2019
Delicious. Full of flavour. Made it a few times now and it's always a hit. Highly recommend.
18th Aug, 2019
Delicious! Swapped the cooked chestnuts for cashews as suggested and blue cheese for cheddar as I was worried it wouldn’t go down well with the family-everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, including my 3 year old twins! The quantities made enough for two, so ones gone in the freezer for another time. I felt the leek sauce wasn’t quite as great, needs heavy seasoning but made a nice change to just gravy! Definitely will be serving this over Christmas and may even tweak it for autumn/Christmas dinner parties!
Janet Wakeman
31st Mar, 2019
This was delicious and wasn't at all challenging to make. Made it for the vegetarians in the family at Christmas for Boxing Day but some of the meat-eaters chose it over the gammon! I made it in 2 halves intending to freeze one thinking we wouldn't use it all in one go but had to dish up the second half too! I've done it again since (smaller quantities) for a family meal.
23rd Feb, 2019
Absolutely delicious. Made double the filling and made pasties to go in the freezer as well.
25th Dec, 2018
This was a great recipe, i added cashews instead of extra chestnuts as suggested previously, such a hit. Sauce was amazing, I had to use shallots instead of leeks, but will use for many different dishes. I did have to make my own chestnut puree, which was simple.
25th Dec, 2018
I am preparing this for the first time and have never used chestnuts in a dish. Can you please advise as to what spices to add and how much? Other than the nutmeg- thanks!
Mark Ayliffe's picture
Mark Ayliffe
24th Dec, 2018
Did this last Christmas for the veggies in the family. Was edible reheated for several days afterwards (usual hygiene warnings of course). Doing it again this year. 'Nuff said!
23rd Nov, 2018
This is just the bees knees of a recipe. Perfect for a show stopping christmas day dish. I was a little concerned about too much chestnut (as in puree & whole) as my veggie daughter is not a big 'nut' fan so I replaced the puree with butternut squash mash and for us, it works. I've also made the filling in advance and froze, which helps with the christmas prepping. The leek sauce is to die for too. This is a permanent addition to my collection of recipes.
15th Nov, 2018
This is a gorgeous recipe. I don't think it's a "more effort" recipe - it all came together quite quickly, wasn't difficult and was ready ahead of the predicted prep/chilling/cooking times. The actual dish is delicious - loved my me, my meat loving other half and my picky vegetarian 9yr old. I replaced half the whole chestnuts with cashews, only added 300g chestnut puree and was generous with the cheese. An absolute winner :)
24th Dec, 2017
This is, honestly, one of the most delicious things I've every made. I can't recommend it highly enough. It has become a staple at our Christmas table, and it pleases veggies and meat eaters alike. It also tastes great cold as part of a salad platter or to go with leftovers on Boxing Day. A few hints: Try swapping out the whole chestnuts for cashews. This adds a little bite and some more creaminess. Being designed for the Christmas table, this dish is ENORMOUS! Halving the ingredients will serve 3-4. We love blue cheese in our house, so we add a little extra. If you're not a fan of blue, mature cheddar also works well. Chestnut puree can be a little tricky to find out of season, but our local Morrisons stock it all year round. A 200g pack of chestnut puree (instead of the 415g tin the recipe suggests) is actually plenty for the full recipe.


30th Sep, 2019
Those who replaced the chestnuts with cashew nuts, did you use chestnut puree and cashews or no puree?
22nd Dec, 2018
I couldn't find any chesnut puree in my grocery store. Is there another alternative for it? Because I searched up for some homemade chestnut puree recipes, but they all contained sugar, which I thought was an odd ingredient to put into a savory dish.
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. As it's integral to the dish, we cannot provide an alternative without re-testing the dish. We'd suggest sourcing it online or trying one of our alternative vegetarian centrepieces:
Bill Strachan's picture
Bill Strachan
9th Dec, 2018
Can this be prepared and frozen
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Dec, 2018
Hi Bill, We'd suggest freezing this once assembled but before baking and without the accompanying sauce (which can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated). Brush with egg once out of the freezer and bake from frozen adding an extra 10 - 15 mins or so to the cooking time, making sure it's cooked through before serving. Should be fine to cook from frozen in this way but we haven't tested this method in our kitchen so cannot guarantee perfect results. Let us know how you get on.
26th Nov, 2017
How much of this can be made in advance?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. You can make the filling and the sauce up to two days before. Cover with pastry and cook on the day. Reheat the sauce in a saucepan. See below for our freezing instructions. Hope that helps.
Caroline Bignall
27th Dec, 2015
Can you please confirm whether this recipe can be reheated. I made for Christmas dinner and we have some left over, I have refrigerated it but wonder if I can now reheat. Many thanks
22nd Dec, 2016
Try the UK government web site on food safety 'holiday leftovers'.
26th Dec, 2015
I made this for Christmas lunch for two. It was lovely. However, I have way too much filling left over, but no pastry left. Can I freeze the filling on its own and then defrost and add to pastry when needed in future? Thank you


Olivia Tierney's picture
Olivia Tierney
22nd Apr, 2019
Have made this quite a few times now. I love it but definitely benefits from these adjustments: halved-cashews instead of walnuts; 100g more Stilton; half the purée; generous nutmeg. Also, it always makes more filling than I can fit in the pastry!
25th Dec, 2015
I think using two sheets of ready rolled pastry works better as the pastry is the right thickness and you can seal the edges by crimping.
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