Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

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(12 ratings)

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

More effort

Serves 6 - 8
This vegetarian main course is packed with festive flavours like nutmeg and cloves, then 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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calummurdoch11's picture
11th Jan, 2017
I cooked this dish for my family with some boiled potatoes on the side and it went down a treat! When I told them all at the end that it was vegetarian I received an onslaught of priceless gasps; fantastic recipe, thank you!
1st Jan, 2017
Yum! Was really pleased with this which I made as the veggie alternative for Christmas Day. I've been veggie for most of my life and this was probably the tastiest thing I've had. Couple of small changes making it - used mature cheddar instead of blue cheese (personal taste), added a really good amount of seasoning and used a smaller amount of chestnut puree as I hadn't checked the packet size. Decorated with pastry holly leaves. It came out beautifully (quite large!) and several of the meat eaters also had a slice. Used extra filling to make a few individual pies. Will certainly be making this again, next time we'll switch the whole chestnuts for something like cashews as I think we'd prefer these.
21st Dec, 2016
As I'm cooking this for one person, Can I freeze any left overs and reheat
12th Jan, 2016
The heading suggests cloves as a spice (sure you can add ground ones though)
5th Jan, 2016
I made this for a vegetarian guest at a Christmas gathering. He seemed to really enjoy and as there was plenty left over my hubby and I had it for dinner the following day. Now, my other half is a big meat eater but said this was really tasty and thoroughly enjoyed it! "Winner, winner, veggie dinner!"
4th Jan, 2016
It was OK, quite mild and tasting mainly of leek. As the others say it is better warm than piping hot. The phrase "roll out the pastry to a rectangle large enough to completely enclose the filling." is quite unhelpful. Approximate dimensions would be much better - baking trays are a pretty standard size.
Caroline Bignall
27th Dec, 2015
Please can you confirm whether this recipe can be reheated.
Caroline Bignall
27th Dec, 2015
Can anyone confirm a whether this recipe can be reheated please. I made it for Christmas dinner and have some left over. Many thanks
21st Dec, 2016
Hi, I would like to know the answer to this question too as I plan to make this for Christmas for one person.
meringue20's picture
26th Dec, 2015
I made this recipe as the vegetarian option for Christmas Dinner. It turned out great! Instead of the Shropshire cheese (difficult to get in my country) I used another blue cheese. Even the non-vegetarians and notorious meat eaters loved it!


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
20th Dec, 2015
I'm sorry but I don't quite understand the directions - "brush round the edges of the pastry with the remaining egg." Do you brush the inside of the pastry with egg prior to filing as well as the outside after filing? Thanks for the clarification!
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Dec, 2015
Yes you brush round the edges of the pastry then roll up with the mixture inside then brush again all over. The egg brushed round the edges, encourages everything to stick and seal in the filling.
24th Dec, 2014
Can I assemble this the day before cooking or will that result in the feared 'soggy bottom'?
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Jan, 2015
Hi samdoe67 thanks for your question. If you want to get ahead the best thing to do would be to make the filling the day before and refridgerate it then cover it with pastry just before baking. Hope this helps. 
Joy M
11th Dec, 2014
Can I freeze this after the first 40 minutes cooking? Or can I complete the cooking time, freeze, then reheat from frozen
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Dec, 2014
Hi Joy M, you might be better freezing this once assembled but before baking and without the accompanying sauce (which can be made on the day). Wash with egg once out of the freezer and bake from frozen adding an extra 10 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. 
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.