Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

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(34 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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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
Chris Colyer's picture
Chris Colyer
18th Dec, 2017
As in cook it, stick in fridge, eat again over the next couple of days? I did this and a) it was still delicious, b) I'm still walking.
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!
25th Dec, 2015
Made this for Christmas lunch, delicious and easy to make. This in my opinion is best served warm or cold as the flavours are better developed. Very moist.
17th Dec, 2015
Made this for a main for Christmas dinner when I had some friends over. I'm not a fan of blue cheese normally but it didn't taste that 'cheesey' so all good. But it smells a little :-) I wasn't a fan of the cooked chestnuts but overall was very nice. Made the filling a day ahead and just rolled out the pastry on the day. Made the leek sauce on the day too, very nice but way too much sauce, can easily halve the amount.
3rd Jan, 2015
Made this using shortcrust pastry, and froze until ready to use. As suggested in the tips, brushed with beaten egg before placing in the oven, and again part way through. Excellent result when left to cool for 30 mins - sliced more neatly and according to my family, was tastier.
1st Jan, 2015
This is the best vegetarian dish I've made in a long time. I was veggie for 20 years before starting to eat meat again recently. My partner's family were staying for Christmas and I wanted to make something a little different for his vegetarian daughter. I came across this recipe a couple of days before and tried it out on the day and it was amazing! The nutmeg I thought I had in the cupboard had vanished so I replaced it with some cinnamon, mixed spice and four whole cloves (I didn't make the sauce as I'd made a variety of other sauces and gravy). It was enjoyed by the meat eaters as well and even requested for future meals. When I made it, I used two jus roll puff pastry sheets and there was a little of both the filling and the pastry left over. I divided the mix into two small ramekins and covered with the little bit of pastry that was left. This was cooked and served as little pies with a parsnip and butternut squash bake. This a delicious and versatile dish and it's not often that something has gone down so well that it was taken away the following day in a doggy bag! When I saw the recipe I'd noticed that there were no reviews so I thought I must review as it was so good. I'm glad to see that other people tried it and enjoyed it as well! Great recipe and it's now on my go-to list. Many thanks!


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