Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croûte

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(46 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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 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!
27th Dec, 2014
The Chestnut, spinach & blue cheese en croute is a real winner. my vegetarian family thought it the best ever, forget the turkey, this is so much better. Thank you
25th Dec, 2014
Made this today for our Christmas dinner and it was easy to make and very tasty. Didn't put nutmeg in as not that keen. I only used 150g of cheese as that was the size of the packet it was sold in and I was a bit worried the cheese could overpower. I think this was just about the right amount for my taste and glad I didn't put more in.
14th Dec, 2014
Really delicious! Made for a veggie option at a Christmas dinner and it went down very well! I thought it could have done with more pastry but perhaps I didn't quite get it rolled out thin enough.
Joy M
13th Dec, 2014
Just re-read the description "festive flavours of nutmeg and cloves". Where are cloves mentioned in the list of ingredients?? And I don't mean garlic .


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