Christmas pie

Christmas pie

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

  • 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…

  • 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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28th Dec, 2017
I made this yesterday and it has all gone, such a wonderful pie. I worried about a soggy bottom so I fried all the goodies (except chicken which I poached) with the onion and let it go cold before assembling the pie. I took a few posters advice and although not dried, I soaked the cranberries in port and then zapped in the microwave for one minute, cut the chicken to make 12 pieces and placed them radiating from the centre, also made my own pastry but everything else was as the recipe. In November I made Delia's Christmas chutney and it all went down beautifully (and quick). It only needed 45 minutes in the oven due to my frying and what a dream, this has now been printed and will be made every year without fail. May try the summer one as suggested by a poster. Thank you everyone for the recipe, tips and suggestions.
21st Dec, 2017
can you freeze this uncooked or cooked?
18th Dec, 2017
Easy and delicious
23rd Dec, 2016
I have made this pie for years. Living in France, cranberries only appear for about one week of the year so I have always used dried ones, soaked in hot water for a couple of minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients. I used to make these and take them to the office, and my friends constantly ask me to make them. Making more today! P.S. always use shop rolled pastry as I am useless at pastry/bread making :-)
19th Dec, 2015
I have made this pie several times over the years and it never disappoints. Now I only make it though if I am going to be feeding a crowd because it's too much for 2 people. For tomorrow's party, I have substituted bacon for apricots for an apricot hater and because the cranberries were on the large side, I've cut them in half so they don't cause a problem when cutting neat slices. My other change this year is to arrange the chicken fillets in a spiral from the centre again to aid ease of cutting. What a perfect Merry Christmas pie now for the Tiramisu.
31st Jan, 2015
I've made this several times, and it's always gorgeous. Not being keen on cranberries personally, I swapped them for smacked bacon lardons.........delicious! It's a bit of work to make, but well worth it.
9th Dec, 2014
I did this pie last year and found that the cranberries were a bit bitter and hard so I've made it again this year using dried ones soaked in some port as recommended by fatsusie. This pie is so tasty and delicious and looks soooo impressive on the table!!
30th Jun, 2014
OUTSTANDING!!!! What an amazing pie, I can't rave about it enough!!! I followed the recipe with the exception of using chicken thigh pieces rather than breast and I covered dried cranberries with a little port and put them in the microwave for a minute or two and cooled. I will make again and again and again and I wouldn't change a thing!!!
30th Dec, 2013
Delicious alternative to the traditional pork pie at Christmas. Used mini fillets of chicken breast and left them whole. Added dried cranberries but would use fresh next time as there was enough sweetness with the apricots The filling was the exact quantity for my 24 cm diam x 6 cm deep fluted loose-bottomed flan tin resulting in a perfectly formed pie.
jaywalker's picture
27th Dec, 2013
This was my 2nd christmas with this pie on the buffet table....and the 5th time i have made it. I love it...and so does everyone i know. But, my pastry (store bought) never holds....after the first cut it all goes downhill and my pie looks less like a pie and more like a opps-i-dropped-it-on-the-way-in mess. Is there a quick jelly recipie i can use to help with this?


Alison O'Malley's picture
Alison O'Malley
17th Dec, 2019
Could this pie be made with turkey, rather than chicken? Also, could it be served with roast potatoes and veg, instead of salad? Basically, can I use it as a main hot meal?
lulu_grimes's picture
18th Dec, 2019
Hello, Yes you can do all of this. I'd advise serving the pie warm rather than hot so it cuts more easily. I hope this helps.
15th Oct, 2019
Is it possible to use dried cranberries? I can’t source any frozen and fresh are not in season yet. Thanks!
Laura Williams's picture
Laura Williams
18th Dec, 2018
Are you able to use a cake tin instead of a tart tin?
goodfoodteam's picture
21st Dec, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes you can use a cake tin as along as it has a loose base.
16th Dec, 2018
I have make this pie several times and it is great. My only problems is that it all falls apart when cut and looks a mess. Has anybody any suggestions on how to stop this.
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Dec, 2018
We're glad to hear you've enjoyed this pie. Our suggestion would be to use a sharp serrated knife and saw gently through the pie. We hope this helps!
15th May, 2018
I have made this at Xmas and it was wonderful. I'm wondering how it would be replacing the breadcrumbs for stuffing mix? Any ideas???
goodfoodteam's picture
21st May, 2018
Thanks for your question. Stuffing mix tends to have additional flavours like onion and sage which will affect the overall outcome of the pie. The breadcrumbs here are purely for binding purposes.
23rd Dec, 2015
Hello, I made this fab pie last night. I fully baked it (after cooking at 190 for and hour and 180 for 25mins) I then froze it. I want to use the pie for New Years Day. Next week can I defrost it in the fridge for say 24hrs and then eat it cold without rebaking the pie? I looked at the questions just now and realised maybe I should have frozen it before I baked it. I don't want to waste the pie and throw it away but I think it will be dry and burnt if I bake it again. Grateful for any advice thankyou x


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