Hot and flaky, these savory hand pies are such a wonderfully cozy treat to warm up with on a chilly day. Prepared with a rich and saucy beef filling, simmered with diced potatoes and vegetables, tucked into store-bought puff pastry and baked until golden, these delectable hand pies are a comforting grab-and-go lunch, or light dinner!
Hand Pies with a Savory Slant
As the days turn cooler, my appetite turns to warm, cozy recipes that offer lots of comfort to my soul...
Rich, hearty stews, hot soups, creamy pot pies, and flaky hand pies begin to beckon with their slow-simmered aroma and simple, earthy ingredients that thoroughly warm the belly—they feel like love in food form!
These savory hand pies are a delicious, new treat that my husband and I have been enjoying lately...
The simplicity of the ingredients and the preparation makes these hand pies a fantastic offering as a light meal anytime we're craving a bit of extra TLC.
Prepared with a rich filling of ground beef, diced potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, peas and a sprinkle of fresh thyme enveloped in good quality, store-bought puff pastry, these golden, flaky hand pies are a deliciously hot, rustic little morsel to cozy up with!
My Recipe for Savory Hand Pies
Seeing as I'm a big fan of store-bought puff pastry sheets, I love finding various ways of using them for not only sweet presentations, but savory ones as well.
These savory hand pies are a terrific use for puff pastry, because they offer a semi-homemade slant to this comforting offering, and make the process nice and easy without the added preparation of a homemade dough.
All that's required is the simmering up a savory and delicious beef filling until thick and rich, and then spooning that filling onto large squares of puff pastry, topping with another large square of puff pastry as if you were making a small pie, then sealing things up and baking until golden and flaky!
Here's a glance at my savory hand pie recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my beef filling and allow that to simmer until the potatoes and veggies are tender, and the sauce thick and rich. Then, I allow the filling to completely cool. (Preparing the filling the day before baking these is ideal for this.)
- While the filling cools, I allow my puff pastry sheets to thaw, and then roll them out and cut into a total of 16 large squares.
- To assemble the savory hand pies, I spoon some filling into the center of a puff pastry square, top with another square of puff pastry to create a rectangular “pie”, then press the edges to seal it closed, creating a little hand pie “package” (you can use a fork for this).
- I cut a couple of small slits into the top of each hand pie, and chill them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
- Then, I egg wash each hand pie and bake them for roughly 24 to 26 minutes, until puffed and golden.
Savory Hand Pies
by Ingrid Beer
Hot and flaky, these savory hand pies are brimming with a rich, saucy filling of ground beef, diced potatoes, veggies and fresh thyme!
Yield: 8 hand pies
Nutrition Info: 690 calories (per hand pie)
Prep Time: 20 minutes (does not include cooling time for filling)
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium white onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- Black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 pound ground beef (85/15 ratio lean to fat)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 level tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups beef stock or broth
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced into ¼ -½ inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnish
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup green peas
- 2 (17.3 ounce) packages puff pastry sheets, frozen
- 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
- Flaky salt, optional garnish
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your ingredients (except for the puff pastry sheets—keep those frozen) according to the ingredients list above.
- Place a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven oven medium-high heat, and add the butter and the olive oil. Once the butter is melted, add in the onion, carrot, celery, plus a couple of good pinches of salt and pepper, and saute the veggies for a few minutes until just softened.
- Add in the garlic, and once aromatic, add in the ground beef along with the Italian seasoning, the white pepper plus a couple more pinches of salt and pepper, and use your spoon or spatula to crumble the beef into a fine consistency, cooking it for a few minutes until no longer pink.
- Next, add in the tomato paste along with the Worcestershire sauce and stir that into the beef mixture, then sprinkle in the flour and stir that in to blend well.
- Add in the beef stock or broth, followed by the diced potato, and stir to combine. Cover the pan and allow the filling to gently simmer just until the potatoes are tender and the sauce thickened, roughly 25-35 minutes.
- To finish the filling, add the thyme leaves, the chopped parsley and the peas, and stir to combine. Check to see if any additional salt or pepper is needed, and allow the beef filling to completely cool.
- Once your filling is nearly cooled, take your puff pastry sheets out of the freezer (you should have a total of 4 sheets), and allow them to thaw at room temp, roughly 40 to 45 minutes (if the pastry sheets thaw before your filling has cooled, place them into the fridge to keep cold.)
- When the puff pastry sheets have thawed, place one sheet at a time in front of you on a work surface. Roll the puff pastry sheet out to a size that is 10 by 10 inches, and cut it into 4, 5 inch squares. Place the squares onto a wax or parchment paper-lined sheet tray to hold while you repeat the process with all of the puff pastry sheets, placing more parchment paper or wax paper between layers of squares as needed to help prevent sticking.
- Once all of your puff pastry sheets are rolled and cut into 5” squares (you should end up with 16 squares in total), then place about 4 squares at a time in front of you. Add about ½ cup of the beef filling to the center of each square, forming it so that it is a slightly rectangular shaped mound, leaving some border to allow for sealing.
- Wet the edges of the filled square with a touch of water, and place another puff pastry square over top, covering the filling as if you were making a pie. Press the edges together (you can use a fork for this), then trim any excess edge to create a smaller “package” or rectangular parcel. Place onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or use two baking sheets, if needed), and repeat the process by assembling the rest of the hand pies. (You will have a total of 8 hand pies once assembled.)
- Once assembled, cut 2 to 3 small slits or “vents” into the top of each hand pie, to allow steam to escape while they bake. Then, place the hand pies into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to chill.
- Preheat your oven to 400°.
- Once chilled, brush some egg wash over each savory hand pie, sprinkle with a small touch of flaky salt, if using, and bake them for 24 to 26 minutes, or until a deep, golden brown.
- Allow the hand pies to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before eating, as the filling will be very hot.
Tips & Tidbits for my Savory Hand Pies recipe:
- Ground beef, or your favorite ground meat: I'm going for a classic beef hand pie here, but feel free to substitute your preferred protein. Ground lamb, pork, turkey, chicken, or even sausage can work well here. You can even make these vegetarian by using a meatless “ground beef” crumbles to create that texture without the meat.
- Russet potatoes for a bit of added starch: Diced russet potatoes are great in this filling, as they add a bit of natural starch which aids in thickening the filling and sauce. When you dice them into small, ½ inch cubes, the potatoes become tender fairly quickly, in about 25 to 35 minutes.
- Prepare ahead for convenience: To make the process quicker and easier the day you'd like to serve these hand pies, you can prepare the filling a day or two ahead and keep it in the fridge. Then, just spoon the cold filling into your thawed, rolled, and cut puff pastry squares, seal, chill, egg wash, and bake!
- Tasty sides to serve alongside your savory hand pies: If you'd like to keep things light and simple, then a green salad with spicy greens is a terrific accompaniment to these hand pies. But for a more comforting and hearty side, opt for these creamy mashed potatoes—they're so good!