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Reader recipe: Popeye pie

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:
Reader recipe: Popeye pie
Recipe by Abby Harden. Recipe photograph by Ant Duncan

Reader recipe: Popeye pie

Abby from Borthyn, North Wales, entered our competition for a favourite original pie recipe. Her puff pastry pie has an unusual ‘sauce’ made from steamed cashews and cauliflower, which is deliciously creamy and savoury

Serves: 4
timePrep time: 30 mins
timeTotal time:

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Nutritional information (per serving)


  • 350g cauliflower
  • 100g cashew kernels
  • 1 x 375g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry*
  • 200ml vegetable stock (made with ½ stock cube)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra to grease
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 170g pack This Isn’t Chicken Pieces (or similar)
  • 1 x 260g bag young leaf spinach
  • cooked carrots and peas, to serve (optional)

Step by step

Get ahead
Make the pie fillings up to 24 hours ahead; assemble the pie up to 2 hours before baking. Leftovers can be reheated in the oven, covered with foil.
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a steamer basket with the cashew nuts. Steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the puff pastry from the fridge to soften slightly.
  2. Once cooked, tip the soft cauliflower and cashews into a blender or processor. Add the stock, nutritional yeast, nutmeg and a good grinding of pepper and blitz to a purée. Set aside to cool.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and cook on a medium heat for about 6 minutes until softened. Mix in the ‘chicken’ pieces, then stir in the spinach in handfuls, cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Season to taste then let the filling cool.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6, with a baking tray in the oven to get hot. Lightly grease a pie dish, about 18 x 24cm base measurements. Unroll the pastry, cut in half and roll one piece out further, then use to fully line the tin. Add the spinach filling, followed by the cauli-cashew sauce. Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then top the pie with the second piece of pastry, rolling out first if needed. Use a fork to crimp and seal the edges, trim off the excess pastry and use to decorate the pie top if you like. Make a couple of steam holes in the pie lid.
  5. Bake on the hot tray for 30-35 minutes until golden. Let the pie settle for 5-10 minutes before serving with carrots and peas, if you like.

    *Check your pastry is vegan, if required.

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