Veg and Chicken Pie

Serves 4

There is no denying that a flaky and buttery traditional chicken and vegetable pie is my idea of comfort food, but this pie really ticks all of the boxes. Chicken and vegetables in a warming gravy, topped with a much healthier alternative to puff pastry and still wonderfully crisp! It’s a nice way to create a different idea and perception of the humble classic. My husband loves to offer suggestions and lots of critique, but I was taken aback when he suggested that he felt there was too much chicken inside (from using 250 g). A serve of this pie is half the calories and saturated fat and a whopping quarter of the carbs. And will fill you up too.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons wholemeal plain flour
  • 250–400 g (9–14 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 3 cm chunks
  • 20 g butter (optional)
  • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced*
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1.5 cm (1 inch) pieces
  • 1 large celery stick (or 1 small celeriac or 1 large parsnip), peeled and cut into 1.5 cm (1 inch) pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary (or 1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon or sage
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 bunch broccollini (or 1 bunch asparagus [about 8 spears], woody stems removed), cut into 2 cm (3/4 inch) lengths
  • 10-12 sheets filo pastry
  • Non-accelerant spray oil
  • Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).


Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Put the flour in a bowl, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, add the chicken and toss until well coated. Add the chicken to the pan (reserving any leftover flour in the bowl) and cook for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning regularly. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, if using, and the leek, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes, until just tender. Sprinkle over the remaining flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring regularly, then return the chicken to the pan with the rosemary. Gradually stir in the chicken stock and the mustard. and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a 8-cup (2 litre) pie dish. Stir the broccollini through and set aside.

Lay out the filo sheets on a clean work surface. Drizzle or spray each sheet with oil, then scrunch up and place on top of the pie filling. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheets. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds, if using.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

TOP TIPS: If you can’t find nor like celeriac, you can also use 400 g (14 oz) sweet potato as an alternative to the one listed | Fennel seeds add a wonderful flavour to a chicken pie, but they are also used to aid digestion too. I liked to use a combination of both fennel and coriander seeds. I find it’s always a good idea to add introduce different spices to family members as early as possible | I use as much of the leeks as possible, i.e. before it starts to dry out and branch out at the top. You need to clean in-between the layers really well, and they may take a little longer to tenderise than the white or pale part, but I don’t feel it’s necessary to throw them away, especially in a recipe like this. You could use broccolini in place of asparagus.

batch cook | make ahead freezer make up a double batch of filling. Freeze half in an airtight container for up to 3 months.