This is a very straightforward pie recipe that you can use either as a main meal or as part of your buffet on any occasion you might be having. Mini shortcrust pastry pies filled with vegan chicken pieces, courgettes and a creamy vegan cheese sauce. These are great so serve either hot, chilled or at room temperature, though my preference is for straight out of the oven, hot and crispy.
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I have cheated here on the pastry and used a supermarket pre-made version, which makes this dish exceptionally easy to make. You can, of course make your own pastry if you don’t like to use the ready-made. The pastry from my Vegan Quiche Lorraine would be perfect, just make 1 ½ times the recipe to have enough for these pies. You can use any vegan chicken brand you like (I used the ‘What the Cluck’ brand for mine), or not use them at all and go for mushrooms instead, just keep them nice and chunky so that you have good substance in the filling. They are also fairly straight forward to make gluten free, just switch out the pastry for a gluten-free version and, if there are no vegan and gluten-free chicken pieces available, use the mushrooms instead.
You’ll need a 12-hole muffin tin to make the pies deep enough. I have 2 at home and use them for a variety of things, including Yorkshire puddings and even deep-filled mince pies at Christmas. You’ll want to grease the muffin tin all over with vegan butter, both inside the holes and on the surface. This will prevent any overspill from sticking to the tin and make extraction much easier after cooking.
I used round cookie cutters to get the pastry sizes and shapes that I need. The larger cookie cutter for the pie base is 9.5cm to 10cm in diameter. The smaller one for the lid is 6cm in diameter. These make a perfect size pastry case for the average muffin tin with the pastry rolled to about 4mm thick.
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Mini Vegan Chicken and Courgette Pies
Fairly easy to make Gluten-Free
For the Filling:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced very small
- 1 large courgette diced to 1cm pieces
- 160-200 g vegan chicken pieces cut into small chunks
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 50 g vegan butter
- 2 tbsp gram chickpea flour, or just use plain flour
- 1 veg stock cube
- 250 ml vegan milk
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves removed from their stalks and chopped
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- A dash of black pepper
- 100 g vegan cheese grated
- 50 ml vegan milk
You will Also Need:
- 1 ½ blocks (750g) ready-made shortcrust pastry Or use homemade pastry – see notes above.
- Vegan butter for greasing
- Vegan milk for brushing
- Some chopped thyme leaves to top
- Freshly ground salt to top
- If you’re using pre-made pastry, make sure it is out of the fridge for easier rolling when the time comes.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or wok and cook the onions and courgettes together for about 5-7 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the vegan chicken pieces to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until they are a little browned.
- Now put in the chopped garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Melt the vegan butter into the pan, then add the gram flour (or whichever flour you’re using) and the vegetable stock cube. Stir through.
- Gradually stir in the vegan milk, a little at a time, until you have a thick, smooth sauce. Now add the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, then set aside to cool enough for the pastry to handle it.
- While the filling is cooling, preheat the oven to gas 6/200C/400F.
- Roll out the pastry to about 4mm thick and, using the larger pastry cutter (see notes), cut out the pie bases, re-rolling the pastry as you need to.
- Grease your muffin tin in all the holes, plus on top using the vegan butter. Now line all 12 muffin hole with the pastry rounds and press them down and against the edges, so that they come up to the top. You should have enough pastry and filling at the end to make an additional 4 pies. You can either use a second muffin tin and cook them together or make the additional 4 after the first batch has been removed from the tin.
- Fill the pastry with the filling, until just below the top, then cut out the lids with the smaller pastry cutter (you will need to re-roll your pastry a few times to use it all up). Place the pastry lids on top of the filling and brush with vegan milk. Top each pie with the chopped thyme leaves and a grind of salt.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes, then move them to the top of the oven for an additional 10 minutes to brown the pastry. Remember to swap them over and allow extra time if you are using 2 muffin tins at the same time.
- Serve either while hot or allow them to cool to room temperature. You can also chill them for another day.
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