Delicious recipes for cottage pie and chicken tikka pie & how to freeze them

HAPPY British Pie Week! Chicken, veggie or fruity – who doesn’t love a good pie? They can be made in advance and popped in the freezer ready to cook whenever you need them. 

My cottage pie recipe with its mashed potato topping and my chicken tikka pie with puff pastry topping are both delicious. My top tip for this week is to freeze pie fillings flat in a bag, with the topping separate – this saves a huge amount of space, rather than freezing the pie fully assembled in a large dish. 

Cottage pie

(Serves: 4)

Prep time: 20 minutes 

Cook time: 35 minutes


  • 2tbsp oil 
  • 115g frozen diced onion 
  • 70g frozen diced carrots 
  • 500g lean beef mince 
  • 1 beef stock cube 
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 70g sliced mushrooms 
  • 2 x 425g packets pre-made mash 


Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Fry the onion and carrots until soft. Add the minced beef and cook until just brown. Crumble in the dry stock cube, then add the tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix well.
Tip the mushrooms into the pan and mix. Cook for around 10 minutes, adding a splash of boiling water if it looks a little thick.

Pour the pie filling into a heatproof dish and crumble over the ready-made mash topping.

When cool, it is ready for the freezer.

Ready to freeze:

For a large freezer: Freeze in a heatproof dish with a lid. For a small freezer: Transfer the pie filling to a freezer bag and freeze flat (without the mash topping). Just remember to buy your ready-made mash on the week you plan to eat it.

Ready to cook:

Defrost the pie in the fridge overnight. If it’s already in a heatproof dish, remove the lid and heat in the oven at 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6 for 30-40 minutes until piping hot all through. If the pie was frozen in a freezer bag, empty the filling into a heatproof dish, top with the mash and heat as above.

Chicken tikka pie

(Serves: 4)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 115g frozen diced onions 
  • 280g frozen sliced peppers
  • 2 heaped tbsp korma spice paste 
  • 4 chicken breasts, diced
  • 120ml crème fraiche 
  • 120ml double cream
  • 240ml chicken stock (made using 1 stock cube)
  • 1tbsp mango chutney (optional)
  • 375g pack ready-roll puff pastry 


Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and peppers and soften for 5 minutes.

Then add the korma paste. Tip the diced chicken into the frying pan and cook, stirring to combine, for 8 minutes on a medium heat until the chicken is cooked through.

Stir in crème fraiche, cream and stock, and cook for another 5-6 minutes until sauce is smooth.

Remove from the heat and add the optional mango chutney and salt and pepper to taste.

Ready to freeze:

Once cooled completely put the mix in a labelled reusable freezer bag. Keep your packet of puff pastry next to it in the freezer so it is easily accessed when needed.

Ready to eat: 

Defrost pie mix and pastry. Then put the mix into a saucepan and heat until piping hot. Put the pie mix into an ovenproof dish and cover with the pastry. Brush top of the pastry with a little milk for a golden crust. Cook at 190C/170 fan/ gas mark 5 for around 35 minutes.

  • The Batch Lady: Healthy Family Favourites (£20, HQ) is out now. Also see The Batch Lady Meal Planner (HQ, £9.99).

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