These beef and lentil pies are a perfect hearty winter warmer. They’re packed with veggies and are very filling thanks to all the fibre from the veggies and lentils plus the protein from the lentils and beef.
These mini pies are great for a weekend lunch or the lunchbox. You can easily adapt this recipe to make one large pie by simply pouring the cooked mince mixture into an oven proof dish and topping with a sheet of pastry before baking until brown and flaky.
This recipe made 18 pies using a standard 1/3 cup muffin tin. I cut 18 circles from two sheets of pastry, and rolled out half of them to make them a little bigger to line the muffin tins.
500g lean beef mince
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, grated or finely diced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
6 button mushrooms, grated
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
pinch cracked black pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon gravy powder
400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
400g crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1-2 cups of water (or salt-reduced chicken stock)
2 sheets light puff-pastry, thawed (more if using a larger than standard muffin tin)
- Heat a large non-stick saucepan on medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the grated vegetables to the pan and let them sweat, stirring until soft (turn the heat down if they start to brown), around 3-4 minutes.
- Add the beef mince to the pan and use a wooden spoon to break it up and stir through the vegetables. Continue to stir as the beef browns, breaking up any lumps.
- When the meat is browned, add the Italian herbs, pepper, garlic and gravy powder. Mix well to combine. Then add the lentils, canned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup of the water.
- Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 40 minutes. Add more water if required, but don’t let the mixture become too wet. Give the mixture a taste test and season with salt, pepper or more herbs as required.
- Allow the mixture to cool a bit (or refrigerate overnight) before making into pies.
- Preheat oven to 180C (fan forced).
- Use round cookie cutters or an upturned water glass to cut circles of the pastry. You want the base circles to be larger than the top of the muffin tin, so it goes up the sides. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin or the side of the glass to get the desired size. The top circles should be the same size as the top of the muffin tin.
- Lightly spray (or brush) the muffin tin with olive oil. Line the bottom of each muffin tin with the larger circles, then top with a tablespoon (or two) of the mince mixture to fill. Top with the small circles and use the end of a spoon to push the lid to seal with the base. Price with a fork to let the air escape.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden and starting to flake. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.
Sarah Moore is a mum, and university qualified Registered Nutritionist with a decade of experience working with families to improve their health and well-being. Sarah has a simplistic and practical approach to family nutrition and can help the overwhelm of eating and living well with private consultations, email Q&A and her school lunchbox ebook. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy tips and tricks.