Recipe: Wintry Butternut Squash & Feta Pie

When it came to Christmas I got a whole ton of, "But what are you going to eat?!", regarding my recent vegetarianism. Answer: everything. No, I didn't mean that I would be eating turkey. What I mean is that, firstly I never really liked turkey all that much, and secondly, I had arguably too many options for food not too few.

My dad spotted a recipe for Butternut squash and Stilton pie from the Tesco magazine (created by Anna Burges-Lumsden, link here). We swapped the Stilton out for feta because, eww, blue cheese, and it ended up tasting wonderful. It would make a good all-round winter dinner recipe. If you want to make it you will need:

  • Olive oil
  • 1kg butternut squash, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 2 red onions (we used three)
  • 2 garlic cloves (squish and chop up)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli
  • 200g wild mushrooms
  • 500g fresh spinach
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 100g Stilton or feta cubed

Essentially we took a colossal amount of butternut squash... no that's not enough... more... more... and grabbed the red onion, garlic, and wild mushrooms. We cut each ingredient up into various sized little pieces- the butternut squash is meant to be around 1cm squared; and we had to remember to crush the garlic before chopping that up. The recipe instructed us to cook all of these together but we ignored that entirely because nothing is worse than over or underdone butternut squash.

We sauteed each of the ingredients with oil- only putting onion and garlic in the same pan (MAXIMAL washing up)- until the garlic, onion, and mushrooms were reduced; and until the squash showed only a little resistance to a fork. It is cooked slightly more when the pie crust is baked. We also added another clove of garlic because it didn't look like enough (we are highly technical chefs in this house). Once all ingredients were done, we combined them then realised I forgot the chilli flakes. Oops. I just added them to the mixture after cooking, but you are meant to put them in with the onions during heating.

Then we left it overnight, cause it was Christmas Eve and we had to watch a documentary about baby penguins. An important step in the recipe.

In the morning, it was time to make the pie. The mix is intended to go into a 9-inch round tin but we were making multiple miniature pies in glass pots. We just had to create a few layers of filo on the bottom of each pot, leaving overlap across the edges. The last thing to make was wilted spinach. Whilst that sounds fancy, turns out all you have to do is chuck boiled water over a big bag of it then drain it and chuck it in with the squash mix. Tah dah! In the filo bases we created layers of veggie mix, then feta (or Stilton if you fancy the original blue cheese version), then covered the top with a last bit of filo. Finally we folded up the overhangs and scrunched them all up in a twist.

Bake for 45 mins if it's a pie, or we did 25-30 mins for the little ones. Basically wait till' the pastry is golden. You can make this pie a week or so in advance and freeze it, but we have never been that organised. I had it for Christmas day and then a leftover pie a few days later. Yum. I forgot to take a christmas day image, but you can see the leftovers on the left below.

One note of caution- we ended up with masses of leftover squash mix. Even if we had used the recommended 9 inch tin we would have had lots. So either think up something else to do with it, or cut down the numbers a little!


Merry Christmas everyone, I hope it was a fantastic day. 

What did you have for Christmas Dinner? We also had a celeriac soup and chocolate roulade.


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