Butternut squash, spinach and goat’s cheese pie with cheesy pastry recipe

By Anna Burges-Lumsden

  1. Serves 8-10
  2. Takes 40 minutes to make, 1 hour 15 minutes to cook, plus cooling, chilling and defrosting
  3. Rating

This wonderfully warming vegetarian pie recipe makes an impressive centrepiece and is a great alternative Sunday roast.

tried and tested
Butternut squash, spinach and goat’s cheese pie with cheesy pastry


  1. 2 (about 1kg each) butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into thick slices
  2. 4 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  4. 2 tsp ras el hanout (from the spice section of most major supermarkets)
  5. Pinch of chilli flakes
  6. 2-3 red onions, thinly sliced
  7. 4 whole garlic cloves with skins on
  8. 1kg baby spinach
  9. 250g ricotta
  10. 50g pine nuts, toasted
  11. 200g soft, rindless vegetarian goat’s cheese,
  12. sliced

For the pastry

  1. 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  2. 50g coarse polenta
  3. 150g cold butter, cut into cubes
  4. 60g grated vegetarian Parmesan
  5. 1 medium free-range egg, beaten


  1. 1. For the pastry, mix the flour, polenta and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl, add 50g of the grated Parmesan and mix with a table knife until the mixture comes together. Measure out 4 tbsp cold water and add a little at a time until the dough just sticks together (you may not need all the water). Knead it gently until it forms a ball, wrap the pastry in cling film and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Scatter the sliced butternut squash over 2 or 3 large roasting trays, drizzle with half the olive oil, scatter over the cumin seeds, ras el hanout and chilli flakes, and season well with salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes.
  3. 3. Meanwhile, add the sliced onions and garlic to another roasting tin with the rest of the olive oil. Halfway through cooking the squash, add the onions to the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove the squash and onions from the oven, squeeze out the garlic from their skins, mash the roasted garlic into the onions and leave to cool slightly.
  4. 4. Place the spinach in a colander over the sink and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Refresh under cold water, then squeeze dry to remove all the excess water. Chop the spinach, put into a bowl, season and mix with the ricotta, then set aside.
  5. 5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use it to line the base and sides of a 23cm springform tin. Add half the spinach mixture in a layer, then distribute half the roasted squash on top of that. Scatter with half the pine nuts, then half the goat’s cheese. Repeat with the rest of the spinach mixture, butternut squash, pine nuts and goat’s cheese. Finally, add the garlicky onions in a layer on top.
  6. 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the rest of the pastry, then lay on top of the pie, pushing in the edges to seal well. Make a hole in the middle of the pie and decorate the top with leaves made from any leftover pastry. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg, scatter with the rest of the Parmesan and chill for 20 minutes.
  7. 7. Cover with cling film and foil and freeze, uncooked, for up to 1 month.
  8. 8. When ready to eat, remove the foil and cling film and defrost fully in the fridge. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown on top. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional info

Per serving (based on 10): 564kcals, 32.2g fat (15.5g saturated), 19.6g protein, 52.3g carbs, 12.8g sugar, 1.1g salt

Wine Recommendation

This pie is delectable with a glass of appley, medium-bodied South African Chenin Blanc.


Please register or sign-in to leave a comment. We’d love to hear what you think.


October 2

Not sure about all these comments, have made this pie a few times for my family (by request!). It is a fantastic meal.


January 31

I completely disagree with the negative comments about this recipe, it is a classic combination which is absolutely delicious particuarly at room temperature. Also, at room temperature it cuts well and has really well defined layers. My only comments would be to caramelise the onions well - I added a teaspoon of brown sugar and a good splosh of balsamic vinegar. I also like my pastry a little shorter so I put in about 30% shortening and 70% butter. I prefer a higher pastry to filling ratio so made it as individual pies using dariole moulds and they looked stunning but you would need to adjust the quantities. Superb, proper showstopper pie!


October 22

I agree with kestalsky; this pie looks great but really fails on taste and texture. The components of the filling do not gel well together in any way. The cumin attempts to bring together the vegetables and cheeses with some heat, but for the most part they remain as separate elements, each vying for attention. In terms of texture, the pie just falls apart on cutting, and is neither dry nor moist. It's like a bunch of leftovers has been chucked into a pie case with an idea that some curry powder will bring it all together. It doesn't. The pasrty, however, is a winner but requires a long bake to bring it to crispness.


August 26

We tried this recipe for dinner tonight - the individual components are lovely but they taste very strange together. The parmesan and polenta pastry is sublime, the roasted red onion and garlic is really tasty, and the seasoned butternut squash is beautiful. Mixed together, however, just tastes plain strange! We will most certainly be stealing elements of this pie for other meals... but in the meanwhile we have half of this huge thing left to get through/dispose of!


October 30

This also works really well as two smaller pies (which serve 4 each) as they keep their shape better with the higher pastry to filling ratio. Eat one on the day and freeze the other. Use the filling quantity specified but make 1.5 times the amount of pastry in the recipe. Use a standard sandwich cake tin to hold each pie, which will then take a single layer of each filling type.

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