Tasty Ham and Cheese Hand Pies which are a great way of using leftovers. These hand pies are filled with ham, béchamel sauce and vegetables, but you can use any leftover meats and vegetables you like.
Cooking with Leftovers
My mother is someone who can effortlessly create a delicious three-course meal from a simple fridge raid, with an uncanny ability to never let anything go to waste. Sadly, I did not inherit this talent, nor did I inherit the palate to eat leftovers.
There have been periods of frugality where I would re-serve and reinvent leftovers, but these moments have often been brief, especially once I would inevitably arrive at a point where each meal was always incorporating something leftover and I was forever feeling burdened by any excess food.
Hand Pie Recipe
But as a mother to two young children, leftovers are inevitable and I have had to teach myself to become creative with whatever food I might find in our fridge, as well as try to minimise food waste as far as possible.
And this recipe for hand pies from Rachel Khoo’s cookbook, My Little French Kitchen, has been a godsend.
Ham and Cheese Hand Pies
These Ham and Cheese Hand Pies are essentially little puff pastry parcels filled with ham and vegetables swathed in a savoury and cheesy béchamel sauce.
Comfort food in a little package.
How to Make Ham and Cheese Hand Pies
What’s really lovely about this recipe is that you can use whatever leftover cooked meat and vegetables you have, provided that they would go well with a cheesy béchamel sauce.
Suggestions for proteins include:
- Shredded roast chicken
- Flaked cold fish
Suggestions for leftover vegetables in these hand pies include:
For this reason, I haven’t stipulated quantities for the meat and vegetables in the recipe below.
My tip is to add just enough béchamel sauce to bind everything together comfortably; the pastry puffs will leak if there is too much sauce, or they will be too dry if there is not enough sauce.
I originally intended to try this recipe as something for hubby and I to enjoy at dinner, but we were both surprised to discover that son was also happy to munch on some mini-sized pastry puffs I had made for him, oblivious to the vegetables which were masked by the savoury béchamel sauce.
I guess he’s like his mother after all – we both have a soft spot for anything wrapped in puff pastry.Print
Ham and Cheese Hand Pies
Tasty Ham and Cheese Hand Pies which are a great way of using leftovers. These hand pies are filled with ham, béchamel sauce and vegetables, but you can use any leftover meats and vegetables you like. Perfect for snacks and light meals.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: French
For the Béchamel Sauce
- 30 g (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 30 g (¼ cup) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- ½ chicken stock cube (optional)
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- freshly grated nutmeg
For the Hand Pies
- 100 g (3½ oz) Comté, Gruyère or Cheddar cheese (cut into 1cm chunks)
- ham or other cooked meat (e.g. shredded roast chicken)
- boiled potatoes, cut into 1 cm chunks
- boiled carrots, cut into 1 cm chunks
- chives, finely chopped
- 4–6 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg mixed with some milk for egg wash
For the Béchamel Sauce (for step-by-step photos, please see my recipe for Béchamel Sauce)
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the flour and stock cube (if using) and cook the paste for about 5 minutes.
- Slowly whisk in the milk.
- Simmer gently until the sauce thickens to the consistency of double cream.
- Remove the pan from the heat, add some freshly grated nutmeg, and leave to cool completely.
- The sauce will thicken more upon cooling.
For the Hand Pies
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) (without fan).
- Place the cheese, meat, vegetables and herbs into a large bowl.
- Add enough béchamel sauce to bind everything together.
- Cut out rounds from the puff pastry, about 12-16 cm (5-6 inches) in diameter.
- Spoon some of the filling onto one side of the pastry, fold over and use a fork to seal the edges.
- Brush with egg wash and bake for about 30 minutes until they are lightly golden.
Take care not to overfill the pastry puffs, otherwise they will burst and leak in the oven.
You can also use this recipe to make more traditional looking pies in muffin tins or even a large pie tin. Simply line the tins with puff pastry with enough for overhang, fill with the mixture, and cover with another layer of puff pastry. Trim the edges and brush with egg wash before baking.
Please treat this recipe as a guide and use any meats or vegetables you like. Other suggestions include: * leftover roast or boiled chicken, shredded * leftover cooked firm white fish, flaked * frozen peas * mix of frozen peas, carrots and corn
You can make these pastry puffs ahead of time (omit the egg wash) and freeze them in freezer bags for a couple of months. Brush with egg wash just before baking, and bake them from frozen.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 460
- Sugar: 2.8g
- Sodium: 241.6mg
- Fat: 30.3g
- Carbohydrates: 35.8g
- Fiber: 1.5g
- Protein: 11.1g
- Cholesterol: 32.5mg
This recipe was first published on 22 January 2014. It has been updated with more comprehensive recipe notes.