Autumnal Pie in a Pan

This pie was another lockdown creation. I’m not sure where the idea of a pie in the pan came from, but it sparked our imagination when we realised there would be less washing up! I came up with the recipe from whatever we had in the cupboards at the time but we were really happy with how it turned out so I’ve pretty much stuck to it! I think the flavours and warmth lend itself well to the autumn. There are so many varieties of squash and pumpkins this time of year, so you can experiment with whichever you can get your hands on. Butternut squash will definitely work well and we’ve also used red kuri squash which was just as delicious and has such a gorgeous burnt orange colour to it, it’s very easy to prepare too. Pumpkin will work well also! You just need to get one with enough flesh inside to fill the pie.

Goes well with…

This pie is a great centrepiece and goes really well home-made rosemary salted chips and minted mushy peas.


Make sure it is definitely an oven-proof pan i.e no plastic.

It’s a good idea to leave the pan to cool slightly before serving and remember that handle will stay hot for ages! So be careful, especially if there are kids around. This recipe easily serves 4 people, but depending on the size of your pan, you could stretch it further.

You can make the mixture ahead of time and add the pastry later once it’s cooled. This can be an easier way to get the pastry just right without it melting too quickly.

Autumnal Pie in a Pan

A hearty, autumnal pie, with squash, mushrooms, ale and puy lentils. Served in a pan for fun and less washing up!

Course Dinner
Keyword lentils, pie, pumpkin, squash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 420 g squash or pumpkin butternut squash, red kuri squash or pumpkin
  • 3 jumbo mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp tomato pureè
  • 3 Tbsp cornflour
  • 250 ml ale we've used dark and pale, both work
  • 250 g pre-cooked puy lentils I like the merchant brand but tinned would work
  • 300 ml veg stock
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes optional
  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tsp oat milk or other plant based milk


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c then start by preparing the squash. Peel the skin and cut off the ends, then slice down the middle to reveal the seeds. Scrape the seeds out and discard. Cut the squash into chunky bite-size cubes, place onto a baking tray with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

  2. Next, peel the mushrooms if the skin is dirty then cut into bite-size pieces, baring in mind they will shrink in the oven. Add to the baking tray with the squash and give it a good mix - rub the oil in with your hands to make sure the veg is well coated. Then pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Whilst that cooks away in the oven you can move on to prepping the rest of the filling.

  3. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic. Trim the ends of the leek and discard along with the outside layer of skin, then slice into half moons.

  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in an oven proof saucepan (i.e. no plastic), when hot add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they soften. Add in the leeks, garlic and herbs, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. When they have begun to caramelise, add in the tomato pureè and stir through.

  5. Next add in the cornflour and give it a good mix. Then slowly stir in the ale and cook the mixture until the liquid reduces by half. Stir occasionally whilst you make up the veg stock.

  6. Add the lentils to the pan along with the veg stock, marmite, soy sauce, sugar and chilli flakes. Hopefully by now the squash and mushrooms are about ready. (If you're super speedy and you've got time to kill, you can turn the heat down to the lowest setting until the timer goes off!) Once the squash is well... squashy, add to the pan along with the mushrooms and give it a good stir. Turn the heat up slightly and cook the filling until it reduces and thickens to a gravy like consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Take the pastry out of the fridge to come to room temperature. Then take the pan off the heat and measure the pastry to fit the pan. You'll probably need to trim the edges to make it circular and you don't want excess pastry hanging over as it may burn. You can use any excess pastry to decorate the top! With the tip of a knife, make a few air holes in the middle of the pastry. Brush with a little oat milk then turn the oven up to 200°c, pop it in to cook for around 20-25 mins or until golden and crisp. Don't forget the handle of the pan will stay hot for ages! Leave to cool for 5 minutes before serving.