Savory Pie Recipes You've Never Tried Before

When you think of pie, you probably have something sweet in mind, right? Maybe you just thought of a pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream at Thanksgiving, a light and airy custard-based pie, or a classic apple pie full of wonderful autumn spices like cinnamon. But pies aren't just for satisfying a sweet tooth. In fact, they can be savory, too, and can even stand in as a complete meal — not just dessert. Savory pies often bring together protein, vegetables, and pie crust for a complete package. Some of them are even portable pies, making it all the easier to, yes, have some pie for lunch.

You may even already have some examples in your mind without knowing it. Some classic savory pies you're probably familiar with are likely shepherd's pie, pot pie, quiche, and empanadas, for starters. That said, other traditionally savory pies like pasties deserve some attention, too.

These savory pie recipes might feature familiar favorites and will definitely include some you might not have tried before. Give these humble pies a shot and rethink your definition of pie. It could mean eating pie for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, not just dessert. And don't we all deserve pie sometimes?

Classic shepherd's pie

Shepherd's pie is a satisfying and hearty dish that's great for cool weather or family dinners any time of year. It features simple, easy-to-find ingredients that are a cinch to prep and cook. 

To make this classic shepherd's pie, you'll boil and cook vegetables first, followed by browning ground meat like beef or lamb. Then, you'll make mashed potatoes and layer all of these ingredients together, topping the meat and veggies with mashed potatoes, cheese, and breadcrumbs before baking. The baked mashed potato layer forms a crust that resembles a pie, while the cheese and breadcrumbs on top get wonderfully bubbly and crispy. This is a perfect meal for cool nights or anytime you'd like a classic pie dish.

Easy chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie might sound like it belongs to the world of semi-secret and ultra-complicated recipes in a grandmother's arsenal, but it could be easier to make than you think. It features protein-rich chicken, a wide variety of vegetables, and a thick broth and crust that make it both a delicious and very accessible comfort food.

This chicken pot pie recipe takes some shortcuts compared to other recipes, meaning that you'll need just 10 ingredients, 15 minutes of prep, and a baking time of about 25 to 30 minutes. To make easy chicken pot pie, you'll first dice and cook vegetables in broth, then make gravy, and finally assemble the dish with cooked chicken. It's all topped off with a puff pastry crust that becomes wonderfully flaky in the oven. If you'd like your pastry to brown, you can cover it in an egg wash for an extra hit of color to round out the meal.

Mexican shepherd's pie

Want a twist on the classic shepherd's pie? Spice things up with a Mexican version that includes beans, pepper, and a whole lot of flavor to take on an old culinary standby.

This Mexican shepherd's pie recipe still features ground meat (your choice of beef, turkey, or pork) and is topped with mashed potatoes, also just like the classic shepherd's pie. But it also features peppers, corn, black beans, and pepper jack cheese. The red bell peppers used here add color, not to mention a good dose of vitamin C, but not really spice. Instead, the heat comes in from finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. 

Chipotles, by the way, are simply smoked and aged jalapenos, according to PepperScale, though don't use that as an excuse to dismiss their unique flavor and smoky heat. If you're looking for a milder version, skip the chipotle and use mild taco seasoning on the ground meat instead.

Steak and potato pasties

Pasties are portable meat pies, originally enjoyed by 19th-century Cornish miners who were looking for a portable, filling, and warming lunch as they worked beneath the ground. As they and their families emigrated to the United States, many brought their lunchtime favorite over to Michigan's Upper Peninsula and other regions, according to NPR. Today, pasties are popular as a handy package for a portable and delicious meal typically featuring meat, vegetables, and bread.

This pasties recipe walks you through making the dough, steak, and vegetable filling, and putting it all together to bake them. They can be time-consuming, with a two-hour prep — though that's mostly devoted to letting the pastry dough rest — and a one-hour cook, but it's worth it for this impressive meat pastry.

Gordon Ramsay's shepherd's pie with a twist

Shepherd's pie is often confused with cottage pie. Cottage pie, a classic British food, typically features ground beef, while shepherd's pie features lamb. But ground lamb isn't as easy to come by as ground beef, so many shepherd's pie recipes swap in beef for lamb interchangeably – though you could use lamb if you're seeking a traditional pie or you don't eat beef.

This shepherd's pie recipe based on one from Gordon Ramsay has a twist to it: the meat isn't ground lamb or beef, but instead, venison. This game meat comes from deer and is somewhat similar to ground beef, but leaner and still just as flavorful. There's also rutabaga in the mashed potatoes to add a little earthiness and interest to this new take on a savory pie.

Beef empanadas

Empanadas are pocket pies with roots in Spain going back as far as 1520, according to The Spruce Eats. They've since become a popular meal throughout the Americas, including their deployment as a special holiday treat in New Mexico. They can be sweet or savory, and a classic empanada variety is beef empanadas. This beef empanadas recipe features ground beef, onion, and red bell pepper with cheese in a pie crust wrapper. 

Empanadas are simple, making them an incredibly accessible addition to your meal rotation. And if you're working with a pre-made pie crust, you can have them ready in as little as 30 minutes. They're great on their own or served with rice, beans, and guacamole.

Classic quiche Lorraine

Quiche is a versatile egg pie that can fit in just about any ingredient or work as any meal you need it to be. Whether you're making an impressive breakfast or brunch spread, quiche can wow guests with simple ingredients that bring big, big flavor and real visual impact. Paired with salad or fruit, quiche can make a well-rounded dinner or lunch, too.

This quiche Lorraine recipe has a few basic ingredients, including a time-saving frozen pie crust, bacon, chives, and Gruyere cheese. The Gruyere can easily be swapped for another variety of cheese, such as Swiss or Emmental. The egg mixture sets up nicely with eggs, egg yolks, sour cream, milk, and heavy cream, all of which lend a savory depth and richness to the finished pie.

Bacon and onion quiche

Quiche can bring together a variety of ingredients in an egg pie, making it a wonderful base for all sorts of flavor experimentation. The possibilities for what to put in a quiche are endless, including sundried tomatoes, goat cheese, green onions, bacon, yellow onions, broccoli, and ham.

This quiche recipe features bacon and caramelized onion, which offers a rich flavor with a relatively slight ingredient list. You can make your own crust or use a store-bought one if you want to save a bit on time. Either way, you'll caramelize, onions, add bacon, and place inside the pie crust, then pour over the egg mixture with eggs, half and half, nutmeg, and grated cheddar cheese before baking for 30 minutes.