There’s something extremely satisfying about holding a warm hand pie and knowing you have it all to yourself. And while apple turnovers and peach hand pies are always a hit, a pocket of savory filling is a welcome change of pace.
Broccoli and cheese is a combo that can even convince picky eaters to eat some vegetables and it pairs extremely well with a buttery pastry. Kids will love them, adults will feel like a kid—basically, everyone wins.
They’re flaky, cheesy, garlicky—best of all, they’re easy. If you can remember to stick the puff pastry in the fridge to thaw in the morning, then they’re even quick enough for a weeknight. Serve broccoli cheddar hand pies as a game night snack, at an all-ages gathering, or build a meal around them.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
To keep this recipe quick and easy, I utilized frozen, chopped broccoli and frozen puff pastry. If you buy pre-shredded cheese, then there’s very little prep.
Briefly cook and toss together the filling before rolling a sheet of puff pastry into a slightly larger square and dividing it into four pieces. Add the filling, seal the pastry into a simple triangle shape, and paint the tops with egg wash. Repeat with the remaining sheets of pastry and bake until golden brown.
Tips for Using Frozen Puff Pastry
I always keep a box of puff pastry stashed in my freezer. While I enjoy making my own pie dough, you will never catch me making homemade puff pastry. The labor-intensive dough is a real challenge to work with in anything less than a professional kitchen by anyone less than a pastry chef. I know my limits.
Luckily, frozen puff pastry is a high quality pre-made ingredient and a casual eater would never know the difference. To ensure successful pastries, follow these simple guidelines:
- Thaw… but not too much. Make sure your puff pastry is fully thawed before you begin but don’t let it get too warm. You want it pliable so you can roll and fold it but not melting on your counter. Depending on your kitchen temperature, thawing will take about 30 to 45 minutes, or you can stick it in the fridge overnight.
- Flour your work surface. Puff pastry tends to come coated in flour, so you won’t need much—just enough to keep it from sticking to the counter.
- Use a pizza cutter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, a pizza cutter is a great way to quickly and cleanly cut puff pastry into squares. A sharp knife also works just fine.
- Make it shine with egg wash. Egg wash, a simple mixture of beaten egg and a little water, will help you seal up all of the edges of the pastry to prevent leaks. It also lends the puff pastry an attractive golden color.
- Utilize the fridge. If your puff pastry starts feeling too warm and limp at any point, stick it in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. This includes after assembling the hand pies—you’ll end up with a flakier crust if the pastry is cool when it goes in the oven.
Frozen, chopped broccoli makes this recipe extra easy, but you can also make hand pies using fresh broccoli. You’ll want about three cups of chopped fresh broccoli, including florets and stalks. Blanch and drain the veggie before beginning the recipe. Alternatively, swap the broccoli for cauliflower.
Can You Freeze Hand Pies?
Broccoli cheddar hand pies are an excellent make ahead meal. Sometimes I’ll make a batch, bake half of them for enjoying fresh, and freeze the other half for later enjoyment.
To freeze: After assembling the hand pies and crimping the edges, skip brushing the top with egg wash. Place the pies on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two, or until frozen solid. Transfer to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
Bake the frozen hand pies directly from the freezer (no need to thaw) and add a few minutes on to the bake time, 23 to 28 minutes total.
What Can You Serve with Hand Pies?
If you’re enjoying a hand pie as a savory snack it needs no accompaniment, although a dip in marinara sauce is a nice touch. For a light lunch, serve with a raw kale salad or a cold pea salad with smoked almonds. A lentil salad piled high with fresh vegetables is a bit more substantial. For a hearty dinner, serve these hand pies alongside bowls of warming minestrone soup or chili con carne.
How to Reheat Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
Broccoli cheddar hand pies reheat well, too. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days and reheat in the oven or toaster oven at 375°F for about 10 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and the filling is hot.
More Savory Puff Pastry Recipes
Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
For the filling
2 tablespoons salted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen chopped broccoli
5 ounces (2 1/2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste, plus more for topping
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
For the assembly
1 (17.3 ounce) package puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets, approximately 9.75 x 10.5 inches)
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
Prepare the filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the garlic and sauté just until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped broccoli and stir. Sauté until the broccoli is just thawed, 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Stir just until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool a bit while you prepare the puff pastry and egg wash.
Preheat the oven and prepare baking sheets:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Make the egg wash:
In a small bowl beat the egg and water together. Set aside until ready to use.
Prepare the puff pastry:
Lightly flour a clean work surface and lay out one sheet of puff pastry. Roll out to an 11-inch square. Cut into four equal squares and transfer the squares to the prepared baking sheet.
Apply egg wash and fill the hand pies:
Brush egg wash along the outside edge of each square. Top each square with a heaping 1/4 cup of filling, mounding into a thick line that runs diagonally across the squares.
Leave at least a 3/4 inch border around the edge of each square empty so you have room to seal the pastry. (After filling 4 squares you should have half of the filling left.)
Seal hand pies and brush with egg wash:
Fold each square diagonally over the filling, making a triangle. Seal the edges and crimp with a fork.
Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with salt. Poke the tops once or twice with the fork. If possible, place the baking sheet in the fridge while you prepare the remaining hand pies.
Finish remaining hand pies:
Repeat process with the second sheet of puff pastry.
Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway. The pastry should be puffed, golden brown, and the bottoms a dark golden brown but not burnt.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Use caution since the filling will be hot.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 13g||17%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||32%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 17mg||87%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|