Shepherd’s Hand Pies

In honor of the holiday yesterday, I wanted to drop in today with a quick little celebration post. What, you didn’t know yesterday was a holiday? Your work and school didn’t close in honor of National Pi Day? That’s Pi, not Pie, as in 3.14 or March 14. So maybe it’s not the most famous holiday, but any holiday observed with the eating of pie is worthy of celebration to me. So, if you forgot to celebrate yesterday, let’s roll out our crusts and make up for it this weekend.

I would have LOVED a sweet pie, but I gave up sweets for Lent and I didn’t really have that kind of time on my hands. So, to keep things ultra simple, I used a leftover pizza crust as the crust of these adorable hand pies. Much easier and less finicky than regular pie dough and equally delicious. If you don’t have a pre-made pizza dough on-hand, you can make your own pizza dough or use regular pie dough. In honor of the more well-known holiday approach, I decided to keep things Irish and do these hand pies Shepherd’s style. In lieu of the traditional lamb or more common beef, I substituted lentils because I didn’t have any meat thawed St. Patty’s Day falls on a Friday during Lent this year and thus we cannot eat meat. With the combination of the heavy mashed potatoes plus pizza crust, I did not miss the meat one bit, although this is quite a carb-heavy meal. It is also cheap, easy, and the lentils+veggies give you a nice serving of both protein and fiber.

The Taste Tester remarked that these “tasted much better than I thought they would,” which, if you have been reading for awhile you know, is about the biggest compliment I could ask for from him.

I hope you enjoyed your Pi Day as much as we did and have a lovely St. Patrick’s Day. If you are looking for more Irish or green themed recipes, look here and here. With any luck, I will be back with one more this week.

Shepherd's Hand Pies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 5 medium russet potatoes
  • ½ cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup green or black lentils, dry
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T ketchup
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. dried thyme
  • 2 pre-made pizza crusts
  • 2 T butter, melted
  1. Prepare potatoes by washing, peeling, boiling, and mashing.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, in a medium skillet sauté onion, carrots, and mushrooms (if using) in a little bit of olive oil until soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and stir for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth, cover, and simmer until lentils are cooked through, 15-25 minutes. You may need to add additional water/broth if things start to dry out.
  5. Once the lentils are cooked, stir in the peas, sauce, ketchup, and spices. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until well combined. At this point, lentils and potatoes can be refrigerated overnight.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  7. Remove lentils from heat, stir in mashed potatoes.
  8. Roll out pizza crust, and cut into rounds using a small bowl as a guide. Alternatively, for bigger pies, you can cut the crust into fourths.
  9. To form pies, fill the center of each round with a few tablespoons of the lentil mixture. Fold pies over and crimp the edges to form a seal. Place on a baking sheet and brush with butter.
  10. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.


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