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Easy Cornish Pasty Recipe Plus 10 Filling Ideas

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

This homemade cheeseburger pasty is a tasty and healthier alternative to fast food. Learn how to make this and other pasty variations!

This homemade cheeseburger pasty is a tasty and healthier alternative to fast food. Learn how to make this and other pasty variations!

What Is a Pasty?

A pasty is any pastry-wrapped filling that has been baked until crisp and golden. Many people are familiar with Cornish pasties, which is understandable because they are perhaps the most famous type of pasty. However, it is important to know that there is virtually no limit to what you can incorporate in a pasty. While a traditional Cornish pasty normally contains beef, potato and swede (rutabaga), it is possible to include other meats, vegetables and a whole host of different ingredients, as well.

This article will look at 10 different potential pasty fillings in an attempt to show just how versatile the whole pasty concept can be. There really are no limits to this wonderfully flexible food creation, from the most robust meaty feasts to entirely vegetarian-friendly options.

Are Store-Bought Pasties Any Good?

Every major supermarket in the UK, as well as most butcher's shops, baker's shops, village stores and more, will sell pasties of one type or another. I bought this beef and onion pasty (above) solely for the purpose of featuring it as an example in this article. It was revolting! The pastry was perhaps not too bad, but the mushy, slimy, battleship-grey "beef and onion" filling was grossly over-seasoned with pepper and similarly under-seasoned with salt. The baked beans and HP Sauce was a vain attempt to make it edible.

The cost of this pasty? It was on, "special offer," for £1, or about U.S. $1.50, which was probably about four times as much as it cost to make and many times more than it was worth.

It is important to point out that not all supermarket pasties will provide such a distasteful eating experience, but hopefully this article will prove that the best pasties, and those that represent the best value for money, are those that you make yourself at home, designed to suit your tastes and those of your family. Why not give them a go?

This pasty is filled, folded, glazed and ready to be baked

This pasty is filled, folded, glazed and ready to be baked

Let's Begin With a Basic Recipe

The pasty filling recipes in this article are extremely varied, but the assembly technique and cooking times are the same in each instance. It makes sense, therefore, to cover this at the beginning and only once before looking at specific fillings and serving suggestions.

Note about pastry: I use puff pastry for my pasties, whereas many pasties are traditionally made with shortcrust. This is down to personal preference and a belief that puff pastry is much better suited to producing pasties of any type. Shortcrust pastry could of course be substituted where desired.

Basic Cornish Pasty Recipe

Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 35 min Ready in: 50 min Yields: 1 pasty

Ingredients

  • Plain or all-purpose flour, for rolling the pastry
  • 8 ounces puff pastry, store-bought
  • Filling of choice (see ideas below)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Butter, for greasing the baking tray

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Lightly flour a rolling pin as well as a clean, dry surface. Roll out the pastry evenly to a square of just over 13 x 13 inches.
  3. Use a large dinner plate as a template (13-inch diameter) to cut a circle in the pastry. Discard the offcuts.
  4. Carefully spoon the pasty filling of your choice onto one half of the pastry, leaving a border of just over 1 inch at the edges. Never overfill a pasty—it will simply burst in the oven.
  5. Dip a pastry brush into the beaten egg and lightly glaze the edges of the pastry.
  6. Fold the empty half of the pastry over the top of the filling and crimp the edges to seal.
  7. Grease a baking tray with a little butter and gently lift the pasty onto the tray with a large spatula.
  8. With the pastry brush, glaze the pasty all over with more beaten egg. Make a slit of about 1 inch in the top to allow steam to escape during cooking.
  9. Put the pasty into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the pastry is beautifully golden.
  10. Once out of the oven, leave the pasty to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

10 Pasty Filling Ideas

In this article, I will show you how to make the following fillings for pasties:

Read More From Delishably

  1. The Big Breakfast Pasty: Sausage, Bacon and Tomato
  2. Turkey, Sage and Onion Pasty With Cranberry and Port Sauce
  3. Beef Steak Pasty With Baked Beans and Pickle
  4. Vegetarian Cheese, Pickle and Onion Pasty
  5. Spicy Pork and Pineapple Pasty
  6. Haggis and Clapshot Pasty
  7. Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Parsnip Pasty
  8. Simple Chicken Curry Pasty
  9. Irish Stew Pasty With Lamb and Root Vegetables
  10. Cheeseburger Pasty With Pickles, Relish and Fries
The Big Breakfast Pasty: Sausage, Bacon and Tomato

The Big Breakfast Pasty: Sausage, Bacon and Tomato

1. The Big Breakfast Pasty: Sausage, Bacon and Tomato

A pasty—for breakfast? Yes, why not? Think simply of the paste of the pasty as an alternative carb to the more popular toast, fried bread, fried potatoes or hash browns. This idea even makes the preparation of a traditional fried breakfast simpler. The pasties can be prepared the day before, cooled and refrigerated. They are then simply placed in a moderate oven for 15 to 20 minutes and left unattended to reheat while you only have the black pudding, egg and reduced number of other accompaniments to prepare and fry.

Ingredients

  • 4 beef link sausages
  • 3 rashers unsmoked back bacon
  • 1 (8-ounce) can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices black pudding
  • 8 to 10 small mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Fry the sausages and bacon and allow them to cool. Do not prick the sausages; merely add them to a frying pan with a little oil and cook over a very low heat. Cook gently in this way for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Transfer the cooked sausages to a plate and fry the bacon in the same pan for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to the same plate as the sausages, cover and leave to cool completely.
  3. In a pot, add the canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer gently for around 10 minutes to reduce. This will leave you with a lush and thick sauce for your pasty. Cover the pot and allow the tomato sauce to cool.
  4. Chop each cooled sausage into 4 pieces at a 45-degree angle. Cut off any rind and the excess fat from the bacon and cut each rasher in half. Lay the bacon on the pastry first, followed by the sausage pieces, before spooning on the tomato sauce. Fold, crimp and bake.
  5. While the pasty is resting, use the time to fry the black pudding, mushrooms and eggs. Heat the baked beans through in a saucepan.
Turkey, Sage and Onion Pasty With Cranberry and Port Sauce

Turkey, Sage and Onion Pasty With Cranberry and Port Sauce

2. Turkey, Sage and Onion Pasty With Cranberry and Port Sauce

Are you one of the millions who think turkey is only for Thanksgiving or Christmas? While this pasty could be enjoyed as a very tasty alternative for a celebration dinner, it is equally enjoyable at any time of year.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 8 ounces diced turkey breast
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 1 pint fresh chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon cranberry and port sauce
  • 12 baby potatoes
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed

Instructions

  1. Add a small amount of oil to a nonstick saucepan. Quickly brown and seal the turkey pieces.
  2. Add the onion, sage and the chicken stock. Bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and leave for at least 1 hour to cool completely. Assembling the pasty with a hot filling will spoil the pastry.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, lay the turkey and onion filling onto the rolled pastry before spooning the cranberry and port sauce on top. Fold and crimp before placing in the oven.
Beef Steak Pasty With Baked Beans and Pickle

Beef Steak Pasty With Baked Beans and Pickle

3. Beef Steak Pasty With Baked Beans and Pickle

This will perhaps seem like a curious combination to many people. I can't actually take the credit for this idea as it is based on a type of pasty I bought (on several occasions) from a small baker's shop near the harbour in Bowmore (on the Isle of Islay, off Scotland's west coast) a few years back. The pasties were absolutely delicious and this is my own version.

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 6 ounces stewing beef or steak
  • 1 pint homemade beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fine-cut sandwich pickle
  • 2 portions homemade chips

Instructions

  1. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a pot and quickly brown and seal the beef over high heat.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper and pour in the beef stock. Simmer for about 1 hour or until tender. The specific time will vary significantly, depending upon the type of meat you use. Ask your butcher for advice if you are not sure. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to cool.
  3. Drain the cooled beef and use your fingers to tease the pieces apart slightly before laying them on the pastry.
  4. Spoon on the beans, ensuring you do not include too much of the liquid tomato sauce.
  5. Add the pickle last before folding and baking the pasty.
Vegetarian Cheese, Pickle and Onion Pasty

Vegetarian Cheese, Pickle and Onion Pasty

4. Vegetarian Cheese, Pickle and Onion Pasty

Cheese and pickle of many different types is a fabulous combination, with onion frequently thrown in to the mix. This pasty filling is also the perfect vegetarian alternative to the beef and pickle option above.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fine-cut sandwich pickle
  • 12 baby new potatoes, washed and left unpeeled
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Butter, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, add the cheese and onion. Season with black pepper. Mix together well.
  2. Lay the cheese and onion filling on the rolled pastry disc. Spoon on the pickle. Fold and crimp the pasty for baking.
  3. Simmer the potatoes in boiling water for 30 minutes or until soft. Drain them and return them to the pot with a little butter and the dill. Swirl gently and plate with the pasty.
Spicy Pork and Pineapple Pasty

Spicy Pork and Pineapple Pasty

5. Spicy Pork and Pineapple Pasty

Apple is perhaps the fruit most associated with pork but pork also goes very well with pineapple. A little bit of heat in the form of dried chillies gives this particular pasty an extra little twist.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound diced leg of pork
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small onion, peeled, halved and finely sliced
  • 1 pint fresh lamb stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 pineapple rings (canned in own juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 10 small new potatoes, washed and left unpeeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot. Add the pork, season with salt and pepper and quickly brown and seal the meat.
  2. Add the onion and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the pork is beautifully tender. Switch off the heat.
  3. Chop each pineapple ring into 6 equal pieces and add to the mix along with the dried chilli flakes. Note that you can add more chilli if you wish, but be sure to know its strength and don't make an otherwise perfect pasty too hot to eat! Stir the mixture well to combine, cover and set aside to allow it to cool completely.
  4. In a pot with salted water, add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain, return the potatoes to the pot and set aside to cool.
  5. Build the pasty, bake and remove from the oven to rest.
  6. Carefully peel the cooled potatoes and deep-fry for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper.
  7. In a large bowl, add the garlic and the hot potatoes. Gently swirl the bowl and serve the potatoes immediately with half a pasty per person.
Haggis and Clapshot Pasty

Haggis and Clapshot Pasty

6. Haggis and Clapshot Pasty: A Burns Supper Alternative

Haggis, tatties (potatoes) and neeps (swede turnip/rutabaga) is the iconic food combination served at Burns Suppers around the world each January 25th. Unfortunately, there is very often a perception that there is little we can do to spice up this combination and enjoy it in a just as tasty but alternative fashion. One way of doing this is to make the North of Scotland recipe, clapshot. The potatoes and turnip are boiled together before they are mashed and chopped chives are stirred through the combination. This haggis and clapshot pasty merely takes the creative process one step further.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 small swede turnip (rutabaga), peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large baking potato
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons haggis
  • Frozen peas

Instructions

  1. To a large pot of salted water, add the potato and swede. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 25 minutes or until softened.
  2. Drain well and return the potatoes and swede to the empty pot. Season with white pepper and mash with a hand masher. Stir in the chopped chives, cover and set aside to cool completely.
  3. Spread the cooled clapshot on top of the pastry and top with the haggis.
  4. When the pasty is ready, serve simply with some garden peas.
Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Parsnip Pasty

Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Parsnip Pasty

7. Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Parsnip Pasty

If you're looking for a vegetarian alternative to the haggis and clapshot pasty, you could of course simply omit the haggis. Alternatively, you may wish to use vegetarian haggis, which I've seen in supermarkets but never tasted, so can't therefore recommend or otherwise. The third option is to use different root vegetables, prepared and mashed in a similar way to the potatoes and swede turnip. This recipe takes that third option, using sweet potato and parsnip.

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped basil
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 1 head broccoli

Instructions

  1. In a pot with plenty of cold water, add the sweet potato and parsnip. Bring to the boil and then simmer until soft, around 25 minutes.
  2. Drain well. Return the vegetables to the pot and season with salt and white pepper. Mash. Stir in the chopped basil, cover and set aside to cool completely.
  3. Assemble the pasty with the cooled filling mixture in the established fashion and bake.
  4. Break the broccoli into florets and gently poach for 10 minutes in salted, boiling water while the pasty is resting.
Simple Chicken Curry Pasty

Simple Chicken Curry Pasty

8. Simple Chicken Curry Pasty

Curries of so many different types—authentically Asian and otherwise—have become a huge part of much of the Western world's food culture in recent decades. It was therefore essential to include some form of curry pasty in this recipe collection. It would be possible to make a pasty from pretty much any type of curry but to illustrate how well the simplest curry works in this creation, an inexpensive jar of supermarket brand curry sauce was used in this particular instance.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound medium chicken breast, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 pound jar curry sauce of choice
  • Indian spiced onions
  • Cucumber slices
  • 2 small sprigs mint, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Put the vegetable oil into a medium-sized pot and gently heat. Add the chicken breast and stir to brown and seal evenly. This should only take 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the onion quarters and cook for 1 more minute before adding the curry sauce and bringing to a simmer. Cook at the gentlest possible simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and cool.
  3. Important! Special care is required when assembling this pasty. When the curry mix has cooled, the sauce will be very thick and cloying. When it is in the oven, however, it will reliquify, spoiling your pasty if you incorporate too much of it. Use a slotted spoon and drain away as much of the sauce as you can when filling your pasty to prevent possible disaster.
  4. Serve the pasty with some spiced onions in a small ramekin garnished with mint and some (perhaps welcome!) mouth-cooling cucumber slices.
Irish Stew Pasty With Lamb and Root Vegetables

Irish Stew Pasty With Lamb and Root Vegetables

9. Irish Stew Pasty With Lamb and Root Vegetables

Irish stew is traditionally a mixture of lamb or mutton and root vegetables. This basic combination works very well in a pasty. Mint is the herb used in this instance instead of the perhaps more popular parsley, as mint of course perfectly compliments both lamb and potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound diced lamb
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pint fresh lamb stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Butter, to taste
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Frozen peas, for servings

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a pot and add the lamb. Season and brown, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  2. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes until tender. Turn off the heat and add the potato, carrot and mint. Stir, cover and leave to cool.
  3. Assemble the pasty and place it in the oven.
  4. Just before the pasty is ready, add the parsnip to some salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes while the pasty is removed from the oven and rested. The frozen peas should be added to boiling water for 3 minutes.
  5. Drain the parsnips and return them to the pot with a little butter and nutmeg. Swirl and serve with the drained peas and pasty.
Cheeseburger Pasty With Pickles, Relish and Fries

Cheeseburger Pasty With Pickles, Relish and Fries

10. Cheeseburger Pasty With Pickles, Relish and Fries

When I was considering filling ideas for the pasties in this article, one of the principal things I wanted to achieve was to come up with at least one idea which would be of wide appeal to those people who tend to eat regularly from the mass-produced, fast food market. I wanted something that provided a notably healthier option but retained all the appeal of the more familiar junk food product. A cheeseburger pasty with fries was the selected combination I came up with and these are the truly delicious results.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces minced or ground beef
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 portions French fries (British chips)
  • Tomato relish, for serving
  • Dill pickles, for serving

Instructions

  1. Lay the minced or ground beef on the rolled pastry and gently shape it into the required semi-circle. Try not to push it down too much as this will affect cooking times and succulence.
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Arrange the grated cheese on top.
  3. Fold and crimp the pastry; then transfer it to the baking tray and the oven.
  4. If you want the burger without the fries, the pasty halves can simply be eaten by hand like any burger. Alternatively, plate one half per person with the fries, pickles and relish.

Do You Have More Filling Ideas?

Hopefully, at least one of the pasty recipes featured in this article will tempt you to have a go at making your own pasties at home. There really is no limit to the number of tasty combinations you can come up with. Why not let your kids choose their own pasty fillings instead of buying them fast food from the local burger bar?

Always bear in mind only that you should never add hot—or even warm—filling to the pastry, as this will have a disastrous effect. Always allow it (where appropriate) to cool completely before building your pasty, however inconvenient this may seem. Also consider carefully what will happen to your filling as it cooks and anything which is going to become too liquid or mushy may not be a good idea.

Other than that, let your imagination run riot and enjoy!

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