Woolton Pie

No wartime recipe page would be complete without Woolton Pie! Named after the Head of the Ministry of Food, the recipe was open to interpretation and was a simple mixture of vegetables, sauce and a topping. Consider the vegetables that you use; try to use British seasonal produce or even leftovers. This is Annie’s version, which has been slightly adapted to appease the modern palate. You can read about her experience of adapting the recipe on our blog





2 onions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

125g cauliflower, broken into florets

125g parsnips, thinly sliced

125g carrots, thinly sliced

125g potatoes, cut into small chunks

2 teaspoons Marmite

1 tablespoon porridge oats

A big handful of fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, coriander, mint, thyme, sage)

1 spring onion, finely chopped

Salt and pepper


300g plain wholewheat flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

large pinch of salt

75g hard margarine, chopped into small pieces

A little cold water

Milk to glaze



  1. Make the pastry first. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Rub in the margarine till the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in a little cold water, just enough to make a firm dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge while you make the filling.
  2. Put the onions and oil in a frying pan over a low heat and cook them very gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are brown and caramelised.
  3. Put the other vegetables in a pan with the Marmite and oats and add enough water to reach about three-quarters of the way up the vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the herbs, spring onion and the cooked onion.
  4. Put the vegetable mix into a deep pie dish. Roll out the pastry thinly and cover the pie.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200oC/gas 6 for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is brown and crisp