The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK (Plus Recipes)

The 5 Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK (Plus Recipes)

This year’s British pie week has been and gone, but it’s easier than ever to find savory vegan pies in supermarkets, shops, and available for delivery—or in convenient recipes to bake at home.

In the UK, pie with mashed potatoes is a staple for many people, including vegans and vegetarians. As plant-based and meat-free food gains popularity, an increasing number of retailers now offer savory vegan pies.

Recently, the popular British pie-maker Clives announced that its entire range—previously vegetarian—is now entirely vegan. The company says its meat-free pies remain firm favorites for health food shops across the UK, in particular, who stock the widest range of Clive’s Pies.

“This is a really exciting time for us,” said Sally Carson, the owner of Clive’s. “We’d been wanting to make the change for a while, and now that we’ve done it – it feels amazing.”

The brand will now also supply vegan pies to 350 Morrisons stores nationwide in addition to its existing partners Waitrose, Abel & Cole, and Holland & Barrett. Clive’s currently sells 16 different vegan pies, including the popular Arabian Chickpea and Saag Aloo.

“I went vegan myself over three years ago,” she added. “It just felt like the next logical step for the business. We’ll still be small-batch baking using organic, sustainably sourced ingredients, but now customers can tuck in knowing everything is purely plants.”

According to research commissioned by The Vegan Society in 2016, at least 542,000 people in Britain follow a strict vegan diet. The charity’s previous estimate of 150,000, made in 2006, indicates an increase of over 350 percent in the intervening decade.

Brands Need to Stop Launching Vegetarian Products
Consumer shopping habits are changing

Vegan Demand on the Rise

While the number of vegans has increased even further since 2016, the most significant changes are a result of a growing number of flexitarian consumers and curious meat-eaters.

According to Nielsen data, 98 percent of customers who currently purchase meat-alternatives also regularly purchase meat and other animal products. In the U.S., nearly 25 percent of Americans are eating less meat than ever before. While 48 percent of Americans now consider dairy-free milk a staple purchase.

Consumers are cutting down on animal products in the UK, too. According to market research firm Mintel, around 20 million Brits—almost 40 percent of meat-eaters—claim to be reducing their meat consumption. A recent study commissioned by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s found that 91 percent of Brits now identify as flexitarian.

Flexitarians prioritize plant-based and vegetarian foods without removing meat from the menu entirely. Many consumers, regardless of diet, see plant-based food and vegan alternatives as healthy, sustainable, and ethical. Particularly when directly compared to processed and red meat.

Key scientific advisors promote primarily plant-based diets for both personal and environmental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified processed meats as a Group 1 carcinogen. This means there is strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer. Red meat, including lamb, pork, and beef, are classified as “probable” causes of cancer.

In addition to meat’s health risks, animal agriculture is a widely acknowledged and leading contributor to the climate crisis. The raising of livestock accounts for approximately 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. This is approximately 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Last year, 107 scientists completed a major report on climate change for the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Their report indicated that the consumption of meat, dairy, and animal products were key contributors to climate change.

The 5 Best Shop-Bought Vegan Pies

Clive’s is not the only British company catering for the growing plant-based market in the UK. These are just some of the brands currently offering savory vegan pies.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
Fry’s pepper steak pieces are soya and wheat-gluten based.

1. Fry’s Pepper-Steak Pie

This “meaty” pepper-steak pie from Fry’s includes the brand’s popular steak-style chunks. It’s available from supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Ocado, and Holland and Barret. These pies also contain more than 11g of protein per serving.

“Filled with a delicious blend of spices and a peppery gravy, this succulent meat-free pie is rich and meltingly tender. Serve golden, with a side of chips and roasted veg,” says Fry’s.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
This country pie combines soy-mince with thick gravy.

2. Linda McCartney’s Country Pies

Linda McCartney Foods has been a meat-free staple for almost 30 years. The brand’s country pies combine rehydrated textured vegetable protein (TVP) with an “onion and beef” style gravy. The result is a “meaty” but meat-free take on a traditional British pie.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
Pieminster serves several meat-free and vegan options.

3. Pieminster’s ‘Chook’s Away’ Chicken Pie

Bristol-based Pieminster is one of the city’s favorites for a vegan pie-and-mash. The “Chook’s Away” vegan chicken pie combines plant-based meat, celeriac, smoked garlic, and sherry. While Pieminster’s kitchens are currently closed, supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Waitrose all stock the brand’s savory vegan pies.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
This chestnut and bean pie contains organic ingredients.

4. Clive’s Chestnut and Bean Pie

“Wholemeal pastry crust filled with haricot beans, marrowfat peas, vegetables, red wine, chestnuts and herbs. A pie worth staying in for, with a full bodied sauce and irresistible rustic flavours,” says Clive’s. Each chestnut and bean pie contains more than 10g of protein, and Clive’s even has a “pie finder” on its website to help you locate your nearest seller.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
Young Vegans pies are available for delivery.

5. Young Vegans Cheeseburger Pie

This OTT cheeseburger pie has a chunky, soy-based burger patty inside, complete with cheese, chutney, and a gherkin. Young Vegans, London’s first and only vegan pie shop, is offering bake-at-home pies while businesses are in lockdown. The brand currently offers six different pies, sides, and indulgent vegan desserts.

The 5 Best Homemade Pie Recipes

If shop-bought vegan pies aren’t available for purchase or delivery near you, making your own at home has never been easier. These recipes range from simple to fairly involved, but all come with detailed instructions and yield delicious results.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
This simple recipe is filling and hearty. | Image/Tesco

1. Potato, Rosemary, and Onion Pie

According to the recipe, “this hearty vegan potato pie” is the “perfect winter warmer” for vegans and vegetarians—and anybody. It includes fluffy potato, sweet onions, and plenty of herbs and spices. Try adding beans, tofu, or vegan meat to this versatile recipe for a little extra protein.

Get the recipe here.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
Cashew cheese and plenty of vegetables are a winning combination. | Image/Loving It Vegan

2. Easy Vegan Pot Pie

This easy pot pie recipe combines sautéed veg and a rich cashew cheese sauce. Once the filling is thrown together, the pie itself only needs to bake for 25 minutes. The recipe author suggests brushing vegan butter onto the pastry for an evenly-browned crust.

Get the recipe here.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
This mushroom and ale pie is perfect with mashed potatoes. | Image/BBC Food

3. Mushroom and Ale Pie

“A delightful wintry vegan pie with rich mushrooms and sweet shallots that will make your cold nights a lot warmer. Vegan comfort food at its best,” says the recipe author. While the cooking time for this hearty mushroom and ale pie is one-to-two hours, preparation time is less than 30 minutes.

Get the recipe here.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
This “rainbow” pie definitely helps you toward your five-a-day. | Image/BBC GoodFood

4. Layered “Rainbow” Vegetable Pie

Carefully prepared, layered vegetables make this colorful pie more of a challenge to cook. Beetroot, sweet potato, chard, and celeriac give the filling its colorful appearance and high nutritional content. The perfect centerpiece for a home-cooked family dinner.

Get the recipe here.

The Best Vegan Savory Pies In the UK
This recipe uses filo pastry for the crust. | Image/Buddhist Chef

5. Vegan Mushroom Pie

A creamy, garlic-flavored sauce binds the filling of this mushroom and spinach pie together. This recipe calls for filo pastry—a thinly layered variation on traditional shortcrust or puff pastry. The result is an extra crispy, delicate topping for the pie.

Get the recipe here.