Recipe: Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

This is a sponsored post

Who needs a pork pie when you could have a pretty little curly kale pesto pie instead?  Not me!!  I know, picnic season seems such a long way off, but I love serving picnic-style finger-food when we have friends for lunch, even in the depths of winter.  I made these before realising that it’s British Pie Week too, a happy coincidence!

You may not have guessed that the ingredients for these pies are almost all from the freezer cabinet – yes, even the curly kale and parsley.  I was challenged by Iceland to create a recipe from their range of frozen ingredients for their #PowerOfFrozen campaign, and took a trip to my nearest store, which I hadn’t visited before. 

Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

I must admit to being surprised and impressed as I rummaged around – I wasn’t expecting to find curly kale, chopped chilli, garlic & herbs, bulgur wheat with lemon & mint, sweet potato mash, sliced peppersmushroom risotto, asparagus spears, creamy spiced lentils,  and so much more.  Their frozen ‘bake at home’ bread is seriously good, and I’m still trying to resist the temptation of their frozen breakfast patisseries.

Our freezer is groaning under the weight of my discoveries, and its so good to know there are always handy standbys in the cupboard for those just-back-from-holiday empty-fridge emergencies.

Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic PIes Ingredients

There are a whole host of reasons why frozen ingredients are a great idea…. extra nutrients as they are frozen quickly after picking, lower price for higher quality, less waste, guaranteed provenance, convenience, choice and many more.  Iceland’s new Power of Frozen website gives a huge amount of interesting info – hop over for a look.


5 from 5 votes
Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies
Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 mini pies
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
  • 500 g frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
  • 200 g frozen or fresh cauliflower florets
  • 75 g frozen or fresh diced onions
  • 75 g frozen or fresh curly kale
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 75 g almonds or pine nuts
  • 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp frozen or fresh chopped parsley
  • 75 ml soya or nut milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Boil the potato chunks for 5 minutes in a large saucepan. Add the cauliflower florets and diced onions, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until both potatoes and cauliflower are just cooked through. Drain and set aside.
  3. Cook the curly kale in a microwave or saucepan according to packet instructions. Add to a blender or food processor along with the garlic, almonds, olive oil, lemon and parsley, and blitz until finely chopped. (For this recipe I prefer my pesto just 'chopped' rather than a smooth sauce, but the consistency is up to you). Add the soya/nut milk and pulse until combined.
  4. Take a large bowl and add the potato and cauliflower, breaking up the cauliflower florets into small-ish chunks. Pour over the kale pesto and mix together until fully combined.
  5. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin, (I use cooking spray for this). On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to about the thickness of a pound coin, and cut out 12 large circles to line each hole of the muffin tin. Re-roll the offcuts, and cut out 12 smaller circles which will form the lids.
  6. Fill each case with the potato and cauliflower mixture, (pack it in really tightly, it won't expand or leak during cooking!), and then brush the edges of each lid with a little water and stick down to the rim of the pies, crimping with a fork to create a good seal. Make four little holes in a cross pattern on the lid of each pie with a sharp knife.
  7. Brush the lids of each pie with soya or nut milk, then spray with cooking spray (if you have some handy). Bake for 35-40 minutes until deeply golden brown on top. Leave to cool in the tin, then remove the pies carefully. These can be served either hot or cold.

Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

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For more vegetarian Iceland #PowerofFrozen recipes, take a look at:



Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Iceland.  There was no expectation of a positive review, all opinions are my own.


  1. This looks and sounds delicious. Of course, I can’t stop playing with a recipe, even before I’ve made it, and think this would make a great open pie too, sort of along the lines of Homity Pie, with a little grated cheese on top! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. These look great! I, too, was totally surprised by the healthy foods you can buy in Iceland. The kale is fantastic! Thanks for linking up to me.
    kate @veggie desserts recently posted…Beet Leaf Callaloo and Quick Pickled Beet StemsMy Profile

  3. What a great idea. I’ve never thought about using frozen veg in pies before.
    Cathy @ Planet Veggie recently posted…Vegan Banana and Cashew Muffins RecipeMy Profile

  4. As you know I adore and make vegan and veggie pies often, I love this combo with kale. I’ve made a Cauli Pie in the past with basil and sundried tomato I must admit, though I don’t cook with frozen veg though, the only veg in my freezer are sweetcorn and peas.
    shaheen recently posted…Vegan Welsh Cottage Pie with Laverbread MashMy Profile

  5. I am so impressed with some of the contents of the freezers in Iceland, I also have a bag of their curly kale which I am using for smoothies.

    I love your pies, perfect for packed lunches too.

  6. Such a pretty little pies. Perfect for Party! Pinning:)

  7. Wow, you managed to pop so many of the Iceland foods into one great recipe! I too was impressed, and had my preconceived notions knocked aside. That kale….
    kellie@foodtoglow recently posted…Moroccan Kale, Rainbow Carrot and Hummus Tart with an Olive Oil CrustMy Profile

  8. Your pies looks amazing Kate and so very appealing. Roll on the picnic season. I never even thought to look for a pastry section – how silly! But I was seriously impressed with the vegetables and very surprised to see kale.
    Choclette recently posted…Chocolate Coconut Cannellini Cake for Mother’s DayMy Profile

  9. I love these little pies! They would make perfect party food as well. I’m sure I could easily make a meal out of just these. Yum!
    Jenn recently posted…Creamy Dill Sauce w/ SpirulinaMy Profile

  10. These pies look beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
    Lucy @ Globe Scoffers recently posted…Strawberry GelatoMy Profile

  11. These sound really tasty and they look so cute! I’m impressed by how many of the ingredients came from the freezer – I’ve never thought to buy anything other than peas, sweetcorn and broad beans frozen but I might have to think again. Particularly like the idea of frozen herbs because it can be hard to have the right fresh herbs available when you want them – and then to get through the whole packet because they fade.

  12. This sounds delicious. One question…what is the baking temperature?

    1. i second this question! we’re making them right know and are puzzling over the temp …. any hints out there?

      1. SO sorry Selina, totally forgot to add this – will add it to the recipe now, but I cooked mine at 180C and they turned out well. Hope you enjoy them!

  13. It says vegan but doesnt shortcrusy pastry have butter in it? Or can you buy vegan pastry?

    1. Hi Chloe, most supermarket ready-made shortcrust pastry is actually vegan – it tends to use vegetable fat instead of butter (probably because its cheaper!). But always check the label, and obviously the more up-market ‘all butter’ versions are not vegan. Enjoy! Kate x

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