slice of Woolton pie on a plate

Woolton Pie Recipe

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Woolton Pie is a vegetarian WWII dinner recipe created to be a simple, healthy meal during wartime rationing.  Fresh vegetables and whole wheat pastry give this British wartime dish lots of nutrients to improve your family’s health.



For the Filling

  • 2 1/2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced (382g)
  • 5 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (470g)
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (324g)
  • 2 cups turnip, peeled and diced (302g)
  • 2/3 cup spring onion, sliced (45g)
  • 1 tablespoon oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup curly parsley, chopped (4g)

For the Crust

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (240g)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon mashed potatoes (141g)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed (35g)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons lard (35g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold water (118 ml)


Making the Filling

  1. Rinse the cauliflower, then cut into bite-sized florets.  Slice the spring onions, then peel and dice the carrots, turnips, and potatoes.
  2. Dump the chopped veggies, oatmeal, salt, and pepper into a large pot and just barely cover with water.  Cover and bring the mixture to a boil, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Thoroughly drain the veggies in a large colander, reserving any leftover cooking liquid to use as vegetable stock.  Allow to cool, then place the filling in a 6-cup (1.5 liter) enamel pie dish and sprinkle the fresh parsley on top.

Making the Pastry

  1. Pour the whole wheat flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Rub in the butter and lard until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  2. Stir in the mashed potatoes, salt, and baking powder until well blended.
  3. Gradually add enough water to form a smooth dough, making sure all the flour is picked up from the bottom of the bowl.  Knead the dough a few times.

Assembling & Baking the Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick.  Cover the filling with the pastry, decorate with leftover scraps, and brush with beaten egg.  Cut a few vent holes in the top.
  3. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.  Let it cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before serving.  Serve each slice with a generous amount of gravy made with the reserved vegetable cooking water.


  • This recipe is mostly authentic (although I left out the tablespoon of Marmite/Vegemite and added some salt and pepper.  Check out this article from the Carrot Museum for the authentic recipe).  Since it was created during a time of great food shortages, this dish is very plain.  Make it taste more flavorful by adding some pan-fried yellow onions to the filling, seasoning the filling generously with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme, and stirring the gravy into the veggies instead of serving it on the side.
  • The mashed potatoes in the pastry actually play an important part.  Since butter and lard were strictly rationed during the war, potatoes were used in the pastry to reduce the amount of fat needed.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: ww2, recipe

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