Lord Woolton Pie

Lord Woolton Pie – a delicious vegetable dish

Here is a very famous WWII 1940’s dish, Lord Woolton Pie..

WIKIPEDIA- Woolton pie, at first known as Lord Woolton pie,[1] was an adaptable dish of vegetables, created at the Savoy Hotel in London by its then Maitre Chef de Cuisine, Francis Latry.[2] It was one of a number of recipes commended to the British public by the Ministry of Food during the Second World War to enable a nutritional diet to be maintained despite shortages andrationing of many types of food, especially meat.

It was named after Frederick Marquis, 1st Lord Woolton (1883-1964), who became Minister of Food in 1940.

There are many adaptations of this recipe and I have made it a number of ways with pastry instead of potato or served with a thick brown gravy but today I made it ‘Savoy Hotel’ style with a special herb white sauce (although their potato piping would have been divine and mine was quickly squiggled on using a baggy with a hole in..)

I made a big double portion for myself and two single portions for the girls..

Lord Woolton Pie

  • Various in season veggies like swedes, turnips, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, leeks, onions, carrots
  • Potatoes for mashing
  • Flour, butter and milk for sauce
  • Strong grated cheddar cheese
  • Herbs such as sage or thyme for sauce


  • Peel washed potatoes (save peelings to bake in oven with salt and herbs)
  • Dice potatoes and cook in salted water until soft
  • Mash with butter, a little milk and add salt
  • Peel, wash and dice in season veggies as applicable and boil until nearly cooked
  • Drain and place in pie dish
  • Make sauce-Use dessert spoon of butter and melt in pan, add two dessert spoons of flour and mix and slowly add in milk, keep stirring. Add salt and herbs and pepper
  • Pour thick sauce over the vegetables
  • Put mashed potato in piping bag (baggy with a hole in the corner)
  • Pipe over the top of veggies and sauce
  • Finish by placing some grated cheese over the top
  • Place in oven at 220 C for around 30 minutes until the potatoes have browned

28 thoughts on “Lord Woolton Pie

  1. It looks so fancy! It’s hard to believe it is a dish people ate when they were on rations. But wow, what a dish to serve your family to boost morale!!

    (It’s funny but I was drooling over the suggestion to bake the potato peels. That sounds like a yummy snack food).

  2. Hi Mimi! Yes it was a SIN to throw away potato peelings so if I’m making mash and peel the potatoes I always throw the peelings into the oven with some fat, salt and herbs (dried thyme is nice)..

    I did take a photo and I’ll post that tomorrow!

    They taste delicious and I’m sure the 1940’s housewife would have done something similar to avoid waste!!

    C xx

  3. When I can’t be bothered to mash potatoes or don’t have any mash leftover, I just slice the potatoes thinly, skin on, and layer them over the top. If I dot with a bit of butter or swipe with the margarine wrapper, they brown nicely. Since I can’t have pastry, this works well for me.

    Our neighbor says that the potato peelings and whatnot used to go into the pig swill bin at the end of the street. It was her job to take it there when she was a little girl, and she hated how it smelled. I’m all for throwing them in the oven though, especially since we don’t have pigs or hens.

  4. Pig swill- Ahh yes I’ve seen the wartime photos- the big bins/drums with the poohey stuff in- hehe.

    I think they encouraged people to not peel their potatoes as the vitamin C content was contained in the skins (for what it’s worth!!!)…. however I just can’t bring myself to have mash with skin in so the skins go in the oven and are delicious!

    Hey that’s a really good idea about slicing the potatoes thinly on top- will have to give that a go!

    C xx

  5. had this again tonight, yay to leftovers, served it up with some gravy and bread, i think this has been the first time my daughter has willingly eaten vegetables, normally, like a lot of 2 year olds, she turns her nose up at them… yay to this pie and will definitely be making this again

  6. Great variations of Wooton, Pie, I will give them a try.
    I tend to make mash by baking 4 potato (or 2 depending on required portions) on a rack in the oven intil the skins are crispy. Left them to cool and scoop out the cooked potato leaving the skins intact. Once I have mashed with a little butter I set aside a small portion. Later I add to the set aside mash, onion, cheese and any veg that needs using up (grated carrot for example). Re-stuff the potato skins and create another meal which can be frozen or made up for the next day.

  7. With meat on ration, people formed ‘pig clubs’. A group bought at pig, and everyone in the club would save their kitchen scraps to feed it. At slaughter, half the pig went to the Ministry of Food and the other half was divided among the club members.

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  16. If you make it with pastry, try adding a tablespoon or so of bacon dripping to the crust for a lot more flavour. It has the bonus of keeping a little more fresh fat free for some other use.

  17. I know this post is old, but I thought it might be interesting to know that REAL Polish pierogi dough is made with both flour and mashed potato! I wonder how this dish would be with something similar on top?…

  18. I thought it might be interesting to note that REAL Polish pierogi are made with both flour and mashed potato. I bet that would be great on top of this dish!

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