The Original Lord Woolton Pie – Recipe No. 151


I’ve made a couple of versions of ‘Woolton Pie’ which you will find in my list of re-created recipes here BUT after much research I think now I’ve found the original recipe.

I love Lord Woolton Pie. Thing is I go bonkers for pastry and a generous serving of this comforting vegetable pie with a thick brown Bisto gravy made with the vegetable water, was exactly what I needed today. My tummy is full and a lie down on my bed is in order while playing some 1940s music on my lap-top.

Lord Woolton Pie – it seems a fitting send off to National Pie Week!


Lord Woolton Pie

1lb cauliflower
1lb swedes (I used parsnips)
1lb carrots
1lb potatoes
Bunch of spring onions chopped
2 teaspoons of Marmite (yeast extract – or you can use a stock cube)
Tablespoon of rolled oats
Salt and pepper to taste once cooked.
Parsley (fresh or dried)

For the pastry

8oz wholemeal/wholewheat flour
4oz mashed potato
3oz margarine or lard
2 tsp of baking powder
couple large pinches of salt
Dash of water if needed.


Chop up the vegetables into chunks with those that take longest to cook into smaller pieces.
Place in pot and bring to simmer with just enough water to reach 3/4 of the way up the veg in the pot.
Add in Marmite and rolled oats, salt and pepper and cook until tender and most of the water has been absorbed.
Place mixture in deep pie dish and sprinkle with fresh parsley (or add dry parsley to mixture and mix in)
Make the pastry by mixing the flour with the baking powder and salt and then rubbing in the margarine.
Mix the mashed potato in to form a dough and knead (add a little water to the mixture if too dry)
Roll out to form pie crust and place on top and decorate then brush with milk.
Place in oven at 200C for 30 minutes or so until top is form and browned.

Serves 8


34 thoughts on “The Original Lord Woolton Pie – Recipe No. 151

  1. I will confess we do ours more like a cottage pie with a mash topping (and we cheat a bit and use a 1kg bag of chunky frozen veg as the basis for it!)

  2. It looks so beautiful and yummy. And as always your pictures are fabulous. Its already warming up here and this looks so good for a rainy day. I’ll save it for sure. Or many try one for St. Patty’s day? Would that be weird?

    ~ Tam Francis~

  3. Just wanted to let you know it was your blog that introduced my family to Woolton Pie (we’re not in/from the UK)…and THANK YOU for it! They are soooo versatile, tasty, and good for you all in one. Happy Pie Week! 🙂

  4. I am working my way through your blog and am currently in 2012! I am dying to try some recipes but I know the measurements in the UK are different from the US (I learned this the hard way). Do you have a chart that compares the UK measurements to US measurements anywhere on your blog? I have tried to find one online but have not been successful, other than individual listings that strained my non-maths brain. Could you steer me in the right direction? Your recipes all look so inviting and just the kind of food I appreciate. Thank you!

  5. you use this pastry for pasties? my pie dish looks smaller than yours so if i make too much pastry id need to find a way to use the leftovers and id rather make pasties than another pie. your normal pastry recipe that you use for pasties doesn’t have mash in it 😮

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  7. Hi I was wanting to make this recipe, I’m just wondering how long would it take (roughly) to make make the entire recipe from start to finish including baking?
    – Hannah

  8. My mother used to make this in the except she often used pearl barley as a substitute for the rolled oats as it was easier to obtain. I still make it now.

  9. I have several wartime recipe books and some recipes my mother wrote down for me she invented herself during rationing as did many mums back then. They are really useful if you are on a budget, or like me, vegan or vegetarian.

    • Mim, it would be so amazing if you could share the recipes your mum invented! They are even more true ration fare if one can even say that. I would want my invented recipes to carry on, do you think she would? I would love to see and use them. <3 <3

  10. So I cheated… I saw cauliflower and potato in the ingredients, and I thought “mmm, curry”…

    To my vegetable mix I added some garam masala, and I roasted my veg for about 20 minutes first. I included onions, having discovered why Francois Latry (the inventor of Woolton Pie) did not – he couldn’t get them for love nor money in 1941, possibly because his usual supply came from the Breton “Onion Johnnies”, who were then under Nazi occupation. I then added the stock (with oats), got the filling up to a nice simmer, and put pastry on top.

    I make no claim to authenticity, but one story I will tell you. I live in Jersey in the Channel Islands, and we were occupied during World War Two. My wife’s father’s secret weapon, when food ran desperately short, was a large tin of curry powder he’d brought back from India when he left the Army in 1925. It made limpet stew a little more palatable… and I suspect that he’d have done the same with Woolton Pie had he made it.

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  13. Made this today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-E day. Really very tasty! We’d never heard of it before. Thank you for your research.

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  15. The recipe (as posted) calls for 4 lbs of veggies- really? I believe the original recipe calls for 1 pound of mixed or available veggies which is the quantity I use. and is what was originally published.

    It would be helpful if the recipe was corrected.

    • Nope, this is an original recipe I copied and I made it with these ingredients, the quantity of veg is really up to whoever cooks it how big the dish is and the amount of pastry, mine was a pretty large pie. I’m making it again this weekend. Xxxx

      • Thank you for the reply (the recipe I use is from ‘Victory in the Kitchen Wartime Recipes published by the Imperial War Museum).  I also enjoy scanning your website. Well done. 

        Gary W Allen, PhDLTC, US Army (RET)

      • Oo I will check that one out too! Yes I think there are so many variations of the Lord Woolton Pie, some with potato toppings, other with pastry but fundamentally root veg. Thanks so much for your reply. C xx

      • There are a number of recipes in the nicely written novel ‘The Kitchen Front’ by Jennifer Ryan. 

        Gary W Allen, PhDLTC, US Army (RET)

    • Yes, the quantities are right, after all it’s a vegetable pie (no matter which mix of veg you put in) but it’s a big pie – good and hearty.

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