What’s the difference between a meat pie and a pot pie?

beef pot pie recipe

beef pot pie recipe
In the realm of savory pastries, meat pies and pot pies hold a special place in culinary traditions across the globe. These dishes, steeped in history and flavor, offer a comforting meal that warms the soul. But despite their similarities, there are distinct differences that set them apart.


A Brief History of Savory Pies

Savory pies have been a staple in many cultures for centuries, evolving from simple meat fillings enclosed in a doughy crust to the sophisticated and diverse range of pies we enjoy today. From the classic British steak and kidney pie to the hearty Australian meat pie, these dishes reflect the culinary traditions and preferences of their regions.

Understanding Meat Pies

At its core, a meat pie is a pastry filled with a mixture of meat (such as beef, lamb, or pork) and often includes vegetables like carrots, onions, and potatoes. The filling is typically cooked in a gravy made from the meat’s juices, thickened with flour or cornstarch, and encased in a flaky pastry crust.

Ingredients for a Classic Meat Pie:

  • 500g minced beef/lamb
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shortcrust pastry (for the bottom) and puff pastry (for the top)

Understanding Pot Pies

Pot pies, on the other hand, are a comforting dish made with a similar approach but distinct differences. The classic chicken pot pie features a creamy filling with chicken, carrots, peas, onions, and sometimes potatoes, all enveloped in a golden, flaky pastry. Unlike meat pies, pot pies typically have a single pastry layer on top, making them a delightful mix of creamy interior and crisp exterior.

Ingredients for a Classic Chicken Pot Pie:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Puff pastry (for the top)

Key Differences Between Meat Pies and Pot Pies

The main distinctions between meat pies and pot pies lie in their preparation, ingredients, and presentation:

  • Type of Meat Used: Meat pies can include a variety of meats, while pot pies typically focus on chicken or turkey.
  • Crust Variations: Meat pies often have both a bottom and a top crust, whereas pot pies usually have only a top crust.
  • Filling Ingredients and Gravy: Meat pies have a denser filling with a gravy made from meat juices, while pot pies feature a creamier filling with vegetables and a lighter broth or cream base.


  • Why are meat pies less popular in the US compared to pot pies?
    • Cultural preferences and historical factors have influenced the popularity of these pies in different regions.
  • Can meat pies and pot pies be frozen for later use?
    • Yes, both types of pies freeze well and can be reheated for a convenient meal.
  • Are there vegetarian versions of meat and pot pies?
    • Absolutely! Vegetarian options abound, replacing meat with hearty vegetables or plant-based proteins.

In conclusion, while meat pies and pot pies may share some similarities, their differences in ingredients, crust, and preparation methods highlight the diversity and richness of savory pies. Whether you prefer the hearty filling of a meat pie or the creamy comfort of a pot pie, both dishes offer a delicious taste of culinary tradition.

For those interested in exploring more savory dishes, consider checking out these recipes from RecipesFish.com:

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