There's nothing like deliciously Easy Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies! A true family favorite that uses simple ingredients, comes with amazing tips for perfection, and makes for a fun baking experience for everyone who enjoys the classic flavors of broccoli and cheddar together.
Easy Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
These Easy Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies are the flakiest, most tender, and crispy pastries you will ever eat! With a homemade flaky dough and a well-seasoned, hearty broccoli-cheddar filling, these hand pies are the epitome of comfort food and nostalgia. Vegan option available.
Ahhh. I just love the sound of Easy Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies. These little flaky handheld pies are absolutely incredible and are so easy to make. I know that it can feel intimidating when making any type of crust, whether it be for pies, pop tarts, hand pies—–you name it. However, to be honest, it’s such a simple process that I’ve grown to appreciate, especially when they come out as perfectly crisp as these.
Of course, for greater ease you can always use puff pastry and they’ll be just as flaky and crisp. Totally up to you! Speaking of this option, I recently made these Asparagus + Mozzarella Puff Pastry with Herb Honey which are so BOMB. As you know, asparagus and broccoli are the perfect Spring ready ingredients to brighten up any dish.
So, if you’re still on the fence about making your own pastry—just remember that ensuring that you incorporate these few important steps will make all the difference!
After much practice, I’ve learned that the trick to a flaky crust and pastry is the butter (grated or cubed or both) and ensuring that the water/milk is SUPER COLD! Everything else works together perfectly after that main (and most important) step.
Ingredients in Easy Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
For the Herb Crust:
2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, VERY cold + cubed
1 cup Almond milk, VERY cold! (You can also use regular dairy milk, if preferred!)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the Filling:
2 cups roasted broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups organic shredded cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
The Secret to Super Flaky Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
As you can see, I’m no stranger to homemade patties, pop tarts, or pastries of any sort. Due to the fact that I’ve made them so many times, I feel like I have completely perfected the recipe. My secret to a super flaky Easy Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies:
GRATE + CUBE THE BUTTER!
I know—-You might be wondering why I’ve stated this but it works. Since we’ll be using 2 sticks in this recipe, I simply grate 1 stick of butter and cube the other. Honestly, I think that the variation in the butter pieces helps some to melt faster and settle more in the dough, which creates a beautiful flakiness like no other.
To take it a step further, you can add the cubed butter to the dry ingredients and blend it into “peas-like” pieces–leaving out the grated butter for now. Then after the dough has chilled and you’ve begun rolling it out until a floured surface, simply add the grated butter in, fold a few times and then roll it out. This creates butter in more than one layer which creates a heavenly crust too.
Can I Make Vegan Hand Pies?
Yes! To make these hand pies entirely vegan and dairy-free, simply substitute the unsalted butter with vegan butter as well as the cheese for dairy-free shreds (Violife has great options!), and melted vegan butter in place of the egg wash.
Tips for Making the Best Broccoli Cheddar Hand Pies
Here are a few tips for making the perfect at-home hand pies:
MAKE YOUR FILLING FIRST!
Because the flaky dough is so sensitive, I like to make my filling first. Vegan butter needs to stay cold to achieve the layers we want, so having the filling ready to go when the dough is ready is essential.
MORE PASTRY FLOUR MEANS MORE FLAKINESS.
You’ll see that I use both organic all-purpose flour as well as pastry flour in some of my recipes that include pastries. I discovered this mix when experimenting with many of my pastry recipes. Pastry flour adds a nice crunchy, flaky outer layer to the pastries.
It may seem tedious to measure out your dough squares/rectangles before creating the hand pies. After many trials, I have learned that randomly cutting squares and sticking them together was uneven and a waste of dough. Instead, I now measure the dough squares out to 3” x 4”, and the tops fit onto the bottoms each time!
Store leftover hand pies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To serve, simply re-heat hand pies in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute or via the oven or toasted oven until heated through.
These hand pies can also be frozen for up to three months. When you want to serve it, defrost the pastry on the counter for a few hours to come to room temperature.
Best Types of Cheese for these Hand Pies
Although these hand pies are based on using cheddar cheese, you can also switch things up and add a new flare in their flavor profile by adding any of the following:
Sharp or Mild Cheddar Cheese
Can I Freeze Hand Pies?
Absolutely! For longer storage–leftovers can be stored in the freezer. After they have baked and are completely cooled, simply place your hand pies onto a baking sheet (spaced apart) and freeze them for 2-3 hours. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip loc bag and reheat when ready to eat!
1cupAlmond milk, VERY cold!(You can also use regular dairy milk, if preferred!)
1Tbspapple cider vinegar
2cupsroasted broccoli florets
1 1/2cupsorganic shredded cheddar cheese + 1/2 cup
1egg wash, for brushing(1 egg + 1 tsp milk whisked)
In a measuring cup, add the cold milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the all-purpose flour, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, and salt, whisking them all together until combined.
Add the cubed butter and using a pastry blender, blend butter into dry ingredients until the mixture becomes “peas-like” and crumbly.
Pour the cold apple cider vinegar-milk mixture and stir (working it together with one hand) until the dry ingredients are moistened. NOTE: If the ingredients feels a little too dry, add 1 Tbsp of cold milk at a time, until it’s moistened BUT not too wet!
Now, shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap and flatten it slightly and chill for at least 1 hour.
PREP THE FILLING:
In a bowl, add the roasted broccoli, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, mixing everything together. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once chilled, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface, rolling it out into a large rectangle (about 3 mm thick). Cut into small-medium rectangles (3″ wide and 4″ long), until all dough it used.
On all rectangular cuts, lightly brush vegan butter to ensure that they close together best! On one cut dough, add a few spoonfuls of the broccoli-cheddar filling and carefully cover it with another rectangular piece, gently pressing the edges down. Using a fork, carefully “crimp” around the edges and place on the baking sheet.
Repeat until all hand pies are made.
Once all hand pies are laid flat on the baking sheet, gently prick a set of holes on the tops using a fork, lightly brush with egg wash, and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese atop each pie.
Bake in the oven 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese melts.
Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes (10 minutes or so) before serving.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 1-3 days. To serve warm, simply re-heat in the oven, microwave, or a toaster oven.
FREEZE: For longer storage–leftovers can be stored in the freezer. After they have baked and are completely cooled, simply place your hand pies onto a baking sheet (spaced apart) and freeze them for 2-3 hours. Once frozen, transfer them to a zip loc bag and reheat when ready to eat!
GRATED BUTTER: To grate your butter, add the stick to a freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and using a grater, grate into pieces.
FOOD PROCESSOR FOR CRUST: If using a food processor to incorporate milk to flour/butter mixture, ONLY ADD 1/4 cup of milk AT A TIME to your dough, keeping it on “pulse” to avoid the dough from breaking down too much and it becoming “watery”. With this method, you may not need the entire 1 cup of milk.
VEGAN OPTION: To make these hand pies entirely vegan and dairy-free, simply substitute the unsalted butter with vegan butter as well as the cheese for dairy-free shreds (Violife has a great option!), and melted vegan butter in place of the egg wash.