Savoury Comfort Pie

1 Jun

The moist bread, oregano, veggie toppings and cheese in this budget-friendly recipe by Cordon Bleu-trained school cook Voula Halliday make it taste a lot like pizza, so it’s appealing to kids as well as good for them.

1 large sweet potato
1 loaf whole grain bread
1 small red onion
1 green pepper
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
5 oz (142 g) baby spinach
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano
8 large eggs
2 cups (500 mL) milk
2 cups (500 mL) soft goat cheese or feta, crumbled
1 ½ cup (375 mL) mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Generously coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with oil and set aside.

2. Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Meanwhile, peel, then cut sweet potato into small cubes. Add potatoes to saucepan then reduce heat to medium. Boil potatoes for 5 to 7 minutes, until fork tender. Drain under cold running water and set aside.

3. Cut bread into bite size pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.

4. Finely chop onion, then cut pepper into bite size pieces. Slice baby tomatoes in half. Coarsely chop spinach. Add sweet potato, onion, peppers, tomato, spinach, parsley and oregano into bowl with bread. Sprinkle the crumbled cheese into the bowl. Toss to evenly mix.

5. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs with milk. Pour the egg mixture into the bread bowl. Combine until all ingredients are moistened.

6. Place the bread mixture into baking dish and press into pan firmly with hands. The baking dish will be quite full. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly overtop. Bake covered until centre is set, about 45 minutes. Allow pie to rest on the counter for 10 minutes before serving.

Voula’s notes:

Once assembled, the pie can be covered and refrigerated up to one day, and then baked.

You can add 1 cup (250 mL) chopped and cooked chicken, sausage, or ham to this recipe.

As long as you keep the basic ingredients of this recipe the same (that’s the bread, eggs, milk and cheese), you can substitute all the rest of the ingredients for any variety of flavor combinations and you’ll have great results every time (try a cheddar, corn and bacon combo, or a dolled-up dinner party pie with cooked salmon, dill and peas).

This easily turns into a sumptuous deep dish pizza pie treat—you can skip the sweet potato if you wish, use mozzarella or cheddar in place of the goat’s cheese and add 1 cup (250 mL) chopped pepperoni.

This is a great make-ahead brunch bake too


9 Responses to “Savoury Comfort Pie”

  1. Delaine June 13th, 2011 at 9:28 PM #

    Any idea of the nutritional information for this dish? It sounds delicious and healthy but it would be great to have this info.

    • Norrie June 20th, 2011 at 12:19 PM #

      Based on 12 servings, and using 2% milk & mozarella, I have entered the basic recipe into a recipe calculator and come up with the following Nutritional Information:
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 313.8
      Total Fat 12.3 g
      Saturated Fat 6.1 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 1.4 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 3.6 g
      Cholesterol 150.7 mg
      Sodium 670.6 mg
      Potassium 291.3 mg
      Total Carbohydrate 35.8 g
      Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
      Sugars 8.7 g
      Protein 16.7 g

      • Valerie Howes June 20th, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

        Thank you so much, Norrie. Which recipe calculator did you use?

      • Voula Halliday June 21st, 2011 at 9:41 AM #

        Hi Norrie,
        Thank you for taking the time to calculate the nutrient values for this recipe. What program did you use to do this? I’m hoping to have all the recipes in the cookbook analyzed for nutrient values and know that there are a few excellent companies in Canada that do this (for a fee). If you’ve had experience with this calculator and you feel confident about accuracy, I’d be so grateful to learn more about it.

        I have some suggestions to make this recipe fit dietary restrictions for anyone who is addressing concerns. None of these healthy substitutions I suggest compromise the great taste of this dish either.

        -Substitute non-fat milk for 2%
        -Use 4 egg whites and 4 whole eggs instead if you’d like to reduce the cholesterol
        -Reduce the amount of mozzarella used in the recipe to 3/4 cup OR
        -Substitute a low-sodium mozzarella to reduce salt
        -Substitute a skim milk mozzarella to reduce fat
        -Select whole grain bread that is made without sugar (whole grain baguette works well too) or choose a sprouted bread for increased fibre and increased overall nutrient value per serving (Ezekiel bread is a favourite)
        -Substitute a low-sodium feta cheese for the goat cheese

        If you do come up with exciting new flavour combinations and you’d like to share them with us, please do! We’d love to see how you are using your favourite ingredients to prepare this recipe.

        Again, thanks so much for responding to Delaine and providing this information.

  2. Monique Le Duc June 20th, 2011 at 7:18 PM #

    Can this savoury pie be served cold as for a picnic? Also as a challenge, for one grandson,
    can the bread be substituted for gluten-free, rice-free and corn-free bread?

    • Voula Halliday June 21st, 2011 at 9:48 AM #

      Hello Monique,

      We’ve had it cold and we like it, so yes, I think this would be a wonderful picnic dish. You could even serve it with salsa for an extra zip of flavour.

      You should have no problem substituting the wheat bread for any other kind of bread. I’ve substituted with gluten free bread and had great results. I’ve even made a eggless non-dairy version by using pureed tofu with soy or rice milk and it’s turned out great.

  3. Valerie Howes June 21st, 2011 at 11:31 AM #

    Thanks, Voula, for responding to these questions!

  4. Monique Le Duc June 22nd, 2011 at 5:43 PM #

    Many thanks Voula for your prompt response to both my questions.
    I plan to make this savoury comfort pie during my grandchildren’s visit from Calgary.

    • Valerie Howes June 23rd, 2011 at 12:30 PM #

      That’s wonderful, Monique! Please let us know if it’s a hit.

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