• Pumpkin, spinach and chickpea filo pie (Donal's Cook, Eat, Burn!)Source: Donal's Cook, Eat, Burn!

Comfort food need not be unhealthy, with a protein-packed pie covered with a light, flaky filo pastry to warm you from the inside.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (218 votes)


  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp each of ground cumin and coriander
  • 450 g butternut pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 400 g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 125 ml light coconut milk
  • a good pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 100 g frozen spinach
  • 8–10 filo pastry sheets, thawed if frozen
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lightly dressed mixed green salad, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the rapeseed oil in a large, heavy-based pan and sauté the onion, until softened and just beginning to colour around the edges. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add the spices and cook for a further minute, stirring.

2. Tip the pumpkin and chickpeas into the pan and mix well to combine, then allow to sauté for a couple of minutes. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, coconut milk and sugar, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is completely tender but still holding their shape.

3. Fold the spinach into the pumpkin mixture and cook for another couple of minutes until the spinach is cooked through and tender. The mixture should be nice and chunky at this point – any excess liquid should be reduced down. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Brush the base and sides of a large 1.5-litre ovenproof frying pan with rapeseed oil (or you can use a 23 cm loose-bottomed cake tin).

5. Brush 4–6 of the filo sheets with rapeseed oil, then lay them in the base of the pan or tin so they drape over the sides. Spoon in the cooled pumpkin mixture and spread out over the base. Fold the overhanging pastry over to cover the filling. Scrunch the remaining filo sheets and arrange on top to cover the top of the pie (you may not need all of them), brushing with a little extra oil. Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until the filo is crisp and golden.

6. If using a frying pan, carefully slide the pie on to a board (or remove it from the tin). Serve cut into slices with a green salad.