All pies are only as good as the pie crust. So take some time to read about Pie Crust 101 and choose the pastry recipe that you understand the best. Remember, you don't have to make a pie crust the traditional way, with cold fat cut into flour, then cold liquid added. I myself have had the most success with Hot Water Pastry, which is foolproof, especially when you roll the pastry out between two sheets of waxed paper. But you don't have to make a pie crust if you don't have time or aren't inclined to do so. There are plenty of prepared, refrigerated and frozen pie crust products on the grocer's shelves; just follow the package directions to make your own masterpiece. You can even use refrigerated biscuits, crescent rolls, and pizza crusts in place of pie crusts.
There are two crust main dish pies, and single crust main dish pies. The single pie recipes are generally quiches (which real men do eat), that is, an egg and cheese custard baked in a crust. You can put just about any cooked meat or vegetable into the quiche base, making this an ideal way to use up leftovers. Two crust pies are sturdier, with a denser filling. And Pot Pies, which I discussed in a previous article, are hot fillings topped with a pie crust. We're dealing with single crust and two crust pies here.
If you are a cook who likes to make food ahead of time, these pies can be frozen and then thawed overnight in the refrigerator and baked. Or they can be baked, cooled, and frozen, then thawed and reheated in the microwave oven. Or you can make a batch of pie crusts and freeze them. In the time it takes to thaw the crusts on the kitchen counter, you can get the filling together so dinner is ready in a matter of minutes.
Enjoy these easy pies. Don't be intimidated - they are really very easy. And use your imagination to create your own pies using your favorite ingredients and flavors. Have fun!
Main Dish Pies
- Quiche Lorraine
This is the basic French main dish pie that you can adapt to just about any meat, cheese, or vegetable combination.
- Italian Sausage Pie
This big, beautiful pie is a real show stopper. Once you get the sausage cooked and the crust made, this is a very simple pie to make. And it tastes fabulous!
- Chicken Dijon Quiche
This rich quiche is full of rich cheeses, tender cooked chicken and hearty vegetables.
- Ricotta Artichoke Pie
Marinated artichokes provide the seasoning in this creamy, cheesy main dish pie.
- Enchilada Microwave Chicken Pie
It was a real breakthrough when foodies discovered that you can indeed cook a pie shell in the microwave oven. One of the tricks is that the edges of the pie are colored with spices to add to the visual appeal.
- Chile Rellenos Pie
This spicy quiche combines chili peppers with eggs, sour cream and cheese for a delectable pie.
- Corned Beef and Cabbage Tarts
These delicious individual pies can be made without the corned beef for an elegant vegetarian main dish. I love the flavor and texture combinations in this recipe.
- Spinach Quiche
This pie is a bit more complicated; a white sauce gives the pie structure and makes for a meltingly tender filling.
- Pizza Quiche
The flavors of pizza in a main dish pie! Your kids will love this rich and delicious recipe.
- Ham and Swiss Quiche
Traditional flavors of ham and Swiss cheese combine in this easy and nutritious main dish pie.
- Enchilada Chicken Pies
These individual pies with a biscuit dough crust are filled with cream cheese, chicken, and chilies. Yum.
- Wild Rice Quiche
This is one of my favorite quiche recipes. Tender and nutty wild rice blends so well with the rich egg custard and tangy Swiss cheese in this wonderful pie.
- Microwave Salmon Quiche
Another microwave quiche recipe! You could easily substituted canned tuna or chicken for the salmon.
- Taco Pie
Refried beans, ground beef, and crushed taco chips fill this hearty and delicious pie.
- Beef Cottage Cheese Pie
This homey recipe is real comfort food. You can make it using ingredients you probably already have in your fridge and pantry!