If you are looking for a classic Greek meat pie, then this recipe for Kreatopita will be just what you need! Combining two different types of meat, it is a traditional, rustic pie you would see in villages across parts of Greece.
So go ahead and discover how to make it to perfection with my delicious recipe, step by step photos and tips and tricks below!
What is Kreatopita (Greek meat pie)?
Kreatopita is a traditional Greek meat pie that you’ll traditionally find made in the villages across Kefallonia. They may not look like the fanciest of pies, but they are packed with so much flavour! They are also easy to make and can be a great way to use up some cuts of meat that you have in your freezer. This pie is a:
- Two meat pie: A traditional pie that uses two different portions of meat in the filling.
- Rustic favorite: It may not look the most spectacular but there’s so much taste involved!
What you’ll need to make Greek Meat Pie the traditional way
You can use any combination of meats such as lamb, pork, veal or beef in the pie but it is always traditional to use at least two different types. I would avoid pairing veal and beef as these can taste quite similar so you’ll loose out a bit on the flavor!
When selecting your cuts of meat, I find that shoulder works best for both lamb and pork as it contains a bit more fat than the rest, which gives the pie a more intense flavor as well as they are pretty cheap to get!
Finally, traditionally, Carolina rice is used in the pie but this isn’t always widely available outside Greece. So instead go for white basmati rice in the dish as it works just as well! If you do spot Carolina rice, then by all means, give it a try instead.
Greek Meat Pie Key Ingredients
The traditional Greek Meat pie (kreatopita) needs just a handful of ingredients to make:
- Meat: You’ll need 2 cuts of meat for this recipe with my favourite ones being diced lamb and diced pork.
- For the pie filling: You’ll need some onion and garlic together with tomatoes, tomato paste and white wine. Finally the white basmati rice helps to give it extra bulk.
- Meat seasoning: I love using some dried marjoram along with fresh mint and flat leaf parsley to season my filling. You could also use dried oregano if you don’t have marjoram but because it is stronger, use only 3/4 tsp.
- Pie crust: I’ve opted to make my pie with puff pastry but you can also make it using your homemade phyllo. To finish off your pie you’ll need an egg to egg wash it and (traditionally) some kefalotyri cheese or, if you can’t find this, some halloumi cheese.
Key Preparation Tips
There are three main steps to prepare this Greek meat pie:
- Prepare the meat
- Make the pie filling
- Finally, assemble the pie
Prepare the meat
To make the pie filling, heat a large heavy-bottomed, lidded saucepan or casserole over a medium high heat with olive oil.
Brown the meat in batches, lowering the heat as needed to avoid burning bits on the bottom of the pan, and set it aside.
Tip: If your pan is not a non-stick type or not well seasoned you may get some bits of burnt meat on the bottom of the pan. If the brown patches are excessive, move the meat to another pan with a fresh splash of olive oil otherwise they may spoil the flavor of the pie filling as it will taste burnt!
Make the pie filling
Start by reducing the heat to medium low – you want the sauce to simmer, not boil! Fry the finely chopped onion with a little salt and the fat leftover from the meat until they have softened, caramelised and started to brown. This usually takes about 6-8 minutes. Then peel and crush the garlic and add to the onion, cooking for another minute.
Then proceed to stir in the tomato paste and took for a minute or two to release the tomato flavor. Add the roughly chopped tomatoes and cook again until they start to break down then mix in the dried marjoram (or oregano if you’re substituting).
Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, let it simmer for a bit until it reduces by half then add 200ml or 3/4 cup of water and bring to the boil. Finally reduce the heat to low, add the lid on and simmer for an hour or so until the meat is tender.
Once done cooking, add the roughly chopped fresh herbs (parsley and mint) to the mixture, add the uncooked rice, stir then leave it to cool to room temperature. The rice will cook with the residual heat from the meat sauce and will soak up all its delicious juices! Once you are happy the pie filling is cooled, add more salt and pepper if needed.
Tip: Before adding the rice, if your sauce looks too dry, add a splash of water, bring it to a boil, remove from the heat then add the rice.
Assemble the Greek meat pie
To assemble your kreatopita, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit and grease a large square baking dish (about 22 cm/9 inches square) evenly with some butter.
Split the puff pastry into two parts, one slightly larger than the other. The smaller one will make the pie lid while the bigger one is for the pie base.
Flour your surface, then roll out the larger pastry block into a square that comfortably lines the bottom of your dish and leaves a few centimetres or 1/2 an inch over the filling line. Use this to line the dish, pushing gently into the corners with your fingers.
Proceed to spoon in the cooled filling. Lightly beat an egg and use this to brush the exposed edges of the pastry. Sprinkle some of your grated cheese evenly across the pie filling.
To make the lid, roll out the smaller block and add it to the top of the pie, pressing down to seal the pastry where you added the egg.
Trim off any excess and brush the top of the pie with egg wash. Cut two small holes in the centre so steam can escape as it cooks.
Finally, cook in the oven for 1 hour or until the pastry is golden. Leave your kreatopita to cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
Can you use filo pastry?
You can definitely use homemade filo pastry for your pie! Feel free to give it a go using this easy homemade phyllo recipe. However, if you are not the most confident in working with pastry, use ready made puff pastry. It tastes great and it is also a huge time-saver!
Finally, don’t worry if the block of pasty you’ve bought is a little different in size than in the recipe below. Just follow the measurements as a rough indication of what is needed to cover the dish and adapt for your own bakeware.
Making ahead of time and storing
I find it easiest to make the pie filling the day before I want to make the pie. Pop it in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the pie. Just take your filling out of the fridge, prepare your pastry, assemble and bake as per the recipe below.
If you have leftovers, let them cool and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. Just reheat in the oven before serving.
Finally if you want to freeze the entire pie, its best to do this before baking it. Assemble but don’t glaze with egg, cover with plastic wrap and some foil then freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw completely overnight then cook in the oven as directed.
As the main course, Greek meat pies are perfect with something like a tabouli or Horiatiki Greek salad. You can also enjoy it as a light meal on its own!
More delicious Greek Pies!
If you love a traditional Greek pie, the below recipes are made for you!
- Greek Chicken Pie Recipe (Kotopita)
- Traditional Greek Leek Pie Recipe (Prasopita)
- Spanakopita Recipe With Homemade Phyllo (Authentic Greek Spinach Pie)
- Mini Spanakopita Triangles Recipe (Spanakopitakia / Greek Spinach Triangles)
- Greek Feta Cheese Pies Recipe (Tiropitakia)
- Spiral-Shaped Greek Cheese Pie Recipe (Kichi Kozanis)
- Traditional Zucchini Pie Recipe With Feta Cheese (Greek Kolokithopita)
- Traditional Tiropita Recipe (Greek Cheese Pie With Feta)
- Delicious Little Cheese Pies! (Pitarakia Milou)
If you are looking for a classic Greek meat pie, then this recipe for Kreatopita will be just what you need! Combining two different types of meat, it is a traditional, rustic pie you would see in villages across parts of Greece
For the Greek meat pie filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 325g diced lamb (11 1/2 oz)
- 325g diced pork (11 1/2 oz)
- 1 brown onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 200ml white wine (3/4 cups)
- 50g white basmati rice (1/4 cup)
- handful flat leaf parsley
- handful fresh mint
- butter, at room temperature
- 500g block puff pastry (1 lb 1 1/2 oz)
- 100g kefalotyri or halloumi cheese (3 1/2 oz)
- 1 egg
For the Greek meat pie filling
- To make the filling for this traditional Kreatopita, heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large heavy bottomed, lidded saucepan or casserole dish set over a medium high heat. Salt the meat well and fry the meat in batches until well browned, adjusting the heat if necessary to make sure you don’t get burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Set the meat aside.
- Lower the heat to medium low. Finely chop the onion and gently fry it along with another pinch of salt in the fat leftover from the meat for 6-8 minutes until the onion has softened and started to brown. Peel and crush the garlic cloves and add them to the onion, cooking for a further minute until aromatic.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two until slightly caramelised. Roughly chop the tomatoes and stir them in too, cooking for another few minutes until they start to break down. Add the dried marjoram.
- Add the wine and allow to reduce by half. Add 200ml / 3/4 cups water, and turn up the heat to bring the filling up to a boil. Reduce to low, clap on the lid and leave to simmer for an hour, until the meat is tender.
- Roughly chop the herbs and stir them into the pie filling, along with the uncooked rice. Leave to cool to room temperature.
- Check the seasoning of the cooled pie filling, adding pepper and more salt if necessary.
To assemble the Greek meat pie
- To assemble the Kreatopita, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 Fahrenheit and liberally butter your deepest square baking dish roughly 22 cm / 9 inches square.
- Divide the puff pastry block into two, one half slightly smaller than the other to make the lid.
- On a well floured surface, roll the larger pastry block out into a large square, large enough to comfortably line the dish with a few centimetres / at least 1/2 inch to spare above the filling line. Use this to line the dish, using your fingers to push the pastry into the corners.
- Spoon in the filling. Lightly beat the egg, and brush the exposed edge of the pastry along the top.
- Grate the cheese and sprinkle it evenly across the top of the pie filling.
- Roll out the second block of pastry and top the pie with it, pressing down to seal the pastry along the egg wash line and trimming off any excess. Brush the top with egg wash and cut two small holes in the middle of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 1 hour until the pastry is golden. Leave to stand for 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!
Keywords: Greek meat pie, kreatopita recipe, Greek meat pie puff pastry