• These mini chicken, baby marrow and bacon picnic pies are utterly yum, easy to make, pack and eat. If you’re itching to go on a picnic, don’t forget to include these in the menu!

    Recipe by Leila Saffarian 

    Assisted by Nomvuselelo Mncube

    Photograph by Graeme Borchers 

    Assisted by Curtis Gallon  

    Mini chicken, baby marrow and bacon picnic pies

    Serves: Makes 6-8 mini pies
    Cooking Time: 45 minutes


    • Filling

    • 4 cooked boneless and skinless chicken breasts, chopped
    • 250ml (1 cup) good quality, store-bought cheese sauce
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh chives, chopped
    • 5ml (1 tsp) dried chilli flakes
    • 5ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
    • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2 rolls wholewheat puff pastry
    • roasted baby marrow slices
    • 5 pieces cooked, crisp, streaky bacon, chopped
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • Dijon mustard, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 200°C.


    For the filling, place the chicken, cheese sauce, chives, chilli flakes and ground coriander in a large bowl. Season and mix well.


    Grease a 6-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.


    Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface and cut circles, slightly bigger than the muffin holes, with a smaller circle for the pie tops.


    Gently push the larger pastry discs into the muffin holes and fill with 15 – 30ml (1 – 2 tbsp) of chicken filling. Place baby marrow slices on top, followed by bacon and add another tablespoon of chicken into the pie.


    Top the pies with the smaller pastry discs, brush with beaten egg and create a small steam hole in the top of each pie.


    Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180°C and bake until the pastry is golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.


    Remove from the oven and cool before serving with a jar of Dijon mustard.


    Leila's tip: Serve these little pies with a simple, peppery rocket salad.