Cheeseburger Hand Pies – American Spin on English Classic

Cheeseburger Hand Pies Egg Wash
You can see the egg wash shine on the tops of these cheeseburger hand pies.

This cheeseburger hand pie recipe has throwback written all over it. The filling, the pie crust, the techniques all feel very, well, old. We’re going back in time and the kids love it.

It seems like every culture has a savory hand pie, from the English pasty to the Indian samosa and all in between – these things are everywhere. Yet they were absent in my life, save for dessert pies, such as those you would get for a buck at McDonalds, and the venerable and salty Hot Pockets. So after watching reruns of The Great British Baking Show I decided an Americanized version was something I wanted to make.

Flour Added to Ground Beef
Flour added to the ground beef mixture will make a gravy that will help hold things together in the pie.

The Filling for My Cheeseburger Hand Pies

I studied a variety of recipes to try to get a feel for how to make one of these. The recipe that appealed to me includes a gravy to bind the ingredients.

I wanted to keep the ingredients simple and understandable for the kids. I started my filling my sauteing diced sweet onion and garlic. Once they turned slightly brown I added a couple of pounds of 10% lean ground beef. I chose 10% because I wanted a little fat in this to help with the gravy.

Once the ground beef had cooked, I added a couple of tablespoons of flour and combined it into the mixture. I then added a half cup of beef broth to cook the flour and thicken into a gravy.

Ketchup Added to Ground Beef
Yep, that’s ketchup.

Once this was a nice thick consistency, I pondered what my kids and wife like on their cheeseburgers. So I added a couple of tablespoons of ketchup (yep). Finally, I took it off the heat and when it cooled I stirred in a couple of tablespoons of dill pickle relish (yep again). I remember adding similar ingredients from Paula Dean’s decadent bacon cheeseburger meatloaf recipe.

I popped the mixture in the refrigerator to cool it off before adding it to the pastry. A hot filling in a cold pastry will yield a soggy bottom, just ask Mary Berry.

First Try, No Hand Pie

When I decided to make these I also decided I would not make the dough from scratch. Instead, I decided to buy refrigerated pie crust at the store.

Now if you go into the grocery store without your reading glasses you’re asking for trouble. As such, during my first attempt at the hand pie, I returned home not with pie crust but with some weird puff pastry vessels. Undaunted by such a mistake I soldered on, determined to make the best of it.

After cooking them, I stuffed them with some warmed filling, topped them with shredded cheese and served them. They looked pretty but the crew wasn’t impressed. I think these little puff pastries were meant for salmon mousse or something similarly fancy and not the meaty cheeseburger filling. They wanted me to try again.

Puff Pastry Cheeseburger
They look pretty cool but these puff pastries filled with cheeseburger did not hit the mark.

Second Try, Hand Pie

A couple of days later I returned with some round pie crusts. I cut them into quarters and filled them with the cold meat mixture and a few chunks of cheddar or blue cheese (my wife’s favorite burger topping). Then I brushed the edges with an egg wash, encased the filling and crimped the edged with a fork. This was much more fun!

These cooked at 425 degrees about 20 minutes and came out of the oven golden brown.

Cheeseburger Hand Pies
The addition of the ketchup and dill pickle relish really made these hand pies taste the way my family likes their cheeseburgers.

How Did the Cheeseburger Hand Pies Taste?

Once cooled these were all eaten without complaint. The Americanized version of the hand pie was a hit and it’s no wonder why. They tasted just like a cheeseburger and a pie crust, two American things that took too long to join forces.

Make the yourself or, better yet, make a bunch and take them to you local firehouse. Let me know how it goes!

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

An American filling in a world food. The hand pie deserves a bigger role here.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 450 kcal


  • Cookie sheet


  • 1 lbs 10% Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Diced onion
  • 2 cloved Diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • ½ cup Beef broth
  • 2 tbps Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Dill Pickle Relish
  • 1 cup Cubed cheese You could use your favorite cheese here. I used cheddar and blue.
  • 1 tsp Olive oil For browning the onions
  • 2 Pre-made pie crusts Should have 2 pie crusts per package. These are found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near canned biscuits and such.
  • 1 whole Egg, beaten for egg wash
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


Make the Filling

  • Heat olive oil on medium high heat in large skillet. Brown onions and garlic, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and brown all the way through. There should be a little fat left in the pan.
  • Add flour and stir to combine. It should get pretty thick. Add more flour if it's not.
  • Add beef broth and bring to boil for a couple of minutes just to thicken it.
  • Take off of heat, taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Let the mixture cool a little then add ketchup and dill pickle relish. Put into refrigerator to chill and cool completely for about 30-60 minutes before using.

Stuff and Cook Pies

  • Preheat oven to 425°
  • After meat mixture has cooled, roll out pie crust and cut each one into quarters.
  • Fill one of the quarters with the meat mixture, as much as it will hold, and then press about 3 cubes of cheese into it.
  • Brush the edged with egg wash and then brush the top pie crust with egg wash. Join the two pieces and crimp the edges with a fork so they don't leak.
  • Brush top with egg wash and cut 3-4 slits in the top crust or dock with a fork 2-3 times.
  • Place on oiled cookie sheet or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
  • Remove from fridge and cook on center rack in oven for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool about 5-10 minutes and serve warm.
Keyword cheese, cheeseburger, ground beef, hand pie


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