Rena’s Delicious Pea Pies (Qassatat)


My beautiful friend Rena – who isn’t vegetarian incidentally – made these superb little pies for me, which my 4 year old daughter also loved ! This recipe is the vegan version for you to enjoy. It is a typical Maltese snack, which usually comes in a variety of fillings, and is enormously popular.

These are easy to make, and are not only tasty, but are also fun snacks to have at any time of the day.  They are enjoyed in Malta with a cup of hot tea.  If you are a busy mum, make a few and freeze the rest – they are ever so handy on those days when there simply isn’t any time to make or bake.  Note, they are also fantastic winter accompaniments to have with soup – and as if that weren’t enough, they are wonderful party snacks.  Let’s go make them.

Makes around 12 (depending on the size you make)


  • Vegetable based, ready-made shortcrust pastry (best to have extra, so buy 2 packets – around ¾ of a kilo, or a kilo is good, depending on how thick you like the pastry)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of green split peas (soaked overnight and washed)
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 4 halved sundried tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup of vegetable stock


If you are using frozen pastry, make sure it has thawed completely. Start off by frying your onions and garlic mix in a non-stick frying pan, until they become a little transparent.  Then add your drained split peas, and the remainder of the ingredients, including the vegetable stock.  Cover and allow to cook for 40 minutes or so, or until the peas are virtually mushy, mixing every now and again. You should be left with a consistency similar to that of thick mashed potatoes.  Then use a hand masher or a fork to mash the ingredients and allow to cool.

Next, roll the pastry on a well floured surface, and cut into saucer-sized circles.  Spoon some filling in the middle, and shape them as per the picture into little pastry sacks with a neck diameter of around an inch or so.

Place each one on a non-stick, well greased oven tray, brush with some soya milk, and bake in a preheated oven until golden.

The next part is easy – Tuck In !

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  1. I’ve never been tempted to make these at home as I find them sooo off-putting whenever I’ve tried them in cafes – all thick rock-hard or greasy pastry and dried out fillings kept warm for hours. But, this recipe seems to resolve those issues – roll as thin as you like, stuff with more filling than any cafe or bakery ever does, and wow, you’ve a healthy snack ideal for those school lunch boxes. Thanks for posting this one – will definitely give them a go now.

  2. Yes, I tend to agree with these pies sold locally being either rock hard, too much pastry, or a very dry filling. Do be sure, if you want them to have more moisture, to add a little warm water (or vegetable stock if you have it) to the mixture until you get the consistency that you prefer. Also note that if you prefer green olives to sun dried tomatoes, then chop those instead. I will be making more of these with different fillings (my favourite is the spinach, soft peas and olive stuffing, and I make a greek-style tomato sauce – that’s one for another time). All in all I think that they are better served warm than cold though, as the filling may become denser if allowed to cool too much (so bear that in mind if making for a school box). Enjoy !

  3. I’m thinking of doing the pea pies as party finger food. Would they come too hard if i don’t add stock to moisten the filling? I want to do small pies so people can eat them easily during the party. Maybe it’s best to soften the filling a little….what do you think dear Miriam?!

  4. Hi Pam, the consistency may be a little too thick for your liking, so what you can do is add a a few tablespoons of vegetable stock to the filling whilst it is cooking, you will know how much to use as you will see it, taste it and feel it with your utensil. I have been known to add a few drops myself if the peas are hard to soften in the cooking process and need extra time. Hope you enjoy them, they are quite tasty (and very filling). Enjoy !.

  5. Miriam I love pies and I don’t often get to make them. These have whetted my appetite and sharpened my desire for pies! So I will be making these at the weekend. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Hi there dear Phil, thanks for dropping by here. I hope you enjoy these. A small Tip – remember when it come to filling/texture feel free to add a wee bit more liquid if you prefer a less dense filling – best to taste for texture before you do so first. Best to you always !

  7. Ok thanks for letting me know.
    Can I just say the variety of food on your website is really exciting. Truly mouthwatering and inspirational.

  8. Nice simple recipe with no funny-name US ingredients. Thankyou ! Your website is bookmarked.

  9. Hi there Mike and welcome here, thanks for dropping by with your comment and I look forward to your comments on my blog ! Cheers to you !

  10. Phil Hi there and many, many thanks for your wonderful kind and complimentary words ! It is people like you who make it all so worthwhile ! I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! Thanks & Big Cheers to you !

  11. I kept to my word and I made these divine little pies at the weekend and they lived upto my expectation.

    Miriam thanks so much for continued inspiration, your food is sublime.

    Anyone contemplating making these just go for it, easy, tasty and very rewarding.

  12. Phil Hi there and thanks so much for taking the trouble to pop by here with your comment – I always appreciate your feedback since you yourself were a chef and still enjoy cooking and creating. Am so glad you enjoyed these and look forward to your future comments on my blog. Very Best to you! !

  13. Can you make these with filo pastry?

  14. Francesco Accolla

    I will certainly try them very soon… Thanks

  15. Hi Francesco and welcome here. I look forward to your feedback on my recipes. Best wishes to you !

  16. Kerry/Marie Hi there and welcome here. You could indeed make them with filo pastry, make sure you use a few layers to encase them well. Let me know how it goes as and when. Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  17. Hello again Miriam,
    I just wanted to tell you I am making these Pea Pies again today for our friends before we leave to our new house. I know they will find them delicious and I will serve them warm with my own Potato Salad.
    I will let you know their thoughts on the Pies.
    Thanks again for these bite size wonders!
    Phil 🙂

  18. Hi there Phil and thanks for your comment. I hope your friends enjoy these, and I look forward to your feedback as and when they have tried them. Very best your way in the meantime ! 🙂

  19. Looks AMAZING Miriam!! If you don’t use premade crust, can you use a regular pie crust? Or does it need to be something else? You’re the best!!

  20. Cindy Hi there. You may use regular pie crust for this recipe no problem. Enjoy and let me know how it goes. Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  21. The Pea Pies were a great success, our friends enjoyed them so much so that they want more!
    I must just say, everyone had two each and I had three 🙂

  22. Thanks for coming back with your feedback Phil. I am delighted that they were enjoyed through and through. Best wishes to you as always !

  23. Thank you. Great recipe and Qassatat turned out perfect, just as I imagined. Taste very close to original Qassatat tal-Pizelli in Malta 😊😊

  24. Hi there Pat, I’m delighted that you have made and enjoyed my (Rena’s) qassatat recipe. I hope you continue to enjoy it and many other recipes from my blog. All the best to you !


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