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Cheese and Potato Pie, Childhood Memories!

Cheese and potato pie was ever present on the school dinner menu as well as at home, it is essentially a cheesy mash bake and it is awesome!

It’s not refined in the slightest, it’s a baked cheesy mash with a little onion, a cheesy topping, and some tomato, which is completely optional.

Portrait image of cheese and potato pie bake topped with tomato slices and served with sausages and baked bean

Cheese and Potato Bake

The sight of cheese and tattie pie on the school dinner menu or my Mom talking about it being for dinner would have filled me with delight growing up!

For some strange reason, it is a recipe that kinda slipped from my consciousness over the years. Working on my cheese and onion pie and cheese and onion pasty rekindled a load of memories and I had to give it an itch!

It joins other childhood favourites like spam fritters, gammon, egg and chips, savoury mince beef, canned corned beef hash and liver and onions, yes I loved liver as a kid!

The cheese and potato pie I grew up with featured no pastry, and no filling.

Many people use something similar to top shepherds pie or cottage pie. But as far as I am concerned that is just wrong!

But it is still a pie, us Brits are perfectly comfortable with being “liberal” with our food names. If you are ever find yourself in rural Hungary buy me a beer and let me explain British puddings to you!

I digress, cheese & potato pie is essentially a cheesy mashed potato bake. My US readers would probably call it a “casserole”.

I call it comfort food heaven and it’s super easy to make because you do not have to mess around with pastry.

If cheese is your thing you must check out my chicken parmo recipe! An incredibly indulgent dish of a fried breaded chicken breast covered in bechamel sauce and cheese.

Portrait overhead image of cheese and potato pie bake topped with tomato slices and served with sausages and baked beans

Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of potatoes should I use?

This recipe is as simple as it gets! It is essentially a cheesy mash but don’t tell anyone I said that!

As with all mashed potato recipes you need floury or mealy potatoes as my US readers would call them.

You are looking for something like King Edwards, Maris Piper, Russet or Idaho.

What sort of cheese should I use?

For me, it has to be a nice sharp mature cheddar cheese. I have experimented with both Wensleydale and Cheshire cheese, both are pleasing in this dish but not quite as satisfying as cheddar!

Good cheddar should have a firm texture and not be spongy.

It should be creamy but crumbly all at the same time. Most importantly it should scream savoury with just the slightest hint of sweetness.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, you can build this dish and place it in the fridge for 2-3 days covered with film and then bake it when you are ready.

I personally do not like freezing mashed potato and that goes for this recipe too.

Do I have to use English mustard?

No, you can omit the mustard or scale it back to something a little less “pokey” if you wish. Anything from German or American mustard to dijon or even wholegrain mustard is fine.

Portrait image of cheese and potato pie bake topped with tomato slices with a spoon taking out a piece

Serving Suggestions

Growing up this would usually be served as a main course with peas and loads of tomato ketchup.

This recipe will serve 2 as a main and 4 as a side dish. Although I reckon I would eat it all myself if left to my own devices!

I usually serve it as an indulgent side dish and it usually gets trotted out when I make my homemade sausages.

Just to ramp up the Britishness I tend to serve it with baked beans too!

But it is also superb with baked beans, so good in fact that it was the seed of the idea behind my fish finger pie!

But if you wanted to get all wrapped up in some serious bean cooking then these baked beans with bacon sound incredible.

Landscape image of cheese and potato pie bake topped with tomato slices served with baked beans and sausages

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a dish. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Oven.
  • 20cm or 8″ saucepan.
  • 500-600ml (2 cup) baking dish.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Potato ricer or masher.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Colander.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Square image of cheese and potato pie bake served with sausages and baked beans
Yield: 2-4 Servings

Cheese and Potato Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Cheese and potato pie was one of my favourite meals growing up, back then it would have been served as a main with peas and ketchup. I now prefer to serve it as a side with sausages and baked beans, yes I am still a child at heart!

Ingredients

  • 400g (3 Small-Medium) Potatoes
  • 75g (½ Stick + 1 Tbsp) Butter
  • 1½ Tbsp English Mustard
  • 150g (1½ Cups) Sharp Mature Cheddar
  • 75g (½ Cup) Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 Tomato
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a 20cm or 8" saucepan of well-salted water to the boil. I use 1 teaspoon of salt in a pan this size.
  2. Add on the potatoes whole and unpeeled and boil until cooked, this should take around 30-35 minutes.
  3. Halfway through cooking the potatoes peel the onion and drop it into the pan.
  4. Drain the potatoes, prick them with a fork and peel off the skin.
  5. Mash the potatoes or pass them through a potato ricer.
  6. Add the butter, almost all of the cheese and the mustard and mix well.
  7. Beat the egg with the milk.
  8. Add in the beaten egg and milk, then mix well, you should have quite a "wet" mash.
  9. Chop the onion into a 1cm (½") dice and mix that through the potatoes.
  10. Have a taste here and add more salt if required although it should not be!
  11. Place the mash into a greased or buttered casserole dish (around 0.5 litres in size) and top with the remaining cheese.
  12. Slice the tomato into 3-4mm (⅛-¼) thick slices and add them to the top of the mash.
  13. Bake in an oven at 200°C or 400°F for 15-20 minutes.

Notes

Nutrition calculated for 4 portions, this will serve 4 as a side and two as a main.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 59gSaturated Fat: 34gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 249mgSodium: 1216mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 28g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Stella

Thursday 23rd of May 2024

We were taught in cooking class in high school, in the early 90's, a similar dish, and it was called 'sausage and bean bake' Cook sausages, place in an ovenproof dish, pour over a can of baked beans, then put cheesy mash on top and bake it for about 30 minutes!

Brian Jones

Monday 3rd of June 2024

That sounds awesome and verry similar to fun a fish finger "pie" recipe that I have on my site :D

Jonny

Tuesday 16th of April 2024

OMG Brian, talk about nostalgia, this really is going too take me back in time.

This is a dish that I would crave has a kid, and I would deffo be going back up for seconds at school.

I recall the days of getting back from school walking up the entry of our terraced house and the smell of Cheese and Potato Pie wafting in my face, even on a hot summers day I would want to scoff the lot.

So I had my school dinner version, my mums version, then my grans version, then my best mates mums version...

Grans version, only used leeks instead of onions, always served with sausages and no toms on top of the pie.

School dinner version, was very basic (but still very nice) it would depend on what dinner lady cooked it, but you knew you would 100% be getting spam fritters with it and baked beans.

Mums version, leeks & onions, toms on top, lots of mustard but not too strong, a real heavy topping of cheese that would crunch when you chopped into it, with a side of spam fritters and baked beans or sometimes just baked beans.

Best mates mums version, so my mates mum was Spanish, in the bottom of the glass dish would be, minced beef with onions, topped with a layer of plum tomatoes and I think some red peppers, with probably some paprika dashing about, the topping was the same has most cheese and potato pies but just more toms on top. The whole dish had a hint heat but not too spicey or over powering. She would always serve a side of greens with it.

Not sure how she did it but the mash would never get soggy from the juices at the bottom of the dish.

All of the above used a strong Red Leicester Cheese has that's a midlands thing.

I'm really looking forward at giving your recipe a go.

Brian Jones

Sunday 21st of April 2024

Hey Jonny...

Glad this recipe triggers memories, this is wee slice of nostalgia is the most popular recipe on my site, probably for that reason... childhood food memories are awesome and I love them.

Like you there were so many memories of this growing up, this is a bit of a mash up between my Nans and my Moms version with a liberal sprinkling of grown up me ;)

Your Spanish mates Mom's version sounds awesome :D

I'm a Brummie and loads of my friends parents used Red Leicester but I was bought up with sharp cheddar, I think my Mom used to get loads of it from her brother who was a butcher and it was always really sharp and crumbly.

Enjoy.

Brian

Janie

Saturday 9th of September 2023

Hi Brian, I am so glad I came across your site. Cheese and potato pie, and spam fritters are food of the gods! I shall be making the cheese and potato pie for dinner this evening for the family as a side to accompany pork shoulder steaks and greens.

Brian Jones

Saturday 9th of September 2023

Glad that you've found me Janie, I live a bit of food nostalgia from my childhood :)

Lib

Thursday 3rd of August 2023

Hi Brian, I’m planning on making this recipe however just wanted to know what type of milk did you use? Also was the English mustard “dried English mustard”? Thanks!

Brian Jones

Saturday 26th of August 2023

Hi Lib... it's regular milk and I use prepared English mustard.

Sarah

Monday 1st of May 2023

Cheese pie was one of my favourites as a kid and i still make it as an adult , mum taught us to layer the cheese in the potato and serve with beans, corned beef and Tommy sauce. I'm sure it started out that it was a way to get us kids to eat onions too, but it doesn't taste right without them. I used yo thunk it was a made up dish by my mum, but so pleased to see so many others love it too 😁

Tamie

Thursday 22nd of June 2023

@Brian Jones, my husband never heard of it , I’m near brum and he’s from Chester

Brian Jones

Sunday 7th of May 2023

I think we all have that kinda thought, I was chatting with my aunt last weekend and she was talking about cheese and potato pie and how her Mom (my gran) made it for her, she still waxes lyrical about it being her favourite dinner from her childhood.

Out of interest, which part of the country are you from? Most people that know this seem to come from a band across the centre of the UK, from North Wales across the Midlands and out towards Leicester and Peterborough (I'm a Brummie). My wife who is a Lancashire lass had never heard of it, and neither have my friends from north or south of that corridor.

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