Savory hand pies made with flaky crescent roll dough filled with a rich and meaty filling. These easy and quick pies are perfect football food but also make a standout weeknight dinner when paired with a simple salad.
Louisiana Natchitoches Meat Pies are easy as could be and make the perfect potluck dish for any type of gathering, particularly one that includes sports. Prepared Crescent Roll dough make this meat pie recipe quick and simple, but it also lends a wonderful buttery, flaky texture to the meat pies. Young or old, even the pickiest eaters will love Louisiana Meat Pies.
The idea for this savory pie recipe came from a road trip that my husband, Chris, and I took early in our relationship. We drove from Oklahoma City to New Orleans, and en route, made a pitstop in Natchitoches, Louisiana for some of their famous meat pies.
Now, for those of you from Louisiana, I’m not saying this recipe is made to be just like Natchitoches meat pies. The filling is very similar in that it’s simple and all about the meat, but I’ve taken a turn with my dough choice to suit my personal taste and to forego frying. I just had to put this out there, because I know how passionate Louisiana folks are about their food.
One amazing summer of my life was spent in Louisiana. I lived in New Orleans for two months while interning for Ralph Brennan where I worked in the French Quarter. My workday ended by 3 pm every day (god…I miss my twenties), so I spent most of my free time eating and drinking my way through the city. Still to this day, I’m inspired by the flavors of Cajun and creole food.
Louisiana Natchitoches Meat Pies are one such example of how the inspiration of Louisiana foods stays with me to this day.
What is a meat pie?
Meat pies are nothing more than a hand pie filled with meat. I just love a good hand pie…IE a pie that you can easily hold in your hand. Hand pies can be found in both savory and sweet form, and one such savory hand pie is a meat pie. The Brits call them Pasties (not to be confused with the nipple covers).
What’s so special about Natchitoches, Louisiana?
Other than the fact that the movie Steel Magnolias was inspired by the town, their fried pies! Pronounced NACK-id-dush, Natchitoches is the home to infamous meat pies. You can certainly find fried pies all over the world, but Louisiana Meat Pies from Natchitoches are so special that there is an annual festival in their honor.
What’s inside a Louisiana Natchitoches Meat Pies?
Louisiana Meat Pies contain a mixture of cooked ground beef and pork. The original meat pie recipe is pure and simple, and I didn’t want to mess that up in my spin-off. Green onions and garlic along with a splash of Worcestershire sauce are the backbone for the pies’ savory filling.
The filling for my Louisiana Meat Pies can be made lightning fast, and it can also be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge before using. Doing so will cut the total cooking time down to just assembling and baking the pies, or 30 minutes at most. The only part of this recipe that requires any time is letting the filing cool, hence why I recommend making it in advance if you can.
Hot filling is the one thing that will make Crescent Roll dough difficult to work with. Because it has plenty of fat in it, the dough can get sticky and just turn into a general pain in the ass if the filling is warm.
How is the Cooking and Cussing version different from other recipes?
The primary difference in my recipe versus others is the use of crescent roll dough. I tried this recipe with pie crust like I use in my Shepherd’s Hand Pies, but the pies were too dry. My goal was to achieve the moist crust that you get from deep frying but from the oven. Crescent roll dough does just that!
It is buttery and rich just like fried pies but requires a fraction of the effort. They make a crescent roll dough now that is not perforated. If you can't find it, just pinch the seams together before starting to fill ((more on this in the recipe below). Not only is it completely fail-proof, but Crescent Roll dough is also delicious!
Tips for assembling Louisiana Meat Pies
Don’t be intimidated by putting together your own meat pies. Crescent dough is so forgiving as long as you don’t let it get hot. Be sure your filling is totally cool before adding it to the crescent dough and you shouldn’t have any problem with this meat pie recipe.
I like to make the filling a day or two in advance, so it has plenty of time to cool before filling the hand pies. You can also spread the filling out on a sheet pan and let it cool in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until cool to the touch.
I provide measurements for perfectly even meat pies, but honestly, it’s not that serious. The one thing you want to look out for is to make sure you stuff the pies with plenty of meat. Don’t be stingy.
I recently had the pleasure of making this recipe with my niece, Livi, who is six years old. She loves to cook and is such a great helper in the kitchen. There’s no need to fuss over the dough so definitely let the kids help with this one. Louisiana Meat Pies are super tasty no matter what they look like!
What should I serve with my Meat Pies?
If you’re serving Louisiana Meat Pies as a party food, then all you need is a good dipping sauce. My recipe includes a horseradish dipping sauce that I love with ground beef, but you’re welcome to choose any dipping sauce that tickles your taste buds. Russian dressing or fry sauce would both also pair well.
I love to make my Louisiana Meat Pie recipe for dinner though. They are the perfect way to mix up the normal dinner routine. Paired with a simple green salad, they make a beautiful weeknight dinner.
Can you make the pies in advance?
I wouldn’t recommend it. You can definitely make the filling in advance (see my notes above in the “What’s inside a Louisiana Natchitoches Meat Pies?” section), but the pies are best eaten either warm or at room temperature soon after baking.
The cooked pies can be frozen whole after cooling and kept for up to 3 months in an airtight container. To reheat, allow the pies to thaw first and then reheat in a 250-degree oven until warmed through.
Check out the recipe below and give it a try! I’d love to hear what you think.
This little gadget is the thing you never knew you needed until you had it, and then you'll find yourself using it all the time! Breaking up ground meat while cooking is quick and simple with this chopper
Anytime you're working with dough, a bench scraper is your best friend. If you're like me and have hot hands, a bench scraper makes handling dough so much easier and less messy.
Louisiana Meat Pies
- 1 tsp olive oil
- ½ lb ground beef 80/20 or chuck
- ½ lb ground pork
- 4 green onions
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 heaping Tb flour
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- ½ C beef stock
- 2 tubes crescent roll dough preferably the non-perforated kind
- 1 egg
Horseradish Dipping Sauce
- ¼ C sour cream
- ¼ C mayo
- 1-3 Tb creamy horseradish more or less as desired
- juice half lemon
- 2 dashes Worcestershire
- pinch salt and black pepper
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and once hot, add the ground beef and pork.
- Cook the meat for about 10 minutes until browned. Break up the meat while it's cooking until the texture is small crumbles. Cut the green onions into ¼-inch pieces, including the white portion of the onion.
- Once the meat is browned and cooked through, add garlic, green onions, salt and pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes. Add flour, stir well to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Last, add Worcestershire and beef stock.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring often until the sauce is thick. The sauce should coat all of the meat.
- Cool the filling completely before filling the hand pies. You can make the filling in advance or spread out the filling on a sheet pan and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once the filling is cooled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the crescent dough from the can and place on a lightly floured surface. If using the preforated dough, pinch together the seams using your two index fingers, being careful not to tear the dough. Once you've pinched all the seams, sprinkle a light dusting of flour on top of the dough and lightly roll over the dough to flatten and seal your pinched seams.
- Crack one egg into a small bowl and whisk in 1 tsp of cold water. Set aside with a pastry brush for assembling the pies.
- Lightly flour the top of your crescent roll dough and roll out to a roughly 6" x 9" rectangle. If you want perfect squares, trim the edges to be straight, and then cut the dough into six 3-inch squares.
- Place 3 Tb of filling in one corner of each square. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat all four edges of the square with egg wash. Fold the corner opposite of the filling over the top until the edges meet to form a triangle shape. Carefully press down the edges with your fingers.
- Carefully remove the hand pie from your work surface and place it on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. Use a fork to seal the edges completely. Cut one ½-inch slit in the top of each pie to allow steam to escape.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Crescent roll dough browns quickly so keep an eye on them. The filling is totally cooked so you're just trying to bake the dough.
- To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and chill until ready to serve.
- Once cooked, cool for a couple of minutes before serving with horseradish cream sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Crescent roll dough will become impossible to work with if the filling is hot. I like to make the filling ahead of time, but that's not required.
The pies are best served fresh. If you have leftovers that you don't want to throw out, you can freeze the pies once they are cooled and store for up to 3 months in an airtight container. When you're ready to reheat, allow the pies to thaw before warming in a 250 degree oven.