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Mini Pies, The Main Course For Thanksgiving!

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Mini Pies, The Main Course For Thanksgiving!

mini pies for Thanksgiving

Mini Pies That are The Main Course, Or Appetizers!!

Tasty Thanksgiving Vegan Mini Pies you eat with your hands, just in time for the holidays, with super chef Linda Soper-Kolton, Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Director of Culinary Arts and Compassionate Cuisine, cookbook author, culinary instructor, and health coach…. creating these delectable hand pies made from tempeh, sweet potatoes, and caramelized onions!



Mini Pies At The Catskills!

“Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a 150-acre refuge in New York’s Hudson Valley for 11 species of farmed animals rescued from cruelty, neglect and abandonment. Over the years, thousands have come to this place of profound peace. They continue to come — sometimes one needy soul, sometimes a flock of 100 or more at a time. It is our privilege to help each and every rescued animal understand what love feels like. If we’ve learned anything from them, it’s the life-altering truth that in the ways that matter, we are all the same. Animals are as individual as us, want their lives as much as we want ours, and experience the same emotions as we do. Pain, suffering, and fear feel no different to a pig than they do a human being. This belief in our shared “sameness” is the first driver of all that we do. The second is our choice to believe in humanity’s goodness. Each year, thousands of visitors come to meet the animals and learn about the impact of their diet on animals, their health, and our ailing planet.

We watch as profound shifts occur in the disarming moments shared by humans and animals. We offer support through our online vegan culinary classes, Compassionate Cuisine cookbook and recipes, customized digital Sanctuary tours through CAS: Live, engaging online educational programs for kids, and the inspirational writing and speaking of our founder Kathy.”

Such an amazing place filled with love and compassion, and great food!  Speaking of food, let’s check out how the mini pies turned out, cooked by Chef Linda!


Linda Soper-Kolton
Chef Linda Soper-Kolton


Who Doesn’t Like To Eat With Their Hands?

I think most people secretly like to eat with their hands.  And with this recipe, you don’t have to apologize for it!  These cute little mini pies, are the perfect finger food, but can also be eaten as your main course this holiday!  Why not!  They are a pastry stuffed with delicious and filling tempeh and other goodness!  And, they are easy to make, and fun to make!  Let’s see how they turned out.


Ingredients fro mini pies.
The ingredients for the vegan mini pies!


See Also

mini pies for Thanksgiving
The finished mini pies…so delicious.


Chef Linda with her mini pies
Chef Linda showing off her mini pies.


Ready To Get Cooking This Thanksgiving?

Make this Thanksgiving a compassionate one and choose vegan!  These mini pies are a perfect choice to whip up this holiday and enjoy with the family.  The recipe is posted below.  Or, if you are looking for other vegan options for the holiday, check out our archive of recipes, we have plenty to choose from.  Until next time…keep cookin’!


Thanksgiving Hand Pies

Oh, the joy of eating vegan! These scrumptious hand pies were inspired by the desire to get a mouthful of Thanksgiving flavors into one delicious bite. I used tempeh to create succulent nut-covered cutlets as the base then added creamy sweet potatoes and tart cranberry sauce to round out the holiday flavors. And because our holiday may look different this year due to COVID, I wanted to make something that could be both elegant but could also be served more casually–that's where the puff pastry comes in! All of the elements of a meal are wrapped up into a neat little pocket that can be eaten with a knife and fork or with your hands. The caramelized onions are really not to be missed in this dish, but even without them, you'll delight in every bite. The key to making the onions is "low and slow": low heat and slow cooking, about 40 minutes. Make them a day or two in advance and you'll be glad you did. If you don't need 6 hand pies, make them anyway. Pop them in the toaster oven the next day or freeze for an easy meal during a busy season.
Course Appetizers, Main Courses


  • For the Tempeh:
  • 1 8-ounce package of tempeh
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons tempeh cooking water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts finely chopped (for NF version, omit the nuts or substitute breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • For the Sweet Potatoes:
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter or olive oil
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 package. 2 sheets vegan puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm is vegan and Dr. Schar is vegan and gluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup canned cranberry sauce or make your own if you have a favorite recipe!
  • Optional Caramelized Onions:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • To make the tempeh, lay the tempeh horizontally on a cutting board. Slice vertically to cut it into three equal pieces. Cut each piece horizontally into thinner squares, making 6 cutlets. Put the water and soy sauce in a small pot and add the tempeh. The water should just barely cover the tempeh: add a little more water if necessary to cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place a clean towel or paper towel on the cutting board and place the tempeh on top. Blot dry. Place the nuts on plate. In a shallow, wide bowl, stir together the tahini, measured cooking water, and syrup. Working with one piece of tempeh at a time, dredge the tempeh in the sauce and then the nuts. Return the tempeh to the towel.
  • To make the sweet potatoes, place them a small pot and cover them by two inches with water. Bring to a boil and add the salt. Let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Drain and return the sweet potatoes to the pot. Add the orange juice, butter, and cinnamon. Mash together with a fork.
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Working with one sheet of pastry at a time, lay it on a clean work surface. Roll it out so that it's a couple of inches larger all around, about 10 inches by 12 inches, keeping the longer side horizontal to the counter. Cut the pastry vertically into three slices, each 4-inches wide. Place a tempeh cutlet on the bottom half of each piece leaving a 1/4-inch border. Put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce on top and then a heaping dollop of sweet potatoes. If using caramelized onions, place them on top. Moisten the edges of the pastry with a finger dipped in water. Fold the pastry over the filling and gently press the edges together. Transfer one hand pie at a time to the baking tray and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Cut several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Repeat and make the remaining 3 hand pies. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
  • To make the caramelized onions, heat oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how dark you want them. Keep the heat low so the cooking process is slow, allowing the onions to soften and caramelize rather than cook too quickly and get crispy.


Allergen Notes: Gluten-free option, nut-free option, peanut-free
Keyword Thanksgiving, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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