Hey Kevin! Is Pieminister's new vegan pie any good?

There are many things that the world needs right now: more equality, more understanding, less consumerism and more environmentalism, and more vegan pies. So when I read that Pieminister has launched a new vegan pie alongside its meaty and vegetarian options, I felt that it would be rude not to try it.

I don't need to tell you how much I love pies. I think a love of pasty-meets-filling is encoded in most humans' DNA: right next to the bits that control breathing and keeping the heart beating, I reckon there's a bit that says 'you need to go get a pie for dinner'.

Pieminister announced it was launching a vegan pie, called Kevin, for Veganuary, though it took me til the other week to find one - it's only available at Waitrose, and that's not a supermarket I often find myself in! In keep with the Waitrose demographic, the Kevin is priced at a hefty £3.70. My go-to cook at home pie has usually been Linda McCartney's frozen Vegetarian Country Pie (around £2 for two), though I've dabbled with Fry's and Holland and Barrett's in the past too. At nearly £4 for a single serve, am I going to find room for Kevin in my regular pie rotation?

Well, there's a lot to like about Kevin. After all, it's called Kevin (in case you were wondering, it's Cockney rhyming slang: Kevin Keegan = vegan!). It's also a suitably stomach-filling size: one Kevin, some potatoes and a bit of salad (I was going for that suburban pub meal feel) is enough to keep a hungry student going through a multi-hour revision session.

The look is inviting (that said, there's not many vegan pies that I don't feel like that towards) and the pastry is as crisp and crumbly as any real-life Kevin Keegan could want.

It tastes pretty decent too: the promised red wine is the dominant flavour, and I've got no complaints about that. The one thing that I would have a complaint about (because what is the internet for, if not for giving airtime to pointless and inconsequential rants?) it's the salt level. The Kevin has 2g of salt in it, or about one-third of an adult's maximum daily allowance - and you can taste it. There's also a whacking 14g of sugar in there, and yep, you can taste that too. 

In amongst all that salt and sugar, the poor veggies didn't stand a chance - there may be onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms in there, but they all got a bit overwhelmed. There's also a bit of a mono-texture in there: if I'd eaten the Kevin blindfold (no, I'm not sure why I'd be eating my dinner like that either) I'm not sure I could have told you what veggies were in the pie filling. 

I'm always happy to see more vegan products on the market, and so I'm glad Kevin's out there in the world. As well as selling Kevin through Waitrose, Pieminister runs the kitchens of a few pubs throughout England, and will be selling its vegan pie there too (bonus points for clearly marking on the menu which sides are vegan too). I'm always delighted to see more vegan pub food - it's one area that's been a bit slow to catch onto the herbivorous eating explosion. While he's a bit salty and sweet for my tastes, but I've no doubt there's going to be a lot of vegans making Kevin's acquaintance in the near future.


  1. Crisp and crumbly pastry is my favourite kind. We have a Pieminster restaurant here in Manchester that's been advertising The Kevin, I really should pop in and try it for myself!

  2. It is definitely in our DNA! Kevin looks delicious!!

  3. I am sure I would invite kevin for tea if he lived nearer to me - sounds like a sweetie (ha ha yes that pun is intended). That pie looks amazing - pastry is such great comfort food - I dream of making more pies but they don't happen that often!

  4. It sure LOOKS good. Very appealing, in fact. But I'm with you on too much salt and sugar. I like my food well seasoned, but I cringe a little when it tastes too salty. And I lack much of a sweet tooth. I think people less familiar with vegan food tend to over-salt and over-sweeten veggie dishes to make sure there's enough flavor. You know, the poor vegans eat such boring food. That said, I'm always pleased to see more vegan options appearing. Do you think we should nicely let them know what we think about the food as a way of helping them refine the offerings? I never do but maybe I should.

  5. We have a Waitrose locally (to our finances' dismay!) so I will have to look out for this, although it sounds like not really worth the higher price when other vegan pies fare better!

  6. I was just having an in-depth discussion about vegan pie options the other day, this is a perfectly timed post! I had no idea that Kevin Keegan was rhyming slang for vegan, but I'm definitely going to use that to try to confuse people in the future. What a shame about the excessive salt/sugar content, but at least there's another vegan pie out there in the world for us.

  7. Kevin, love that name for a vegan pie. Most pre-made food do seem to be heavy on the salt and sugar. But still it's great to have more vegan options and to counteract the salt by 1. drink more water and 2. eat other things that have so salt with the salty thing. :-)


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