The Donovan’s Irish Pasties

4.95 from 20 votes

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Irish Pasties are a tradition in our family every St. Patrick’s Day. The Donovans introduced pasties to us about 20 years ago and we have been making them ever since, even when it’s not St. Patrick’s Day! 

Two Irish Pasties filled with beef and potatoes on a black plate with a green napkin

The Donovan’s Irish Pasties

This recipe is such a yummy way to use up leftover roast beef. We cook up Sunday roasts often, but they’re so easy to make any night of the week. Roasts can be made in the slow cooker, oven or instant pot! You can make a delicious deli roast beef sandwich with leftover beef too.

Our sister Elise married into the Donovan family years ago and learned some amazing Irish traditions and recipes that she has generously shared with all of us. These Irish Pasties quickly became a traditional recipe that we all love to make on St. Patrick’s Day. Although, I have to admit, this beef mixture baked into pillowy pastry dough is WAY too good to make only once a year and we end up making them almost every time we cook up a roast.

What are Irish Pasties?

Irish Pasties are a flaky pastry filled with shredded or small pieces of roast beef and potatoes. I like using red potatoes or even cubed hash browns. They are drizzled with or dipped in a savory roast beef gravy. Every bite is hearty and flavorful. I like to prep for these by cooking up a big beef roast the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day and saving a bunch of the roast and drippings. That way I get two meals out of one roast. You can even throw in some diced potatoes to cook along side the roast to save for the pasties as well. Then you can make up the pasties and the gravy fresh on St. Patrick’s Day and you are all set!

You don’t have to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to serve these Irish Pasties. They are delicious way to use up leftover roast beef all year long. We like to serve these with a big green salad or a side of green peas.

Ingredients needed for Irish Pasties

You can make these hearty pasties with just a few pantry staples. They’re the perfect thing to whip up for dinner when you just don’t know what to make. They’ve saved our dinnertime many times! Here’s all you need:

  • Pot roast beef, cut into small inch cubes or chopped into small pieces or shredded with a fork. Terrific time to use up those Sunday leftovers, or you can make a fresh roast just for this recipe. 
  • Potatoes: russet, golden, red, any kind of potato will do. Cut them in to tiny pieces and spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. You can season them with a little salt and pepper and a bit of fresh thyme and toss with a tbsp of olive oil, if desired.
  • Pie crusts: Save time and buy a couple of frozen crusts from the grocery store. Unfold them and cut in half.
  • Add shredded carrots or onion to the mixture, if you like.
  • After baking, use a pastry brush to spread a little butter or an egg wash made from eggs and some water on top for a beautiful golden crust. 
  • For the gravy, simmer some beef stock or broth from from the roast in a skillet. Thicken with corn starch or a little flour.

More St. Patrick’s Day Favorites

We have some other fun recipes that are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. You can make it a week full of yummy Irish recipes instead of just one day. Try a loaf of Irish Soda Bread with our savory Slow Cooker Irish Beef Stew. Or make up one of our delicious Corned Beef Sandwiches with homemade Russian Dressing with a green Mint Julep to drink. Looking for some green treats? You will love our copycat Shamrock Shakes or Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes. Or, check out a full list of the Top 10 St. Patrick’s Day Food Ideas.

How to Make Irish Pasties

Two Irish Pasties filled with beef and potatoes on a black plate with a green napkin

The Donovan’s Irish Pasties

4.95 from 20 votes
Irish Pasties are a flaky pastry filled with shredded roast beef and potatoes.  They are drizzled with or dipped in a savory roast beef gravy.  Every bite is hearty and flavorful.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Servings 4



  • 1 pound roast beef See recipe notes*
  • 3-4 potatoes See recipe notes**
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pie crusts purchased or homemade
  • beef gravy prepared


  • drippings from beef roast
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with ¼ cup water
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.     
  • Mix the roast, potatoes, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Unroll the pie crusts and cut in half.
  • Put a good amount of filling in each crust, fold over, and seal. 
  • Place each pastry on a greased cookie sheet. Make a couple of small slits in the top of each crust.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and brush with some melted butter.
  • Serve with gravy, or if you are my Dad – ketchup. 

For Beef Gravy

  • Bring ingredients to a boil to thicken, stirring constantly with a whisk.


*If you aren’t using leftover roast, an easy way to prepare the roast is to cook it in  a crock pot with 1 cup of water and an onion soup mix along with whatever seasonings you like for 3-4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  
**You can also use frozen hash brown cubes. Throw them into the pie crust while still frozen. They will cook in the oven. It tastes JUST as good as using fresh potatoes.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 974kcalCarbohydrates: 137gProtein: 44gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 2082mgPotassium: 1160mgFiber: 9gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 69.2mgCalcium: 396mgIron: 14.1mg

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Elise Donovan

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  1. 5 stars
    Recently made this and we fell in love! Such a great and tasty recipe! I will definitely be making again. Especially on St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. 5 stars
    I had never tried these before but always wondered what a pasty was… I’ve read about them in novels by British authors. lol
    ALL the yummy things I love about a roast beef dinner packaged up in a delicious wrapping. Thanks for such an amazingly delicious and easy to make recipe!

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