The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

The best mince pies to enjoy this Christmas 2023, taste tested

From vegan and gluten-free delights to boozier picks, these are the crème de la crème

The Independent team
Wednesday 20 December 2023 12:08 GMT
Helping you choose which mince pies to plump for this festive season, our tried and tested guide to the very best has you covered
Helping you choose which mince pies to plump for this festive season, our tried and tested guide to the very best has you covered (iStock/The Independent)
Our Top Picks

It’s nearly here – Christmas, a time for our favourite Christmas films, sharing gifts between friends and loved ones, and, of course, the food. When it comes to the festive staples we want to enjoy on the big day, it’s fair to say a mince pie (or two) will be an essential for many of us.

Filled with spice, with warming flavours of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, paired with the juicy fruitiness of the mincemeat, then topped off with buttery, crumbly pastry, these festive treats are a little different to the mince pies served in centuries gone by, when they would have contained actual meat. Now, a Christmas tradition for many, not every brand of bake is made equal, which is where our discerning taste testers come in.

To help you choose which mince pies to plump for this festive season, our tried and tested guide to the very best has you covered, whether you prefer a boozier option, a vegan and gluten-free choice, or something a little different. Here, the team at The Independent has tried a range of the mince pies on offer this year, from Sainsbury’s to M&S, to find the pies that deserve a spot in your Christmas shopping basket.

How we tested

There are so many re-engineered and re-imagined versions of the humble mince pie out there, but we stuck to tasting ones that still had at least an element of mincemeat in them. We munched our way through pies from a range of categories, whittling down our selection to the very best of each.

The best mince pies for 2023 are:

  • Best mince pies overall – Waitrose no1 brown butter mince pies with cognac: £4, Waitrose.com
  • Best traditional mince pie – Morrisons the best deep filled mince pie: £2.50, Morrisons.com
  • Best mini mince pie – M&S Collection mini mince pies: £3.50, Ocado.com
  • Best vegan, gluten- and dairy-free mince pie – Sainsbury’s taste the difference free from mini mince pie: £3.25, Sainsburys.co.uk

Waitrose no1 brown butter mince pies with cognac

best mince pies  Waitrose No.1 6 brown butter mince pies with cognac
  • Best: Mince pie overall
  • Number of pies included: Six

If you’re looking for the perfect combination of crumbly buttery pastry with a generous boozy filling we think Waitrose’s brown butter mince pies are the best all-rounders. Serve warm with a good dollop of brandy cream and slip into a delightful Christmas food coma.

Back to top

Morrisons the best deep filled mince pie

Morrisons 6 The Best deep filled mince pie
  • Best: Traditional mince pie
  • Number in the pack : Six

Exceedingly moreish, melt-in-the-mouth pastry, mincemeat bursting with flavour and topped with a festive star, Morrisons’s deep-filled mince pie was a clear front runner when it came to the best traditional pies. Warm them in the oven, sprinkle them with icing sugar and claim to have spent hours slaving over them in the kitchen – a mince pie that doesn’t fail to deliver.

Back to top

M&S Collection mini mince pies

best mince pies M&S Collection 9 mini mince pies
  • Best: Mini mince pies
  • Number in the pack: Nine

If you’re looking for bite-sized mince pies, these M&S delicacies are the perfect choice. Crumbly, butter pastry with a helping of boozy fruity deliciousness, the mini size means you can still enjoy all the other festive treats on offer this season.

  1.  £3 from Ocado.com
Prices may vary
Back to top

Sainsbury’s taste the difference free from mini mince pie

best mince pies Sainsburys 9 Free from mini mince pie taste the difference
  • Best: Vegan, gluten- and dairy-free mince pie
  • Number in the pack: Nine

It can be hard to find a mince pie that delivers delicate, delicious pastry with a flavoursome burst of juicy mincemeat, while still catering for gluten- and dairy-free diets. But Sainsbury’s pipped the competition to the post with its free from mini mince pies, topped with pretty pastry stars.

Back to top

Aldi specially selected all butter Jamaican rum mince tarts

Aldi 6 specially selected all butter Jamaican rum mince tarts
  • Best: Boozy mince pie
  • Number in the pack: Six

As the name of these mince pies suggests, they’re more tart-like than a typical mince pie, and they pack in a good punch of Jamaican rum, too. They’re full of flavour and come with an affordable price tag. While these mince pies are now out of stock online, they may still be available in your local Aldi store, so be sure to check.

  1.  £3 from Aldi.co.uk
Prices may vary
Back to top

Lidl speculoos almond mince tarts

best mince pies Lidl 6 speculoos almond mince tarts
  • Best: Mince pies with a twist
  • Number in the pack: Six

These proved to be another favourite with our taste panel. A firm tart with a crispy speculoos pastry case filled with flavoursome mincemeat, complete with a lattice topping – a heavenly treat for almond fans. While Lidl’s speculoos almond mince tarts aren’t available online, you may be able to find them in your local Lidl store, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them.

  1.  £2 from Lidl.co.uk
Prices may vary
Back to top

The verdict: Mince pies

The Waitrose no1’s brown butter mince pies are topped with a crumbly, buttery pastry, and there’s no scrimping on boozy filling here – for this perfect pairing, these were the pies that stood out for us in our taste testing and took the top spot. For a traditional mince pie with melt-in-the-mouth pastry to boot, we were impressed with Morrisons The Best deep-filled mince pies, while the Sainsbury’s Free From pies have delivered in the vegan and gluten-free department. For something a little different, Lidl’s speculoos almond mince tarts are the pies to plump for.

Looking for Christmas gifting ideas? Read our guide to the best stocking fillers for him and for her

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
TUI Discount Code
£100 off all bookings over £1000 - TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
ASOS Discount Code
20% off everything with this ASOS app discount code
Travelodge Discount Code
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Cult Beauty Discount Code
Cult Beauty Discount Code
Up to 20% off all orders over £40 - Cult Beauty discount code

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in