This vegan pot pie is some serious comfort food. If you’re craving some down-home cooking that will make you feel like you’re snuggled up at home in a warm blanket and someone is taking care of you, then this is recipe for you. And it is a perfect recipe to make for the meat-eaters in your life. They won’t miss the meat at all and it’s just an all-around crowd-pleaser. I usually buy a box of frozen puff pastry sheets for the crust, which is amazingly tasty and easy and a nice treat every once in a while. Check out the ingredients on the packaging–many of the boxed puff pastries are vegan by default (though this says nothing of their healthfulness or their other ethical/political impacts). If you’re feeling ambitious and/or don’t want to use the packaged pastry, you can certainly make your own basic pie crust. You can also use whatever vegetables you have on hand to spice up the contents of your pot pie. Get creative!
Makes 1 9-inch pie
1 box puffed pastry sheets (2 sheets)
3 cups potatoes, diced (or some combination of regular potatoes and yams)-peels on are fine
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbls minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbls minced fresh sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive or safflower oil, plus a splash for saute
1 cup rice milk
salt and pepper to taste
A note about the crust: Some people like pot pies with just a top crust. Some people like pot pies with a bottom crust that is not pre-cooked. Others like to prebake the bottom crust and then add the filling and the top crust and rebake. It’s up to you. I’m providing instructions for the prebaked bottom crust.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Thaw the puff pastry on the counter ahead of time. Roll out one sheet of pastry. Grease your pie dish and then carefully lay the pastry in the dish, lining the bottom. It’s fine if there are corners sticking out–just fold them in. Poke the pastry with a fork a few times. Bake for 8-10 minutes just until slightly golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool and set aside.
The Filling: In a large pot, saute the onion in a splash of olive oil until slightly soft. Add the carrots, potatoes and celery and saute for another 5-7 minutes. Add the herbs and cook for a few minutes more. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 3-5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth, leaving 1 cup aside. Stir and let the vegetables and broth come to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally. The idea is to cook the filling until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy. The potatoes are a good gauge–test them. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The Roux: While the vegetables are simmering, make a roux. In a small saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup oil. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour and oil are incorporated and are a thick lumpy paste. Add the milk and stir until fully combined with no lumps. It will be thick and gelatinous. Stir in a little salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Add the remaining 1 cup of vegetable stock and whisk until fully combined.
The Assembly: Add this roux mixture into the vegetables/broth and stir well to combine. As it simmers, it will thicken. You want a thick, gravy-like consistency for the liquid in the filling. Once it gets to that point and the vegetables are soft, but not mushy, turn off the heat.
Add the filling to the precooked bottom crust. Roll out the top crust and carefully lay it over the top of the pie. Pinch around the edges of the crust to seal it to the other crust and/or press the crust to the pie pan. Cut a few slits in the top to release steam. Note: if there is extra filling, this makes a great snack–just pour it into a bowl and eat it like stew.
Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool for 5-10 minutes and then cut into pieces and serve.
This can be made ahead of time, left unbaked and refrigerated or frozen until the day you want to eat it. Sometimes I’ll make 6 individual sized ramekins and freeze the extras so we have a nice easy dinner to throw in the oven at a later date. If you make the regular sized pie and have leftovers, simply leave it the pie pan and toss it in the oven for 20-30 minutes the next day to reheat. Delish!