UPDATE: This recipe used to be my favorite pot pie recipe, but I found an even better recipe recently. This new link will lead you to, hands down, the best pot pie I’ve ever had, organic vegan pot pie that even meat-eaters will love! You can try this newer recipe, or you can try the older recipe below…
I’ve been looking for a decent go-to vegetarian vegetable pot pie recipe for a really long time. I’ve tried maybe ten different veggie pot pie recipes, but none were great in my opinion. Usually, my issue is with the sauce part. Often, vegetable pot pie broth is either too weak and watery or the flavor is kind of blah.
Recently though I found a pretty good recipe. I messed with it some, and with a little more tweaking, this will probably be my go-to pot pie recipe. The best news – it’s VERY easily adapted. You can make this vegetable pot pie vegan style or toss in some meat, if you swing that way.
- About 4 cups organic veggies.
- Chopped organic onion and garlic + olive oil for the pan.
- 1 organic wheat pie crust – top and bottom style.
- 2-3 cups organic vegetable broth.
- 1 – 3 tablespoons of organic flour (to thicken broth).
- Variety of herbs and/or spices. Tarragon is a must.
- 1/3 -1/2 cup shredded organic cheddar cheese.
- 1/2 cup spinach (cooked and drained). Optional.
- 1/4 cup organic milk. Optional. I used fat-free.
First gather fresh organic vegetables and cook them
Sorry, I didn’t measure my veggies – just eyeballed what I thought might fit in a pie. I think I used about four cups worth. I used a large potato, three celery stalks, half a zucchini, two whole carrots and some frozen peas, green beans and corn. Really you can use ANY veggies you like.
- Chop your veggies into bite sized pieces.
- Add a splash of olive oil to a pan, heat it up a little and add 1/3 of an onion and some minced garlic. Saute until the onion is translucent and soft.
- Add your veggies to the pan.
- Cook everything on medium until your veggies are about 3/4 of the way cooked.
Make your vegetable pot pie sauce
- Heat 2 to 3 cups organic vegetable broth in a pot. I used about 2.5 cups of ready-made organic broth. I was being lazy, but note, it’s more eco-friendly to make homemade broth (no packaging).
- Add spices and herbs of your choice. In a traditional pot pie, a savory broth is expected, so use savory herbs if you’re aiming for traditional pot pie flavor. I added a pinch of tarragon, which I think is a MUST. It totally rocked the flavor. However, tarragon can make your dish taste too much like hay if you overdo it, so only add a pinch. I also added a little basil, a wee bit of thyme and a little salt and pepper. I’m not a genius chef, so add the seasoning you think would be best.
- After seasoning, lower the heat. Add 1/4 cup organic milk (optional).
- Slowly whisk in flour until slightly thickened – I ended up using about 2.5 tablespoons of flour.
- After sauce is thick enough, add the sauce to your vegetable mixture and stir to coat.
Make a quick wheat pot pie crust
I suggest making a homemade organic wheat pie crust. Obviously you can buy one too. I’m not a born cook, but pie crusts are one thing I actually make well. Mine are always flaky, never tough, and that’s because I’m VERY hands off. The less you touch that crust, the better. Actually, the art of pie crust making is a much longer story, for now, I’ll just give you a quick how-to.
- Cut 1 cup’s worth of COLD organic unsalted butter into little cubes. Place butter cubes in the fridge to keep them cold.
- Grab a cup of water. Add a couple of ice cubes to the cup and stick it in the fridge.
- Mix 1 and 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour with 1 cup organic white flour in a big bowl.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.
- Toss all the cold butter cubes into the bowl of flour. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender. As soon as the butter and flour pieces are pea sized stop! If you did this right, the butter probably won’t have blended in perfectly and that’s just fine.
- Grab the cold water from the fridge, a clean tablespoon and a fork.
- Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of cold water over your flour. Use your fork to gently moisten the flour with the water.
- After the initial 6 tablespoons of water, start adding 2 tablespoons of water at a time until all the flour is just moistened through. This process usually takes me about 9 to 12 tablespoons of water (more or less depending on how well I measured my flour). Basically the flour/butter mix should all be sticking together, but not be wet, just moist.
- Once all the flour / butter mix is more or less sticking together, sprinkle a flat surface with a decent amount of flour. Use your hands to scoop out about 1/2 of the dough and place it on your flour sprinkled surface.
- Roll that half of the dough into a sheet of dough. Place sheet of dough into an un-greased pie plate.
- Repeat with second half of dough, except save this half to top your pie with.
Assemble and bake your veggie pot pie
- Sprinkle 1/2 of shredded cheese into bottom of pie (on top of bottom crust).
- Spoon veggie and sauce mixture into pie.
- Place little mounds of spinach here and there on top of veggie mixture. TIP: Make sure you squeeze any excess water out of your cooked spinach so it doesn’t make your pie watery.
- Sprinkle rest of cheese on top of spinach.
- Place crust on top and slice some holes so steam can escape. If you like, do something fancy with your crust. In the case of this particular pot pie, I simply quickly pressed the sides of the crust together, because I wanted to get done. I actually should have trimmed the edges, because they ended up WAY too fat, but again, I wanted to get done.
- Bake your pot pie in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes.
THE END RESULT:
Very good! I liked almost everything about this pot pie. Next time, I’ll make the following changes though.
- I’ll hopefully have some broccoli and cauliflower on hand.
- I’d use fresh corn, not frozen. Frozen doesn’t taste as good. It’s worth the time to cut fresh corn off the cob.
- I’ll trim my pie crust edges. Mine, this time, were just way too fat and annoying. You don’t need that much crust.
My friend Dave, liked this pie a lot except he wanted it spinach-free. I love spinach, but Dave is only so-so about it. Really, the spinach could be optional here, it doesn’t help ‘make’ the pie, like the cheese and tarragon do, so it could be left out. He also wanted chicken in his, to which I said, “Well, that defeats the whole veggie pot pie idea now doesn’t it?”
Overall, this is the best vegetable pot pie recipe I’ve ever tried. I love that it’s adaptable too! Let me know if you make this, and what you think in the comments. If you change it up, let me know about that too.
All images © Jennifer Chait