As you may remember, I went vegan last summer, so I’ve been experimenting with some different vegan recipes – some fails and some wins.
This vegan pot pie is one of my biggest vegan recipe wins. No, really. It’s better than my old favorite pot pie AND not only did I like it, but I served this to three heavy meat eaters, another vegan, a vegetarian, and my hyper picky son. Everyone gobbled it up. Well, okay, my son never gobbles anything up, but he did munch on it and even said he liked it. One of the meat eaters noted, “If you would have stayed quiet, I’d never have known this was vegan.”
The pie tastes like real chicken pot pie but is 100% animal-free with the most delicious broth I’ve ever had in a homemade pot pie. Plus, it’s semi-healthy. I say semi because you really shouldn’t eat too much pie crust, but this part of the recipe is adjustable. Also, don’t eat pot pie nightly and you should be good.
Lastly, considering how much this recipe made, it was insanely inexpensive. You can make a whole bunch of mini pies on the cheap, freeze them and eat them later.
Ingredients for crust
Serves: My recipe made about 8 mini pot pies (using 4 inch wide individual pie plates) – you can also use deeper Porcelain Ramekins but servings depend on how flat you roll your dough and how full you fill your pie plates. You could also make one large pie if you like.
- 2 cups Organic Flour . This time I used white, but you could use wheat flour mixed with white if you’d rather.
- 1 teaspoon salt.
- 2/3 cups vegan shortening – I use Spectrum Naturals Organic Shortening.
- 7-8 tablespoons icy cold water.
Ingredients for filling
- Package of your favorite mock chicken. I used gardein Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini. As an alternative, you could use pressed cubed tofu or simply stuff your pie with extra veggies.
- Lots of fresh or frozen organic veggies. I used 1 cup of organic frozen peas, 1 cup fresh organic chopped carrots, and 1 large organic russet potato (peeled). Next time, I’ll add more veggies like corn and broccoli I think.
- 6 cups of prepared vegan broth. Vegan chicken or veggie broth will work. I couldn’t find an organic one, so I used Edward & Sons Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cubes to make my broth.
- 1 cup organic yellow onion, diced
- ¾ tsp thyme
- ¾ tsp sage
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Food Yeast
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 3/4 cup organic Earth Balance
- 3/4 cup organic flour
- Few tablespoons of organic olive oil or other cooking oil
First make your filling:
- Cook your mock chicken, either in a frying pan or simply microwave for a minute until soft enough to cut. Set aside. If using tofu, press it to get the excess water out then cut into cubes.
- Make your roux – melt Earth Balance in a small pan. Don’t let it brown. Whisk in your flour, mixing continually until you have a thick, yellow-brown paste-like substance.
- Heat up your vegan stock in a large pot.
- In another large pot cook onions in olive oil for 3 min until a bit soft. Add your carrots, potatoes, any other hard veggies you’re using, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add your hot broth to the veggie mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Whisk yeast flakes.into the veggie/broth mixture.
- Add your roux a bit at a time and continue to stir and cook.Your sauce will begin to thicken. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in your mock chicken, soy sauce, peas and any other soft veggies you want to add.
- Set your mixture aside to cool and make your crust while you wait.
Second make your crust:
- Combine the salt and flour.
- Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter or fork until it looks crumbled.
- Drizzle water, two tablespoons at a time over mixture, using a fork to get the dough wet. Once the dough is damp through and through, stop adding water! I usually end up using about 7-8 tablespoons of water.
- DO NOT KNEAD!
- Divide your dough into 16 small balls of dough.
- Roll each ball of dough flat and large enough so it fits in your pie plate.
If you want a more-in depth discussion of organic pie crust making, check out Organic Pie Crusts 101 – NOTE: that I do not suggest making a butter crust with Earth Balance as they don’t turn out well. If you’re vegan, stick with a shortening crust.
Lastly, assemble, bake and serve your pot pie
- Place a bottom crust into each pie plate.
- Fill each with chicken/veggie mixture.
- Place your top pie crust on top, squeeze the top and bottom crusts together and flute or use a fork for the border.
- Cut little steam slits in the top of each pie.
- Place little pies on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 375°F bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Once baked, allow pies to cool for a bit, then serve with fresh fruit.
SAFETY TIP: Tiny pie plates will be hot for a LONG while. Do not give a hot pie plate to a young child and warn everyone to be careful.
The leftovers rocked
I made this recipe 1 full + 1/2 because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough for my dinner party, but I way overestimated. In the end I had a ton of leftover filling and also one leftover 9 inch pie. The following day, I heated up the leftover mixture, whipped up some quick crusts, baked some pies and froze them.
The frozen pies heat up great in the oven or microwave and are prefect for a busy night when you don’t want to cook. Regular leftovers were amazing too. The next day I heated a slice of the leftover 9 inch pie in the microwave and it was still awesome.
Serving tip: The original recipe called for puff pastry vs. regular pie crusts – used only on top of course. I did not use puff pastry because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to freeze the extras as easily. Also vegan pie crust is easy while vegan puff pasty is not so easy, but you can try this pot pie with a vegan puff pastry topper if you like.
+ Adapted from gardein Pot Pie
+ All images ©Jennifer Chait