In our home, pie is a point of contention. For me, pies are a lot of work with relatively little payoff. Ryan entirely disagrees, but of course, he’s not the one making the pies.
It’s usually the pie crust that pushes me over the edge from “maybe I’ll make that” to “hell no.” I’m too stubborn to buy the pre-made crust, which frequently contains lard. And the idea of cutting butter into flour, rolling out dough, cleaning flour off the counter because, of course, I get flour everywhere…it’s just exhausting.
Pot pie, in particular, is something that took Ryan a long time to sell me on. It was a while before he convinced me that a pot pie can be more than the frozen, pea-filled, slightly fishy tasting, microwaveable flour brick of my childhood. But he asked nicely, if not repetitively, for a vegetable pot pie and how can I deny his cute face?
If you aren’t intimidated by a little hard work, this vegan pot pie might just be for you. Or, in my case, your loved ones.
With the holidays just around the corner, this pot pie would be a perfect centerpiece to your vegan Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Or, if you’re like us, it can be one of many centerpieces. The thick and buttery crust holds together a warm and nourishing center that leaves you feeling heavy, contented, and warm.
I searched the web for a vegan pot pie recipe, but couldn’t find one that satisfied me. A lot of the recipes seemed to cut corners in some way. Hell, I did too by adding a frozen veggie medley. Part of the reward in cooking such a labor-intensive pie is the process of making it. It’s clearly a pie for special occasions. One that is made slowly and consumed even slower over a glass of wine and a candlelit dining room table.
If you’re concerned about the time it will take to make this during the holidays, don’t worry. You can freeze the assembled pie uncooked and place it in the oven when you’re ready to eat. I doubled the batch and froze an entire pie for later. Definitely worth it.
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cups cold non-dairy margarine, cut into chunks (I used earth balance)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp (or more) ice water
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small red potato, chopped
- 1 ½ - 2 cups cup frozen vegetable medley (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Foursome)
- 6 oz tofu, cut into chunks, (seasoned and pre-cooked optional, but recommended)
- ¾ cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup non-dairy creamer
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- leaves from a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 fresh sage leaf, chopped
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl
- Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut in the margarine until the mixture has a grainy, wet sand-like texture. Be sure not to over-work the dough. Tip: You want the margarine very cold. I put the chunks of margarine in the freezer while I’m getting everything ready. You don’t want it to freeze, but it works much better.
- Sir in the lemon juice.
- Then add the ice water into the mixture, one tablespoon at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the texture is smooth and the dough is combined well enough that it sticks together.
- Split the dough into two equal-sized round balls. Cover each ball with saran wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- In a small dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Sauté the onion and chopped red potato until the onions are clear and the potato becomes slightly tender. The potato doesn’t have to be completely cooked at this point.
- Add in the tofu and the vegetable medley and cook for an additional five minutes.
- Pour the vegetable broth and the non dairy creamer into the pot and wait for it to simmer.
- In a separate bowl, create a roux by whisking together the flour with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, the nutritional yeast, and soy sauce.
- Add the roux into the pot with the filling, whisking constantly until the flour is well combined.
- Throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped fresh sage, white pepper, and salt and let the mixture cook for five more minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the filling cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- While you’re waiting for your filling to cool, roll out the pie crusts with a rolling pin.
- Line the bottom of a pie dish with one of the rolled out crusts.
- Pour the filling into the lined pie pan, smoothing the filling out so it appears flat on top.
- Complete the pie by adding the second rolled out pie crust on top, pushing the edges together to seal the pie.
- Using a sharp knife, add a few slits in the top to vent.
- Cover the edges of your pie crust in aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.
- Bake for 50 minutes (or 60 minutes if it’s a particularly deep dish pie) removing the aluminum foil after 30 minutes.
- Let the pie cool slightly before digging in!
I’ve adapted this a couple of different ways. I’ve added Follow Your Heart mozzarella style cheese and vegan sausage crumbles. Both were very good, but I’d avoid doing both at the same time because it gets a little too salty.