veggie pot pie

i used to be obsessed with chicken pot pies when i was younger, the small microwavable kind.  now that i’m all grown up and can make them for myself, i prefer to enjoy a slice of a full-sized pie, piled high with tasty veggies in a savory gravy sauce, surrounded by a crispy homemade crust with spices baked right in.  i packed this dish with lots of rich, deep, savory flavors – from cumin, black pepper, liquid aminos and a bit of red wine – as well a little protein from quinoa, so you won’t miss the meat at all.

use these basic techniques to make this veggie pot pie your own.  substitute the carrot or sweet potatoes for different root vegetables, sub out the spinach for chard, kale, or collard greens!  you can use white wine instead of red for a bit lighter flavor, or vinegar instead of lemon juice.  swap out couscous, millet, brown rice or lentils for the quinoa.  and experiment with different spices – like ground coriander, oregano, or fresh basil.

1 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 c vegan margarine (like earth balance)
2/3 c almond or other non-dairy milk

1 c cooked quinoa (1/2 c dry quinoa, 1/2 c water, 1/2 veggie broth)
1 c chopped carrot (about 3 medium carrots)
1 c chopped sweet potato (1 small sweet potato)
1 c chopped celery (2 stalks)
1 c fresh english peas (about 2/3 lb with shells)
1 c chopped spinach
1 c chopped red onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 c olive oil
1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp liquid aminos
2 tbsp red wine
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 c almond or other non-dairy milk

“egg” wash
2 tbsp almond or another non-dairy milk
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

start with the crust.  let the margarine sit out for a little bit (~5 minutes) to let soften while you sift together the flours, salt, sugar and spices.  break the margarine up into pieces in the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry cutter, creating several small flour-covered bits.

then slowly mix in the almond milk – or other milk substitute of your choice – until it’s still a bit crumbly but just holds together.  then i sprinkled a tad more almond milk on top and stuck in the fridge.

cook the quinoa if you don’t have any on hand.  i like to cook extra and keep it in the fridge to easily add it to soups, salads, casseroles, etc.  i always use 1 part dry quinoa, 1 part water, 1 part veggie broth.  for about a cup of cooked quinoa you will need about 1/2 cup each.  bring the liquid ingredients to a boil in a small pot, add the dry quinoa, cover and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes – or until the liquid boils off and the quinoa is fluffy.  then set aside.

and while that’s cooking you can start chopping your vegetables.  chop your carrots, sweet potato and celery into little cubes and set aside in a bowl together.

chop the spinach and set aside.

chop your onion and garlic and set aside together.  and mince your rosemary to set aside as well.

if using fresh english peas then pop them open and collect the peas inside, discarding the shells – this will take a little while but the difference in taste is worth it.  if you don’t have fresh peas around, then you can use a cup of frozen peas instead, thaw first.

before you start to cook the filling, dust a large cutting board, cut the ball of dough in half and take half of it out onto the cutting board.  return the rest to the fridge.  dust the top with flour and roll out with a rolling pin.  lay out into your pie pan and trim around the edges.  you can add the trimming back in with the other piece of dough, toss it, or use it for something else.  stick the pan with the first layer of crust back into the fridge as well.

preheat your oven to 400F.

use a large skillet or pot to heat up the olive oil for a minute or two.  over medium heat add in the onion, garlic, fresh rosemary, salt, cumin and pepper.  saute for 2-3 minutes.

toss in the carrot, sweet potato and celery mix and continue to cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, just to brown the veggies a bit.

toss in the whole wheat flour and mix so that the vegetables are coated by the flour and become a bit pasty in consistency.  continue to cook and scrape down the pan for about a minute to assure the raw flour taste is cooked off and the flour granules are fully coated in fat before we introduce the liquids.

then mix in the lemon juice, liquid aminos (if you have none use soy sauce) and red wine to really take the flavors to the next dimension.  liquid aminos and soy sauce, as well as red wine are loaded with umami – which is considered to be the fifth taste.  it’s the savory, rich quality of food that enhances all other flavors.  it is often associated with meats and cheeses but can be easily be replicated otherwise.

let those liquids coat the veggies and cook for a minute, then toss in the almond milk and cook for one or two more minutes to let reduce.

once the sauce has a gravy-like consistency, cut the heat, mix in the cooked quinoa, peas and chopped spinach.

put the pan with the crust into the oven for 8 minutes to toast a bit – to avoid a soggy bottom crust.

meanwhile mix together the ingredients for the “egg” wash, which you’ll use to coat the top of the pie, and roll out the other half of the ball of dough with additional flour dusted on top.

when the crust comes out spoon in the filling, brush the “egg” wash around the edges.  gently lay the other layer of the pie crust over top, seal the two layers with the prongs of a fork, trim the edges and poke a few holes in the center.

brush the top with the “egg” wash and bake for 30 minutes at 400F, taking out to brush with additional wash halfway and in the last 5 minutes.

remove and let cool for a few minutes before you cut up and enjoy!

yields 2-4 servings


15 Responses to “veggie pot pie”
  1. Calantha says:

    Wow. This looks delicious. It is definitely on my list of things to make now!

  2. t says:

    This looks amazing! I used to be obsessed with the vegetarian pot pies until I made my own.. and those vegetarian ones have butter and milk! This looks perfect.

  3. DJ Karma says:

    Looks delicious – love your pics!

  4. I’ve never had pot pie, but that sounds very tasty. I’m not a big fan of celery, so I wonder if the flavour stands out a lot (as in, should I reduce the amount or use something else instead – I don’t hate celery, but I’d rather not eat something very heavy on the flavour).

    • jacqueline says:

      it’s not very heavy in celery flavor, when browned like that with the other veggies they all just sort of meld into one flavor that isn’t distinctive of any of the individual vegetables.

  5. This looks fantastic! Wondering if I could get non-glutenous flour to stick enough to form this crust.

  6. piile says:

    i had a bit of trouble with the dough (i needed ~1/2c more flour, since it was terribly sticky, not crumbly!), but it firmed up well in the fridge. the filling is excellent, particularly because of the spectacularly tasty gravy.
    thanks for a great recipe!

    • jacqueline says:

      you know the more i read the more i learn about how flour should really be weighed and not measured by volume. there are so many different factors that can alter the measurement based on the humidity of your kitchen, the type of flour being used and how it’s scooped, the outcome can be totally different.

      but that’s why i always try to describe the texture you’re going for and show pictures too. sounds like it worked out anyway!

  7. Lindsay says:

    Hey Jacqueline,

    I’d love to do this but what milk is best other than almond… nut allergies. What would you recommend to get the best dough.

    Thanks, best!

  8. Chez says:

    This sounds delicious! One question – I’m (sadly) allergic to quinoa, which is super disappointing for a vegan! 🙂 Do you have a recommendation for some other grain or starch to substitute, or would you just omit it and miss out on the protein boost?


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