Serves a Crowd

Thanksgiving Root Vegetable Pie

November 12, 2013
7 Ratings
Photo by Eric Moran
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I am a vegetarian, and this is what I serve on Thanksgiving. Make the pie crust, the mushrooms, and the sweet potato mash a day or two beforehand, and all you'll have to do on the day of is roast your vegetables and compose and bake everything.

Adapted from The Daily Garnish —Marian Bull

What You'll Need
  • For the pie crust
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons cold water
  • Ice
  • For the filling
  • 5 cups diced root vegetables (I like sunchokes, purple potatoes, carrots, and parsnips)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 5 cups diced mushrooms (roughly 1.75 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 5 cups peeled and quartered sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  1. For the pie crust
  2. Cut up butter into pea-size cubes, then freeze for at least 10 minutes until firm and very cold. Measure out your water and drop in a few ice cubes to keep it cold.
  3. Mix flours and salt together in a wide bowl. Drop the butter into the flour, tossing to coat each piece as best you can. Using your fingers, squeeze and pinch and snap the butter pieces, working to squish them and incorporate them into the flour. Use only your fingertips. Mix until butter and flour have reached a texture similar to that of coarse cornmeal, with some pea-sized chunks remaining.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of cold water into the flour, and mix gently with your hands or a wooden spoon. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach 6 or 7 tablespoons. Assess your situation: if you can squeeze the pie crust into a ball with one hand, you're pretty close. If you try that and everything crumbles, add another tablespoon. A few dry spots are fine; you want dough that just comes together and won't crack when you roll it out. Form into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  5. After the dough has cooled, remove from refrigerator and roll out on a floured cutting board. The dough should be of even thickness and big enough to cover your pie dish. Crimp the edges or simply fold them under for a simpler crust. Refrigerate, covered in plastic wrap, until just before baking.
  6. Roll the dough around the rolling pin like a towel, and transfer to the pie dish. Mold the dough into the pie pan, letting the excess hang off the sides. Crimp
  1. For the filling
  2. Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss the diced vegetables in olive oil, then sprinkle with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Dump them onto two baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through and making sure they don't burn.
  3. Sauté shallots and garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter. Cook for a few minutes, until beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook down until they are soft and give off moisture.
  4. Add wine, and cook until it's almost completely absorbed. Then add your vegetable broth, and cook over medium heat until almost all of the moisture is cooked off.
  5. Fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes until soft (but not falling apart) when pierced with a fork -- start checking after 15 minutes.
  6. Drain sweet potatoes, then mash together with butter, milk, and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the mushrooms across the bottom in an even layer. Next add the roasted vegetable layer, and top with the layer of mashed sweet potatoes. Bake for 35 minutes or until the crust starts to brown. Halfway through cooking, pull the pie out and top with a layer of pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Becca Deckert
    Becca Deckert
  • Angela Sevin
    Angela Sevin
  • eldaveablo
  • Lisa McLaughlin
    Lisa McLaughlin
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


21 Reviews

Becca D. November 20, 2018
Any idea what I could substitute the mushrooms for?
Jusika November 25, 2016
P.S. I did blind-bake the crust though!
Jusika November 25, 2016
this was a spectacular hit! Everyone loved it, and took some home! I have only a teensy bit left in the fridge! Thank you!!
JayKayTee November 27, 2015
With another successful Thanksgiving dinner, pushing at the belt line, as always there are some successful and not so successful dishes - and hopefully, zero disasters. This vegetable pie caught my mind's eye or shall I say, tastebud's eye, but not the taste of my guests.

While all who tasted, liked the earthy depth of the root veggie medley, it was the leftover that was most scrapped off cleared away plates. For that reason I would think twice about making this dish again for the holiday, as it was the most intensive in time and prepping than all other sides.

Personally, I loved the layers of hearty roots with a bite or two of buttery whole wheat crust, but I too left some on my plate - perhaps too many "favorites" vying for the right of passage across my tongue? It's the best explanation I can come up with for a dish that stands up on its own.
JayKayTee November 29, 2015
Addendum: I was tiring of the turkey, stuffing, mashed potato trio and dove into this "ignored" root medley, last night - OMG!!! - it is really a wonderfully hearty and tasty dish. I really do think it was a battle of Thanksgiving favorites over something new. Great vegetarian dish for a cold winter day.
Marco November 11, 2014
I make a ricotta pie with a whole wheat spelt base and ALWAYS blind bake the crust. That way you'll never have a soggy bottom. Sometimes I pile grilled root veg on top of the pie but I can see a combo of these layers and the ricotta/egg filling working nicely. I adapted my recipe from a regional Italian dish which is laced with Pecorino and oregano.
orangeideal December 5, 2013
This looks great--what are some good sides to go with?
Laura December 1, 2013
Made this for Thanksgiving with a pre-made crust (blind baked) and it turned out well. Great for fall!
Angela S. November 29, 2013
I made my own version with a gluten/dairy free crust, and mashed turnips on top of pureed squash, it turned out great! The root vegetables were a little crunchy so next time I will cook those longer.
Michelle November 26, 2013
Great! Thanks for the help.
Michelle November 26, 2013
I, too, was considering making this in a cast iron skillet (roughly 10" approx. to a deep dish pie pan) in the hopes that this would prevent a soggy crust. Does anyone have any thoughts on the subject? I've never baked a pie in a skillet. Do I need to worry about the crust getting TOO well done? Thanksgiving dinner isn't exactly the best time for such experiments, I realize, so I'm a bit nervous! Thanks for any help.
Marian B. November 26, 2013
I baked mine in a 10-inch skillet, and the crust was not soggy! Just make sure that the dough isn't too wet.
Amy November 26, 2013
I want to make this for my vegetarian thanksgiving. what is the dimension of that skillet?
Marian B. November 26, 2013
10 inches!
eldaveablo November 20, 2013
Love the sound of this recipe, but I have a strong aversion to mushrooms. Any suggested substitutes?
Marian B. November 26, 2013
Hmm. Maybe caramelized onions? Let me know what you end up trying!
mcudney November 18, 2013
I'd like to make this ahead for Thanksgiving. Sounds like it would be best to prep the veg layers ahead, then assemble and bake day of. Has anyone tried the prebaked crust?
Marian B. November 26, 2013
You can prep everything ahead! I hope that helps.
Lisa M. November 18, 2013
The crust is not pre-baked in this recipe so, at least for me, it was soft and not great. If I make this again, I would pre-bake the crust. This recipe is a lot of work but does taste great.
Marian B. November 18, 2013
Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this! I've always wondered about pre-baking please let me know if you try it!
Michelle P. November 13, 2013
looks spectacular, I will definitely try making this over the weekend :)