Make Ahead

Vegetarian Pot Pie

October 12, 2016
0 Ratings
Photo by Lily Applebaum
Author Notes

I've never eaten pot pie with meat in it so I can't tell you how this compares, but I really focused on building this recipe to be savory and meat-y with flavor. A lot is changeable and replaceable here. Use margarine and nondairy milk + a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to make vegan.

You'll need a sauce pan, a casserole dish or deep dish pie plate, and a frying pan or skillet. First you'll make the pie crust and set it aside, then you'll set up the lentils to cook and the mushrooms to roast, then while they're working away you'll cook the other filling ingredients, then make the gravy, then mix it all together and top with the crust. Sounds like a lot but they're all simple steps! —Lily Applebaum

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 8 ish
  • Pot pie crust
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I used smoked paprika which was yummy)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, plus more may be necessary
  • Filling
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over
  • 2 garlic cloves, not peeled
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cheapest available (usually button or cremini)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
  • 1 onion, diced finely
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
In This Recipe
  1. Pot pie crust
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  3. Cut butter into small cubes, and add to the bowl as you go
  4. Using your finger tips, two forks, or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until you have no pieces of butter larger than ~pea size, and the whole mix is a coarse meal
  5. Pour in buttermilk and knead the mixture together as few times as possible, making sure there are no dry bits of mix. Add more buttermilk a tiny bit at a time if you need more. It's better to err on the side of a little more wet and a little more mixed than not, though. You're looking for the consistency of Play-Doh more or less
  6. Pat the dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper, refrigerate at least 15 minutes or until needed. This can keep for a day or two in the fridge if necessary.
  1. Filling
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a small sauce pot, add lentils and cover with about two inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then leave to cook until done (around 40 minutes for me). Drain the lentils and leave them draining in a colander. Rinse out the pot and leave it on the stove, you'll use it to make the gravy later.
  4. Meanwhile, work on the mushrooms. With a barely damp paper towel, gently brush off any visible dirt from the mushrooms. Separate mushroom stems and caps, and slice everything into ~1/4 inch thick slices. Add to the casserole dish or deep dish pie plate you'll use to cook the pot pie as you go.
  5. Season the mushrooms with 1 tsp of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until very fragrant and releasing a lot of liquid, around 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the whole pan off to the side.
  6. While the mushrooms and lentils are cooking, you can work on the rest of the filling. Combine the cumin, paprika, garlic, onions, carrots and celery with a splash of olive oil, and cook over medium high heat in a large skillet until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Deglaze with a little bit of water, broth, or white wine if everything starts sticking. When lentils are finished and drained, add them to the pan too. Using a slotted spoon or a fork, take the mushrooms out of the roasting pan and add them to the veggie mix. Leave the liquid that the mushrooms released while they roasted in the pan, you'll use it in the next step.
  7. Next, work on the gravy which will flavor and hold together the vegetable mix. Melt the 1/4 C butter in the same sauce pan you used to cook the lentils over medium-low heat. Add in the flour, and stir almost constantly until the roux is a blonde color and you can't see the texture of the flour any longer. Stir in the soy sauce one teaspoon at a time. Then stir the mushroom cooking liquid in to the gravy slowly. Now you should have a pretty thick, dark brown paste. Next, add warm water from the tap little by little, whisking all the way, until you have a gravy texture. It should taste amazing too! Wait to add more salt until you taste the whole mixture together.
  8. Stir the gravy into the veggie mix on the stove, taste for seasoning, and once you're happy with how it tastes add it back to the mushroom roasting pan. Leave this mix to cool slightly.
  9. Flour your counter and pull out the chilling pastry dough for the pie's crust. Roll the crust to about 1/4-inch thickness, trying to keep to the shape of your dish. Carefully transfer the pastry, and crimp it on to the top of your dish, or just right on top of the filling if it doesn't come all the way up to the top of the dish as mine didn't in the photo. For a fancy finish on the crust, brush on a wash of a little bit of beaten egg or milk. Cut a small vent in the center of the pie.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for one hour, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust is deeply browned and crisp. Enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jennifer
  • Lily Applebaum
    Lily Applebaum
  • chris welch
    chris welch

3 Reviews

Jennifer April 8, 2017
Yesterday when deciding on dinner, I remembered that lately I'd been wanting a pot pie. I searched through my books and wasn't feeling what I found. Went to Food52 and found this. This is the kind of dish that shows people vegetarian is just as delicious! I added more garlic (big garlic lovers in our house), rutabaga, and a little cream. For the deglaze I used white wine. The roux was very good. Instead of one large pie, I made minitures with ramekins, and cut the dough into leaves with a cutter. Wonderful recipe, thanks for sharing.
chris W. December 12, 2016
De-licious! It was hard not to devour the gravy before mixing it into the filling. And the paprika in the crust was wonderful. Perfect for a cold winter night. Thanks!
Author Comment
Lily A. December 18, 2016
Thanks so much, Chris! I'm so glad that it worked out for you!