Best Vegetarian Pot Pie

April 30, 2019
18 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This vegetarian pot pie makes no apologies for its lack of chicken. (Chicken who?) The recipe starts just like the original: Sauté onion, carrots, and celery. Add flour for thickness, then broth (in this case, a DIY bouillon-based one) and milk, which turn into a creamy, savory gravy. But then, where you’d normally add chicken, you add chickpeas—the little bean that could. A big spoonful of white miso adds depth (feel free to use your favorite type of miso, just adjust the amount to taste). While many pot pies are baked in ramekins, this one is assembled freestyle: Ladle the pot pie filling into a bowl, then top with a crispy, flaky square of puff pastry. Not only do I find this approach easier, but it’s better for leftovers: Refrigerate or freeze the pot pie filling, then warm up whenever, and top with whatever bready thing is around (if you’re out of puff pastry, a thick piece of toast is very good). And if you don’t have—or don’t want to get—the vegetable-based Better Than Bouillon, you can swap out the 1 1/2 cups water for 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth; just make sure it’s homemade or a brand you know and like, since store-bought vegetable broths vary a lot. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium to large yellow onions, finely diced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 pound (about 6 stalks) celery, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water, warm
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable-based Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk, warm
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 (15.5-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment. Crack the egg into a small bowl, add 1 pinch salt, 1 teaspoon water, and whisk with a fork until smooth. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 10x10-inch square. Cut into 6 rectangles (a pizza wheel works well here). Set on the prepared sheet pan. Brush each piece with the egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
  2. While the puff pastry is baking, start on the chickpea stew: Add the butter to a large, high-sided saucepan and set over medium heat to melt. When it’s foamy, add the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and stir. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple times. Remove the lid, add the garlic, and stir. Continue to cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes.
  3. Add the flour to the vegetable mixture and stir until it’s incorporated. Cook for about 2 minutes, to get rid of that raw flour taste. If you’re using the water, stir in the bouillon paste and miso paste until incorporated. Slowly add the seasoned water to the vegetables while constantly stirring. Now slowly add the milk, also while constantly stirring.
  4. Let the mixture come to a simmer. While it does, add the black pepper, plus more salt to taste. After it comes to a simmer, let it cook for a few minutes to thicken, stirring slowly but constantly.
  5. Add the peas, chickpeas, and parsley. Continue to cook until it’s as thick as you like. Season again with salt, pepper, and miso to taste.
  6. Serve the chickpea stew in bowls, with a square of puff pastry on top.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mariah Heley-Wright
    Mariah Heley-Wright
  • Judith Farrow
    Judith Farrow
  • Alexandria
  • Leslie Skyrms
    Leslie Skyrms
  • enthous
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

20 Reviews

rj2253 January 27, 2022
Entire family - including the non-vegetarians - loves this. It's a real favorite, and I'm always asked to make enough for leftovers that can be had for lunch the next day. I keep some pre-made sauteed mirepoix in the freezer to cut down on prep & cooking time for those nights when I'm busy or need to get dinner done quickly.
Mariah H. March 26, 2020
this recipe tasted great when I had a teaspoon to try the pie, but after a whole bowl, I never wanted to eat it again. It was a really heavy meal and did not make me feel great after eating it.
JustMegan October 30, 2019
I made this last week for meals my husband and I. The addition of the puff pastry instead of using traditional pie crust was fantastic! So much lighter and we really liked the added crunch to the vegetables. Also, because the crust was separate from the filling, it was just as good the next day and not soggy.
This recipe was very tasty. I live in Germany currently and couldn't find the bouillon, so I subbed vegetable broth for the water and mixed the miso into the broth before adding it. I think that this may have effected the flavor because my veggie filling didn't have as much flavor as I would have thought. Next time we visit the states I will find some of the veggie bouillon to bring back and re-try this recipe!
I will absolutely make this recipe again. My husband is vegetarian but hates 99% of all veggies *sigh*. Usually I have to hide the vegetables in a dish to get him to eat it. He was wary of this recipe but ended up really enjoying it, so you know it was good! <3
food52fan October 30, 2019
I like the puff pastry, too! I made this wonderful recipe again last week and this time sprinkled the pastry with some spices before baking, after brushing a little olive oil on top. For the broth, I sometimes add in some thyme and really like adding some Trader Joe's mushroom umami (found in a jar by the spices if you have access to TJ's). If your husband likes chickpeas as the 1% of veggies he will eat, try the olive oil braised chickpea recipe on this site. It is delicious!
Judith F. October 23, 2019
The family likes this recipe. They however did not feel that the puff pasty was adequate and as a result I will try rounds of pie crust the next time I make it.
Merry October 8, 2019
Really enjoyed this and look forward to leftovers tonight. The miso is a perfect touch. We might reduce the chickpeas to 1 can next time around, but otherwise, lovely as is.
Emma L. October 8, 2019
Thanks, Merry!
Alexandria October 4, 2019
Can I use a homemade stock or broth instead of Better than Boullion?
Emma L. October 4, 2019
Laura P. October 4, 2019
Sure thing. Just be sure it has a modest or complementary flavor profile.
food52fan June 3, 2019
Hi Emma, Thank you so much for this glorious pot pie recipe! My kitchen smelled heavenly as it was cooking and the finished dish was delicious! The gravy was nice and creamy, and the puffs of pastry were so much nicer than a heavy pie crust. The recipe made plenty of servings, and I'm looking forward to having the leftovers for dinner tonight (and if I can't wait that long, then lunch today)! I already have a request to make it again next weekend!
Emma L. June 4, 2019
Yay! So happy you enjoyed it!
AnneR May 18, 2019
Made this tonight and even the little ones liked it (especially the pastry). I added thyme and herbs de Provence to give the gravy a little more oomph. I also threw in a cup of grilled corn from the fridge. This did make easily 10 servings (probably more), so I wish I had more pastry.
Laura P. May 11, 2019
Really delicious. I used Naomi Pomeroy’s homemade creme fraiche pastry, but otherwise followed the recipe as written.
Leslie S. May 8, 2019
A stunning dish. I cut each pastry piece in half through the middle. That gave us plenty of crust. I also added a tablespoon of dried thyme to the gravy. Also the recipe serves six very generously. We easily had enough for 10 portions.
Bernadette H. May 8, 2019
This was amazing! Followed the directions exactly, and the result was a delicious meal.
Emma L. May 8, 2019
Thanks, Bernadette—so glad you enjoyed!
enthous May 7, 2019
We have an egg allergy in our family. Any suggestion to get a nice shiny crust without egg? Maybe just a milk wash? Melted butter?
Food52 May 7, 2019
Hi! You can use melted butter or cream.
Rosalind R. May 5, 2019
While this sounds very tasty, calling it a "pot pie" is nonsense.