A pot pie is quite possibly the most hearty and comforting food. What's not to love about breaking through crackly, crispy golden pastry to get to a bubbly, creamy, savory stew underneath? My vegan pot pie has chunky pieces of veggies in a herby and flavorful sauce and you can add tofu or sausage for a delicious protein boost. It's easy too--anyone can make it. And it is soy-free and can be nut-free or gluten-free--so anyone can eat it!
If you spend all your time before the holidays dreaming of the amazing foods you are going to cook up with the least amount of effort to impress those you love, put this vegan Pot Pie on your list.
It has a beautifully golden crust that makes the most delicious crispy, crackly sounds as you cut into it, and best of all you don't actually have to make it--you can simply use storebought puff pastry.
Underneath that crunchy goodness is a bubbling, steaming, nutritious stew of veggies flavored with fragrant herbs that'll take you all of 15 minutes to put together. And you can toss into it cubes of tofu or vegan sausage to make it even more nutritious and filling.
I love pot pies with a passion, and so do many of you. Many moons ago I shared with all of you my vegan Mushroom Pot Pie and dozens of readers have written over the years to tell me it had been a lifechanger, literally. For many, it has become a Thanksgiving recipe tradition. I've even seen copycat versions of it pop up on so many vegan blogs since.
This pot pie, I promise, is just as good. Try it once and you'll be making it over and over.
What we love about this pot pie
- It has a divine puff pastry crust that requires almost no prep.
- It's savory.
- It's comforting.
- It's hearty and filling.
- It's versatile--you can mix and match your veggies. More on that later.
- It's easy to make.
- You can make it as individual pot pies or one large one--works nicely either way.
Tips and steps for making the best vegan pot pie
- Use puff pastry for the top. Or use a storebought pie crust if you want to stick with tradition. Really. You don't have to add to the stressors around holidays by making a pie crust from scratch (although if you want to, you can learn how to make a savory crust in this Vegan Tikka Masala Pot Pie recipe and a gluten-free crust in this vegan French Onion Tart recipe). Keep in mind you are making most of this yourself, you're just making it easy on yourself.
- The filling can't be simpler. You don't even need to make a roux, because the cashew cream (or pumpkin seed cream if you want this to be nut-free), will act as a nice thickener for the sauce.
- Start out by turning on your oven. Preheating your oven is a must for almost any baking recipe, as it is here, and if you start it before you begin the rest of this process it will be at the perfect temperature for you to add your pot pie to.
- Next make the cashew cream or pumpkin seed cream by blitzing the cashews or seeds with half a cup of veggie stock. Make it really smooth (soak the cashews for half an hour first if your blender isn't high-powered). You can use water in this recipe wherever I've called for vegetable stock, but keep in mind that making tasty vegan food that'll appeal to everyone is all about layering flavors. A really good, storebought or homemade vegetable stock adds a great flavor base and umami, and if you make it once, you'll be making it again and again.
- Next, you'll create your flavor base for the pot pie by sauteing garlic and adding to it onions, celery and carrots. I like chopping everything fairly small here so them pretty much melt into the sauce.
- Next to go in are the potatoes and mushrooms and I like cutting these into chunkier pieces. You can dice and slice these veggies as thick or thin or as big and small as you like, although I'd advise keeping things on the larger side so your sauce has some hearty heft.
- Next will go in the wine, if you're using it, and let it all cook out, which will leave in all the flavor and none of the booziness (although some of may object to that ;))
- Add the herbs -- I used sage, rosemary and thyme (with the parsley coming in later :)) and the butternut squash along with the cashew sauce and the remaining vegetable stock and cook another five minutes or until the potatoes are just tender (sweet potato would be nice here too). This pot pie filling is saucy enough for me but not too saucy. If you want a saucier filling, add another cup of vegetable stock (3 cups instead of 2).
- If you are using vegan sausage or tofu, you can add them now--I like cutting these in fairly hefty pieces too. Stir in parsley for a pop of freshness. Check the seasoning at this point and add more salt and black pepper as needed.
- Now comes the part where you put everything in a baking dish, so scrape every last bit into a baking dish--mine is an oval that measures 12 X 9 inches. If you're making this in an oven-safe skillet, you can leave the sauce in place and proceed to the next step.
- Roll out the thawed puff pastry to a size that will fit snugly on top of your baking dish. It doesn't matter if your dish is round or oval or square or rectangular -- you can tuck the ends under. Make slits all over the puff pastry with a knife, each about an inch long.
- Now carefully transfer the puff pastry to the top of the baking dish or skillet and tuck any overhanging edges under the crust.
- I like brushing on some oil on the puff pastry before I put it in the oven, which gives a really nice, golden-brown crust. You can skip this.
- Bake 30-35 minutes on a rack in the center of the oven. Be sure to place a baking sheet under the skillet or dish to catch any juices that bubble and run, which will make cleanup much, much easier.
- Let the pot pie stand about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven, sprinkle on more fresh parsley on top if you want, then serve hot.
The Best Vegan Pot Pie Recipe
- 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed and then thinly sliced)
- 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 medium carrots (cut in a ½-inch dice)
- 2 stalks celery (cut in an approx ½-inch dice)
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms (cut in chunky slices)
- 2 medium potatoes (yellow or red)
- ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
- 8 oz butternut squash (cubed. Or any winter squash or zucchini will do)
- 2 tbsp sage (minced, or 2 tsp dry)
- 1 tsp rosemary (¼ tsp if using dry)
- 1 tbsp thyme (or 2 tsp dry)
- 14-16 oz vegan sausage or tofu (optional. Slice the sausage and cube the tofu)
- ½ cup raw cashews (use pumpkin seeds for a nut-free alternative)
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock (or water)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp parsley (finely chopped)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Make cashew cream by blitzing the raw cashews with ½ cup of vegetable stock or water. You can soak the cashews for 30 minutes if your blender is not a high-powered one. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or oven-safe skillet. Or, if you plan to make this in a baking dish use any skillet. Add the garlic, saute for a few seconds, then add the onions, celery and carrots.
- Add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper to the skillet. Saute the onions, celery and carrots until the vegetables become translucent. Add the potatoes and mushrooms and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the wine, if using, to the skillet (turn off heat or turn it down really low when you do this to avoid splashing any wine which could result in a fire). Cook the veggies, stirring frequently, until the wine has all but evaporated.
- Add the herbs and the butternut squash to the skillet and stir-fry for a minute. Add the cashew cream and the remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock to the skillet and mix (add up to one more cup of vegetable stock for a saucier filling--I like mine saucy enough but not too saucy). Let it all come to a boil and simmer on a low flame for five more minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the sausage or tofu, if using, then add the parsley. Add more salt and ground black pepper as needed. Turn off the heat.
- At this point, if you're planning to bake the pot pie in a baking dish, transfer the vegetable sauce carefully to the dish. If using an oven-safe skillet, you can continue to the next step.
- Roll out the puff pastry to a size that'll cover the skillet, if that's what you plan to bake in, or of the baking dish you will use. Make 1-inch slits with a knife in the puff pastry, about an inch apart. This will give the juices an avenue to bubble and escape as the pot pie cooks.
- Place the puff pastry carefully over the top of the sauce, making sure you cover it. Tuck in any excess pastry. You can brush on some oil on the surface of the puff pastry at this point for a more golden crust.
- Place a sheet pan on a rack in the center of the oven. Place the skillet or baking dish on the sheet pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until the juices are bubbling and the puff pastry looks golden and crispy.
- Serve hot or warm.
Looking for more recipe ideas for the holidays? Check out my vegan Thanksgiving recipes page.