Springy Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe

The humble pot pie is often considered an American comfort food classic, but the origins of this savory dish date back to ancient times. The traditional pot pie we're most familiar with might be the chicken pot pie, a combination of meat, vegetables, and gravy under a flaky crust: It's often thought of as a comforting winter warmer. This vegetarian version  –  courtesy of recipe developer Julie Kinnaird  –  doesn't have any trace of "four and twenty blackbirds" baked in, but rather a colorful melange of springtime vegetables under a delicate puff pastry crust. It combines the bright fresh flavors of asparagus, peas, and tarragon with hearty potatoes, earthy mushrooms, and a buttery pastry, for a satisfying vegetarian dinner that's perfect on a spring evening.

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Kinnaird uses baby gold potatoes and different hues of carrots to create a base for the filling. Tiny brown beech mushrooms add a nutty, buttery flavor, and tender stalks of asparagus and fresh peas enhance the seasonal freshness of the dish. Everything is combined in a rich and flavorful sauce made with sour cream and whole-grain mustard and infused with fresh herbs. For convenience, the sauce is made right in a cast iron skillet while the vegetables cook. This is a top-crust-only preparation, which allows for ease of cooking and baking all in one pan.

Gather the springy vegetarian pot pie ingredients

The vegetable filling for this springtime version of pot pie includes thin-skinned baby potatoes, multi-colored baby carrots, fresh English peas, fresh fennel bulb, leeks, brown beech mushrooms, garlic, and slender stalks of asparagus. A creamy sauce is made from a quick roux of butter and flour, plus vegetable stock and sour cream. This is flavored with whole-grain Dijon mustard, black pepper, fresh thyme, Italian parsley, chives, and tarragon. Prepared frozen puff pastry is thawed and then rolled out and brushed with an egg glaze. Sea salt is used throughout the cooking process.

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Step 1: Bring a pot of water to a boil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon sea salt.

Step 2: Add the potatoes and carrots

Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Add the peas

Add the fresh peas and cook for 2 minutes longer (if using frozen peas, reduce the cooking time to 1 minute)

Step 4: Drain the vegetables

Drain the vegetables and set aside.

Step 5: Melt butter in a cast iron skillet

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat.

Step 6: Add the fennel

Add the fennel and saute until tender (about 2 minutes).

Step 7: Add leeks, mushrooms, and garlic

Add the leeks, mushrooms, garlic, and remaining teaspoon of sea salt. Cook and stir until the mushrooms release their juices (about 5 minutes).

Step 8: Add the asparagus

Add the asparagus and cook 1 minute longer.

Step 9: Add potatoes, carrots, and peas

Transfer the blanched potatoes, carrots, and peas to the skillet.

Step 10: Add the remaining butter to the pan

Push the vegetables aside to create a well in the center and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Reduce the heat to medium.

Step 11: Add the flour

Once the butter has melted, add the 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until incorporated.

Step 12: Stir to coat the vegetables

Coat the vegetables with the butter and flour mixture.

Step 13: Add the vegetable stock

Add the vegetable stock and stir until simmering.

Step 14: Add sour cream, mustard, pepper, and herbs

Add the sour cream, mustard, black pepper, and herbs to the pan and stir until evenly combined.

Step 15: Cool the skillet slightly

Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 20 minutes until just warm to the touch.

Step 16: Preheat the oven

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Step 17: Roll out the puff pastry

Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface until it is at least 11 inches in diameter.

Step 18: Place the puff pastry on the vegetables

Transfer the pastry to the top of the cooled skillet and trim away excess from the edges.

Step 19: Brush the pastry with egg wash

Cut a few slits in the pastry to release steam and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the surface with egg. Use the dough scraps to make decorative cutouts if desired.

Step 20: Bake the pot pie

Bake the pot pie on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes.

Step 21: Lower the heat and finish baking

Reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 10-15 minutes longer until the pastry is deep golden brown.

Step 22: Cool the pot pie

Remove the pot pie from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.

Step 23: Serve and enjoy!

Cut the springy vegetarian pot pie into wedges and serve warm.

Can you make springy vegetarian pot pie in advance?

Having a fully prepared homemade pot pie ready to pop into your oven after a long day is a wonderful thing! This springy vegetarian pot pie can be made in advance, however you will need to follow a slightly different method of preparation. The ease of using a cast iron skillet for this dish allows you to do most of the cooking and baking in just one pan. Unfortunately, refrigerating or freezing food in cast iron is not recommended. Kinnaird explains that any condensation or moisture from the dish can potentially create rust or damage a well-seasoned surface. Additionally, the ingredients can take on a metallic flavor if they are left sitting in the cast iron for an extended period. 

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If you want to prepare this pot pie in advance (or don't have a cast iron skillet in the first place) simply swap in a deep-dish glass or disposable pie plate. Once your vegetable filling is prepared on the stovetop with the sauce, transfer it to the oiled pie plate, add the puff pastry crust, and proceed with the recipe. You can freeze an unbaked pot pie for up to 3 months, then let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as instructed. A baked pot pie will also keep well for about 3 days in the refrigerator and can be re-warmed at 350 F until heated through.

How can I switch up springy vegetarian pot pie?

The idea behind this recipe, according to Kinnaird, is to highlight tender spring vegetables at their best by combining them in a traditionally comforting and hearty preparation. If you don't have every ingredient listed or perhaps you want to utilize some items you already have on hand, there are a variety of ways you can customize this dish. Because this recipe is so adaptable, you can combine your favorite springtime vegetables and herbs according to what's in season near you.

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For the potatoes, you can sub in regular russets or other full-size varieties but be sure to give them a good peel and keep them in a small dice. Frozen peas will work just fine in place of fresh, just give them a very brief blanch before adding to the filling. Instead of fennel, try thinly sliced celery. And for the mushrooms, try experimenting with different varieties but be sure to keep them in a small dice or slice. If you want to switch up the puff pastry, try using a single top layer of your favorite pie crust, whether it's homemade rough puff, filo, or a tender pastry that uses sour cream instead of water, complementing the sour cream in the filling. 

Springy Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe

5 (14 ratings)

Celebrate spring vegetables in a comforting and satisfying vegetarian pot pie, flavored with whole grain mustard and herbs and topped with flaky puff pastry.

Prep Time
45
minutes
Cook Time
1.08
hours
servings
8
Servings
Springy vegetarian pot pie cut into wedges on plates
Total time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • 2 cups diced baby potatoes
  • 1 cup diced peeled carrots
  • 1 cup fresh English peas (or frozen petite peas)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup diced fresh fennel bulb
  • 1 large leek, stem and dark green leaves trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup trimmed tiny mushrooms (beech, enoki, or button)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tender stalks of asparagus, cut into ½-inch lengths
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling puff pastry
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  2. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the fresh peas and cook for 2 minutes longer (if using frozen peas, reduce the cooking time to 1 minute)
  4. Drain the vegetables and set aside.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat.
  6. Add the fennel and saute until tender (about 2 minutes).
  7. Add the leeks, mushrooms, garlic, and remaining teaspoon of sea salt. Cook and stir until the mushrooms release their juices (about 5 minutes).
  8. Add the asparagus and cook 1 minute longer.
  9. Transfer the blanched potatoes, carrots, and peas to the skillet.
  10. Push the vegetables aside to create a well in the center and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Reduce the heat to medium.
  11. Once the butter has melted, add the 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until incorporated.
  12. Coat the vegetables with the butter and flour mixture.
  13. Add the vegetable stock and stir until simmering.
  14. Add the sour cream, mustard, black pepper, and herbs to the pan and stir until evenly combined.
  15. Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 20 minutes until just warm to the touch.
  16. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  17. Roll the puff pastry out on a floured surface until it is at least 11 inches in diameter.
  18. Transfer the pastry to the top of the cooled skillet and trim away excess from the edges.
  19. Cut a few slits in the pastry to release steam and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the surface with egg. Use the dough scraps to make decorative cutouts if desired.
  20. Bake the pot pie on the center rack of the oven for 20 minutes.
  21. Reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for 10-15 minutes longer until the pastry is deep golden brown.
  22. Remove the pot pie from the oven and cool for 20 minutes.
  23. Cut the springy vegetarian pot pie into wedges and serve warm.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 221
Total Fat 14.6 g
Saturated Fat 7.3 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 52.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.3 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 4.5 g
Sodium 492.0 mg
Protein 4.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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