Vegan pot pies - a classic comfort gets a healthy makeover! Savory chickpea, veggie, and gravy filling topped with whole wheat, oil-free pie crust that's so easy and delicious, you won’t believe it until you try it!
It used to be such a treat when I was a kid. Remember those frozen pot pies in the little tins that you put into the oven? I used to love those. I came about this recipe because I was determined to create a plant-based version that recreated feelings of decadent comfort I cherished as a kid.
There were 3 things I didn’t know.
First, it wasn’t such a stretch to create a healthy, gravy-laden filling.
Second, a plant-based, oil-free pie crust wasn’t impossible.
Third, I’d be making pot pies and reaching in the freezer after all.
You probably guessed that there are 2 parts to this recipe. The filling and the crust. Because the filling can sit on the stove, slowly simmering while you make the crust, start there. You can even make the filling a day or two ahead of time if that suits your schedule.
Filling that fills
This simple filling is built for comfort – and speed. The only prep required is the onion, celery, and garlic. After that, it’s just opening a few cans of chickpeas, grabbing the frozen veggies, and thickening up the mixture with whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour thickens the filling and gives it a subtly sweet and wholesome flavor. You can use another type of flour or thickeners such as corn starch or arrowroot. You may want to experiment with the amount and begin with 4 tablespoons of any substitute and add more once it simmers.
Frozen mixed vegetables give this dish a convenient variety of vegetables. Any mix will do. Avoid anything with added salt or sauce.
You can also use fresh vegetables. Consider combinations of small diced fresh vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potatoes, bell peppers, or corn.
Be sure the fresh vegetables are diced small. You can add them before you sauté the garlic and spices to start them softening. Alternatively, you can cook them will the vegetable broth before adding the chickpeas. This might be a better method if you are using potatoes or denser vegetables.
Yes, this pie crust is that easy!
You only need to set aside a few minutes to make the flax egg, which you can do before you start the filling.
The trick with this crust is to add water, a tablespoon at-a-time. If you overestimate and your crust is too moist, you can add a little flour. Use the same process - a tablespoon at-a-time.
Whole wheat has a heavy texture. For this reason, the resulting crust will not be as thin and flaky as you might get if you use premade pie crust or you use lighter-weight flour.
If you are not a confident crust-maker, This crust is a great place to start. Whole wheat binds (creates more gluten), making it more elastic. Keep a small amount of flour on your work surface and your rolling pin to keep it from sticking.
Don’t worry about rolling perfect circles. You want a crust that is even in thickness that will fit over the pie dishes. Keep the intended baking dishes handy so that you have something to judge the size by. You can trim away extra on the sides or just make the edges bigger if you like.
This is a very forgiving crust. If you mess up your first attempt, you can always reform a crust ball and start over.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best way to reheat pot pies is in the oven. Set the oven temperature to 4000 F. (2000 C.) and cover the pie with foil to keep the crust from getting too brown. Bake for 20 minutes and remove the foil for the last 5 minutes.
Yes absolutely! Bake the pies for 20 minutes before you freeze them. This helps to keep the crust firm when you reheat them. Allow them to cool to room temperature before you place them in the freezer. Use a sealed freezer bag or wrap each pie, individually, in several layers of plastic wrap.
A replacement for the chickpeas in this recipe includes Great Northern beans, black beans, kidney beans, or other beans that retain their shape when cooked. You can also substitute green lentils, although you will need to pre-cook them before adding them. Red lentils would not be a good choice as they break down once cooked.
Allow 30 minutes to heat the pies and bake the crust. As the filling starts to heat, it may bubble up and spill over a bit. This is why it’s a good practice to put individual dishes on a baking tray. It will save a messy oven. And none of us like dealing with that.
If you want to make one ‘big’ vegan pie, go for it. This recipe is designed to make 4 individual pies that fit into 4 – 16 oz. (473 ml.) baking dishes (ramekins). For 1 pie, aim for something suitable for 2 ½ quarts (2.3 L.) of filling. In all cases, be sure that your dishes are oven-proof.
Other comforting recipes you might like
Comforting food final thoughts
What is it about a crust on top that turns a bowl of something into a comforting, satisfying meal? Maybe it’s about memory, or it just tastes better. But comfort, the sense of well-being that eating can deliver, should continue long after the bowl is empty. That’s where strategic, plant-based cooking comes in. Tasty food that makes you feel good. Comforting thoughts. Peace.Print
vegan pot pies with oil-free crust
A classic comfort food goes vegan with a savory chickpea, veggie, and gravy filling topped with whole wheat, oil-free pie crust.
- Prep Time: 25 min
- Cook Time: 45 min
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 pies 1x
- Category: Main Courses
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
For the filling
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 - 5 celery stalks, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced, or pressed (1 Tbsp.)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. basil
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 – 15 oz. (400 gm.) cans of cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed (3 cups)
- 4 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
- 6 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
- 1 cup of water
- Salt and pepper, as needed
For the crust
- 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
- 3 Tbsp. water
- 2 ¼ cups wholewheat flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 – 6 Tbsp. water
Timing tip: Before you start the filling, make the flax egg. Combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Set it aside until you are ready for the crust.
- To make the filling, heat a large skillet or pot to medium and add the diced onion and celery. Stir the ingredients for about 5 minutes until they start to soften can get more translucent.
- Add the garlic, garlic powder, black pepper, and basil. Stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetable broth and stir the bottom to pick up any ingredients stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chickpeas and frozen vegetables. Mix everything and bring the pan to simmer. Cover the skillet and cook for 5 minutes until the veggies are heated through.
- While the veggies cook, combine 6 tablespoons of whole wheat flour with 1 cup of water in a small bowl or cup. Be sure it is mixed well and that there are no lumps.
- Add the flour mixture to the skillet and mix well. Stir it for a few minutes until it starts to thicken. At this point, you can turn off the heat or continue to simmer the filling at a low temperature while you make the crust. Be sure to stir it every so often.
- Preheat the oven to 4000 F. (2000 C.). Lay out the pie dishes) or a larger baking dish if you are using that).
- Now, make the dough by grabbing a medium mixing bowl and combine 2 ¼ cups of flour and ½ a teaspoon of salt.
- Stir in the flax egg and then start adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until all the flour is moist and you have a dough that will hold together if you form a ball.
- Take a moment to fill your baking dishes with equal portions of the filling and place them on the baking tray.
- Roll a dough ball into a circle about ¼ of an inch thick. Lay the dough over one of the filled baking dishes. If you have a lot of excess crust, trim that away. Use your fingers to fold the sides up to create an edge along the side of the dish.
- Repeat for the rest of the baking dishes.
- Once all the dishes are covered, place the tray in the middle rack in the oven. Bake the pies for 30 minutes. The crust should be slightly brown. The filling may start bubbling over the side (that's ok).
- Remove the pies from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Serve them up and beware – they can be hot inside, so be mindful before you dig in.
- If you use fresh rather than frozen vegetables, add them before the garlic and spices and sauté them to cook them. You can also add them after the vegetable broth and allow them to simmer. This might be more appropriate for potatoes or denser vegetables. Then add the chickpeas and move forward.
- If you intend to freeze the pies, bake them for 20 minutes to allow the crust to set. Wrap them or seal them in a freezer bag. To bake them, cover the top with foil and bake them in a pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the filling starts to bubble.
- If you substitute whole wheat flour, use the same amount, but be careful as you add the water. Do it slowly, a tablespoon at-a-time. Make adjustments as necessary.
Keywords: vegan pot pies