Vegetable Pot Pie

This hearty vegetable pot pie is made with a flaky, all-butter pie crust encasing a creamy, herbed potato, carrot, pea and onion filling. A homemade savory pie like this is such a treat! There are a couple tips you should know to help you take it from good to exceptional.

Vegetable Pot Pie

I know a lot of people make vegetable pot pies with store-bought puff pastry, but over the years I’ve come to believe a homemade pie crust is, by far, the superior way to go. It makes the whole pot pie endeavor worth it. These pies are rustic and creamy, often lovingly constructed. A great pie crust lends butter-kissed backbone and structure. A flaky, decadent counterpoint to the classic, creamy, vegetable filling. Let's make a pie!
vegetable pot pie on a cooling rack with a slice on a plate nearby

Vegetable Pot Pie: Real Talk

My main piece of advice here is this. If you’re are aiming to make a vegetable pot pie from scratch, plan ahead. Going from start to finish in one go can be a bit of an undertaking - pie dough, filling, assembly, bake, etc. But! If you keep pie crusts at the ready in your freezer, and make the filling a day or two in advance, pulling this pie together is an absolute breeze.

Pro Tips:

There are a few things I do as I’m making pot pies to level them up. Little details to help delineate my pie from your average vegetarian pot pie.

  • Homemade pie crust: Per the opening paragraph, I’ll go to the mat encouraging you to make your own pie dough. Make a few rounds of dough and keep it in the freezer for months. The flavor! The flakiness! Once you nail down the pie dough making process it’s hard to go back to a store-bought crust. Can you use a store-bought crust for this recipe? Yes, absolutely. Will it be better with a homemade pie crust? Yes, absolutely.

    vegetable pot pie before baking
  • Caramelize your onions: Really go for it. Most pot pie fillings have you sauté onions until tender in the beginning. I have you go well beyond that. By browning the onions and celery you’re developing more depth and flavor as the base of your filling.
  • Lemon zest: Sprinkle your pie plate with lemon zest before lining with the pie crust. Add some to your filling as well. The zest combines with the butter from the crust to perfume the whole situation. The brightness of the zest really brings something to the filling as well.
    pie plate prepared with bitter and lemon zest

Vegetable Pot Pies: Common Mistakes

There are a number of common pitfalls to avoid when making a pot pie.

  • Cool your filling completely: When you go to assemble your pie, it’s important that your filling is completely cold. Adding a warm filling is going to melt the butter in your crust prematurely and can contribute to a soggy pie bottom in the end. You want a golden, structured bottom crust. The solution? If you’re in a rush, spread the hot pie filling across a large plate, and place in the refrigerator, stirring now and then until cool.
    filling for vegetable pot pie in a large skillet with a metal spatula
  • Place pie on baking sheet: This is one mistake I still make too often, unfortunately. Placing your pie on a baking sheet while baking will protect your oven from any spills, overflows, or melted butter. It makes clean up much easier and you won’t have things burning onto the bottom of your oven.
  • Keep an eagle eye on your crust: I love a deeply golden, rustic pie crust. But the edges of a pie can get dark while the center is still underbaked. A problem! Have tinfoil strips or a pie shield ready to protect areas of your pie until the rest of the pie catches up. If you want to up your pie game over time, a basic pie shield is a great, inexpensive purchase!

vegetable pot pie with a slice cut from it
Pot Pie Leftovers:

Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350°F / 175°C oven, covered in foil, until filling is completely hot.
a slice of vegetable pot pie on a plate with a fork

Can I Make Pot Pies Ahead of Time?

If you want to make a pot pie ahead of time, make the filling in advance and refrigerate or freeze until ready to assemble the pie. Thawing first, of course. Make the pie dough ahead of time as well. You’re going to have more success baking the day you want to serve the pie.

Vegetable Pot Pie Variations

  • Make it spicy: Add a couple teaspoons of your favorite curry powder (or to taste) to the filling. You might also add some to the pie crust as well.
  • Explore different vegetables: Use what you have and love! Or explore what is seasonal. Great vegetable options include: sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, shredded cabbage, pumpkin, and corn. Roasted cherry tomatoes add an amazing burst of flavor.
    ingredients to make vegetable pot pie arrange on counter including potatoes, frozen peas, and carrots
  • Coconut milk: Use coconut milk (full fat) in place of the heavy cream for a different flavor profile.
  • Pesto: Skip the other herbs in the recipe and stir a couple tablespoons of pesto into your filling at the end. Or dollop it on top of the filling as you’re assembling your pot pie, before putting the top crust on.

vegetable pot pie on a wire cooling rack
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Vegetable Pot Pie

5 from 6 votes

The above post talks through my favorite pot pie ingredient choices and includes a few tips, tricks and details. I’ll call most of them out here in the recipe, but they’re worth a read before you jump in. This recipe makes a double-crusted 9-inch vegetable pot pie. I link to the pie crust recipe I use below, just leave out the sugar in it for this savory pie. *I typically use water plus 2 teaspoons of this homemade bouillon powder as my vegetable broth here.

Ingredients
Vegetable Pot Pie Filling:
  • 4 waxy “new” potatoes (400g), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots / 1 cup (120 g), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (90g)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup / 65 g chopped mushrooms
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried or fresh thyme (or fresh rosemary, chopped)
  • 1/3 cup / 40 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup / 415ml good-tasting vegetable broth*
  • 2/3 cup / 160 ml heavy cream, plus more for brushing on crust
  • 1 cup / 125 g frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • zest of one lemon
For The Pie Crust:
Instructions
Make the pot pie filling:
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the potatoes and carrots with water. Boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender (but not falling apart). Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and salt. Cook, stirring regularly until the onions have started to brown and caramelize. I like to go pretty far at this stage for added flavor. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, sprinkle the mixture with the flour and use a whisk to mix it in. Cook for a minute allowing the flour to toast a bit. Combine the broth and heavy cream together and whisk it into the mushroom mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Really go at it with the whisk. Allow the mixture to simmer, stirring frequently, until it thickens (a spatula run through the skillet should leave a trail), 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the frozen peas, the cooked potatoes and carrots, half of the chives, and half the lemon zest. Allow to cool completely.
Prepare to bake the pie:
  1. When you’re ready to bake your pot pie, heat the oven to 425°F / 220°C with a rack in the center. A good rule of thumb is to heat the oven for at least 30 minutes before baking pies - you want to make sure it’s hot and ready to go. Also, clear a space in the freezer to chill the pie before baking.
Roll out the pie dough:
  1. If your pie dough has been chilling overnight allow it to sit at room temperature for a bit before rolling out - 15 minutes or so. Butter your 9 (or 10-inch) pie dish and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll the pie dough out, large enough to relax into your pie dish with extra dough extending a bit beyond the edge. As you’re rolling the dough, you’re going to want to turn the pie dough clockwise after every few passes with the rolling pin to prevent sticking. Flour more as needed.
  2. Transfer the dough for the bottom crust into the pie dish by gently wrapping it around your rolling pin and unrolling it across your pie dish. Coax the bottom pie dough into place, and then press into the pan to anchor it. Trim any excess dough if needed with scissors. Roll out the top pie crust. You want to work relatively quickly so your dough doesn’t warm.
Assemble the pie:
  1. Gently pile the cooled pot pie filling into the dough-line pie dish. Drape the other (top) round of pie dough on top and trim so you have about 1-inch of dough hanging beyond the edge of the dish. Press the edges of the pie shell together to seal things, and fold the edge of the crust over or under, and crimp or pinch around the edge using a fork or pressing your thumb and forefinger of one hand into the forefinger of the other hand. Carefully place the entire pie in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  2. When it is time, remove the pie from the freezer, cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to escape while the pie bakes, and gently brush with enough heavy cream to coat all of the top crust.
Bake, cool, and serve the pie:
  1. Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and place in the oven. Dial back the heat to 375°F / 190°C. You’re going to bake the pie for about an hour, but start checking on it about 45 minutes in. At this point I often spin it 180 degrees in the oven, and make note if the top of the pie is getting too dark. If so, place a sheet of aluminum foil (or pie shield) over it until the bottom catches up. When everything is deeply golden remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool a bit before slicing. If you have leftovers, you can refrigerate this pie for up to a week.
Notes

Makes one 9-inch vegetable pot pie.

Serves
8
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
 
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Comments

This was a really tasty pot pie. The lemon zest in the pie crust was a nice touch, and I loved the inclusion of potatoes. For some reason, I've never put potatoes in my pot pies, but I will now. Thanks, Heidi!

Steve P

    Happy to hear it Steve!

    Heidi Swanson

I made this! Delicious! I used a little spinach since I thought there were greens in the pie, but on closer inspection it was chopped fresh chives (so bright green!). I used rehydrated mixed mushrooms including morels, but I didn't brush the crust with cream so it was not as lucious looking as Heidi's. I will definitiely make this one again along with some suggested variations. I made a small one, but I could eat this for days.

cindy

    So happy you liked it Cindy!! You could also brush the crust with a beaten egg. I used heavy cream here because I had it for the filling.

    Heidi Swanson

What are the greens showing in your pie?

cindy

    Hi Cindy - the chives? Or the peas.

    Heidi Swanson

Is there any way to make a pie crust without butter? Trying for a no cholesterol crust.

MD

    Hi! If that's a consideration, I'd typically take more of this type of an approach - a shepherd's pie with a mashed potato or mashed sweet potato layer. You could add some sort of crunchy component - like toasted nuts or crispy shallots to add dimension on that front. I'd rather go that route than have a not-great no-butter crust. Hope that makes sense!

    Heidi Swanson

This sounds amazing! I would want to add a protein, like lentils. Thoughts on how much? And would that change the amount of broth added?

Helen

    Love this idea - I'd say add 3/4 cup or so (cooked)? Start there and see how it goes.

    Heidi Swanson

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