It doesn’t get cozier than vegan pot pie. It is loaded with carrots, onions, celery, peas, and chicken-style seitan. Then it’s bundled up in a creamy cashew sauce.
This holiday-worthy dinner got a whole lot easier since it’s made with store-bought frozen pie crusts! And yes, there’s a top and bottom crust for maximum yum factor. Vegan & gluten-free option.
One of my favorite things about food blogging is seeing how my recipes take on a life of their own.
Food blogging is largely a solitary pursuit. (Except for my orange roommate who regularly comes by while I’m working – eager for treats, cuddles & fetch time.)
There’s recipe testing, food photography & editing. There’s writing, pin making (for Pinterest), and social sharing.
Then my recipe goes out into the world. And the people who make it in their homes take it and make it their own. It becomes a part of their special occasions or daily routines.
One example of this is my mini vegetable pot pie recipe. I shared it back in 2016.
In that recipe, vegetables in a cashew cream sauce are ladled into mini cocottes. Then they’re covered with homemade pie dough.
What results are individual pot pies. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and winter dinner parties.
Use frozen store-bought pie crusts for easy vegan pot pies
A reader and fellow Iowan, Janis, has made that recipe loads of times with just one difference. She uses frozen store-bought pie crusts for a full-sized pie.
Plus, frozen pie crusts usually come two to a pack. So you get both a top & bottom crust out of it. That makes it doubly cozy!
As I’ve mentioned before on my blog, I’m not the pie maker in our family. That falls to my husband, David, who has been making pies from scratch since childhood.
So using a pre-made dough option is right up my alley! (In fact, until this post, I don’t think I’d ever put a pie crust on top of a full-sized pie. So if I can do it, you can too!)
I’ve had Janis’ substitution on my to-do list for a long while now. As we’re speeding into the holiday season, I made it a priority this week.
I knew there would be a lot of you, like Janis, who would like to make a pot pie for your holiday gatherings. It would be a terrific main course on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
And we can all use some shortcuts every now and again – especially this time of year.
Where to find frozen vegan pie crusts
There are a surprising amount of vegan options these days when it comes to pie crusts. Check out the frozen section of your favorite co-op, natural grocery store, or the health market of your mainstream grocery store.
I picked mine up at Natural Grocers. The pie crusts I used are from Wholly Wholesome. The 9 inch crusts come two to a pack.
(By the way, they also have a gluten-free vegan pie crust. Although, I’ve never tried it. )
There are lots of options, though. Just read the ingredient labels to find a pie crust that will work for you.
You don’t have to thaw the pie crusts until you are ready to cook.
What makes using frozen pie crust especially convenient is that you don’t need to thaw it until you’re ready to start cooking!
Frozen pie crust doesn’t take long to thaw. So as soon as you’re ready to cook, pull the frozen pie crusts out of the freezer, and put them on the counter. By the time you are ready to fill them, they will be thawed.
Chicken-style vegan pot pie
Since I was making a new version of my vegan pot pie, I decided to make another switch this time around. Instead of chickpeas or Great Northern beans, which I used in the individual pot pies, I went with seitan instead.
Seitan gives a wonderful chew to vegan pot pie. It’s reminiscent of the chicken pot pies I grew up eating.
I used an 8-ounce package of Upton’s Naturals traditional seitan. But feel free to use 1 ½ cups of the chicken-style seitan of your choice, chopped in bite-sized pieces.
If you’d prefer to keep this vegan pot pie gluten free, just use gluten-free pie crusts. Then opt for 1 ½ cups of chickpeas or Great Northern beans instead of seitan. Your call!
With rosemary, thyme, garlic, and onions, this vegan pot pie is loaded with warming flavors. The cashew cream sauce coats all of the vegetables in a way that’s incredibly satisfying.
How to make vegan pot pie
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Then pull a double pack of frozen pie crusts out of the freezer to thaw. Put them on the counter.
Now it’s time to make cashew cream. Blend raw cashews and water in a high speed blender.
If you don’t have a high speed blender, you’ll need to help your standard blender. You can either soak the raw cashews for several hours ahead of time, then drain the cashews before continuing with the recipe.
Or grind the dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder until they become like a flour. Put the ground cashews into your blender. Then continue the recipe as written.
Sauté onions, garlic, and spices in a soup pot. Then add water, vegetable bouillon, carrots, potatoes, green peas, seitan, and salt. Cover and cook for 7 minutes, until the potato has softened slightly.
Then it’s time to add the cashew cream from the blender, stir, and cook for another 5 minutes.
Carefully ladle the pot pie filling into the bottom pie crust in its tin.
Take the second pie crust, and invert it over the top of the pie. Pull off the tin from the top crust. Then carefully pull at the crust to lay lightly over the top.
If the top crust has any tears, dab your fingers into aquafaba (chickpea liquid) or water. Then use your moistened fingers to smooth out the tears.
Remove any excess crust from the top. Press the tines of a fork along the edges of the crust all the way around to secure the top and bottom crusts.
Then dab your fingers into chickpea liquid or water (or use a pastry brush if you prefer), and add a very light coating to the top of the pie.
(Aquafaba is what vegans use instead of egg wash. It helps the crust to brown.)
Cut a few slits into the top of the pie. They will be air vents, so that steam can escape while cooking.
Put the pie onto a baking sheet. It will catch any filling that may bubble over. It also makes it easier for putting the pie into and out of the oven. (The aluminum pie tin is a little wobbly otherwise.)
Bake on the bottom rack for 30 minutes.
The pie interior will be bubbling hot when you remove it from the oven. So wait at least 15 or 20 minutes before slicing into it. The longer you wait to slice into it, the firmer the filling will be.
Thank you to Janis for the great tip on using frozen pie crusts to make vegan pot pie!