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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