This is inspired by my hot water crust pie, which is a bit more effort to make and might not be for everyone. Both make a really nice vegan holiday main dish, but this is definitely the easier version.
It’s a very nice cold-weather main for any vegetarians or vegans. If you’re making a meal for just two or three or four, it’s nice to have an option that isn’t going to result in leftovers for the next week. If you really want to speed things up, the vegetables can be roasted ahead of time (the night before) and then assembled and baked when you’re ready to eat.
This was originally a kind of double sided slab pie, a savoury strudel, but I didn’t really like having to set the vegetables inside and then fold it over without it being in some kind of container. With the recipe update here I decided to make it in a baking dish instead of on a sheet and it’s much easier, with no vegetables falling out during folding.
For a seasonal GF option that I think is just as nice, try my vegan mushroom shepherd’s pie.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are essentially two steps to this recipe. One, roast the vegetables. Two, bake the pie. The pastry has to be rolled out slightly, yes, and you have to cut the veg and maybe add an egg wash if you eat eggs. But it’s a looker of a dish with very little effort needed.
- It’s surprisingly speedy: since you’re using pre-made puff, this comes together quickly for what feels like a special meal. It’s an hour total but some can be done in advance and most of that time is for baking, not prep.
- No sad salad: if you have veg guests coming by for a holiday meal, even if for a big dinner with lots of sides, it makes such a difference to offer a real main dish. Not just salad and bread!
- Leftovers keep well: it’s easy to reheat and tastes great cold, so any leftovers are well worth eating.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Pumpkin: I’ve used a Hokkaido pumpkin. They grow really well here and the skin is edible, so it’s a win win. You can use any pumpkin (winter squash) that you love – butternut, acorn, anything that’s available. Make sure to peel it if necessary.
- Vegetables: change the vegetables to suit your tastes or what you have. Any kind of pumpkin is nice, as is sweet potato or carrots. Celeriac, potatoes, beets, all good!
- Herbs: if you don’t have fresh herbs, use a dried mix like herbs de Provence to replace them (a couple teaspoons). Rosemary and thyme are quite good dried and can be used in half amounts instead of fresh. Sage, rosemary, and thyme are all good here and can be used in any combination.
(Vegan) Puff Pastry
So I don’t eat a lot of puff pastry. In general, I try to keep things pretty minimal around here, without a lot of overly processed or packaged foods. But you know, sometimes nothing but puff will cut it, and that’s fine. (I also very happily eat chips and ice cream, and this is a shame-free zone.)
Frozen puff pastry is shockingly easy to use, the only caveat being that it’s kept quite cold. I refrigerate for about 15 minutes before rolling out and filling, then bake immediately, and you can see that it puffs up well.
It’s surprisingly easy to find vegan puff pastry – if you read the ingredients, you’ll find that many, even most, of the brands sold don’t use butter or any milk products unless they specifically state “all butter” or something like that.
It’s a treat, definitely, but this is something I’d want to make or have around the holidays and also a dish I’d be very happy to see on the table as someone who’s a notoriously difficult dinner guest. If you’re making this pie for a vegan, just make sure to read the label before buying.
Step by Step
1. Prep the vegetables: cut the vegetables into approximately equal pieces and mix on a baking sheet with the oil and herbs.
2. Roast: cook the vegetables until browned, then cool fully.
3. Assemble: roll out the puff pastry and place it into a baking dish. Add the vegetables.
4. Cover: fold the ends of pastry over the filling and press lightly to seal.
5. Add slits: cut slits in the pastry for steam to escape and add an egg wash if using.
6. Bake: for about 30 minutes, or until very golden.
It’s very important that the vegetables cool before being added to the dish with the pastry. Anything warm will melt the fats in the puff pastry, and that means no puff during baking. Cold ingredients wherever possible for this one.
I really recommend roasting the vegetables well in advance so that you’re not rushing to cool them down before assembling the pie. They can be done the evening before, or in the morning on the day you plan on serving, but it’s much better to give yourself plenty of time.
You might notice that my parsnips look a little wonky! They’re from my garden, and I had some problems with carrot flies. Still totally edible and tastes the same, they just look a bit funny (you wouldn’t see them like that in the store).
You could add some beans or chickpeas for a little added protein, too, though I find that reduces the special holiday aspect a bit.
If you want an especially golden pie, you can brush an egg wash over the pastry before baking. Don’t skimp on the herbs! If you do, it won’t taste like much.
Storage and Make Ahead
Storage: place the fully cooled pie in the refrigerator, well covered, and keep for a day or two. This can be reheated, especially when baked like this in a dish. Just pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 190C (375F) to heat through and crisp the pastry again. It’s tasty cold, too.
Freezing: freeze any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Make Ahead: the vegetables can be cooked the day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. The pie can be assembled in the morning before baking, up to about eight hours in advance, and kept (well covered) in the refrigerator.
What to Serve with this Pie
This pie makes a great holiday dinner centrepiece. Try serving it with my winter salad with beets, a red cabbage salad, or autumn crunch apple salad. If you really want to highlight pumpkin, try this roasted pumpkin salad.
- Keep it cold: I can’t stress this enough, it’s key to keep the filling cold before adding to the pastry. Puff pastry needs to be chilled and anything you add to it should be also.
- Bake it near the bottom: to avoid any possibility of a soggy bottom, bake the pie on the bottom rack for the first ten minutes before moving to the middle of the oven. This is not mandatory but if you find this to be a common issue with your bakes, it’s not a bad step to take.
- Add egg wash: leave it off to keep things vegan, of course, but if you want a lovely golden pie, brush with a beaten egg before baking.
More Holiday Mains
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Roasted Vegetable Pie with Puff Pastry
- 500 grams pumpkin (1/2 a medium pumpkin)
- 400 grams cauliflower (half a large cauliflower)
- 2 medium parsnips
- 1 red onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 sage leaves minced
- 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 sheet vegan puff pastry
- 1 egg whisked (optional, not for vegan)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Chop the pumpkin, cauliflower, and parsnip into approximately equal pieces, about 3cm (1in.). The cauliflower florets can be a bit larger.
- Place the vegetables onto the prepared tray and mix with the onion, garlic, sage, rosemary, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden. Chill for at least 20 minutes in a cool spot before assembling.
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) again and grease a baking dish. About 20cm (8 inches) in size will be good, but a bit larger or smaller is fine too.
- Once the vegetables have cooled, roll out the puff pastry between two sheets of parchment paper. Place the pastry into the middle of the baking dish, with the sides overhanging the dish.
- Add the vegetables to the middle of the dish. Fold the pastry over and gently press with your fingers to seal. Brush with the egg (if using) and cut a few slits into the top of the pie with a sharp knife.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until very golden. Serve hot.
This post was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated most recently as of November 2022.