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 holiday main for any vegetarians or vegans. For this year, 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.
If you’re looking for some more holiday dinner ideas, I’ve got you covered. Try serving this with my winter salad with beets to make it into a bigger meal – they’re great together. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, try this roasted pumpkin salad or a vegan pumpkin shepherd’s pie.
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.
- Pumpkin (pictured is a Hokkaido pumpkin, see substitutions)
- Red onion
- Rosemary or thyme
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- (Vegan) puff pastry
- An egg for wash (optional, don’t use for vegans)
(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.
The only slightly tricky – as in it may test your patience – element to this recipe is letting the vegetables cool before wrapping them in the pastry and baking. It must be done, or you risk a puff pastry that doesn’t puff much at all.
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.
Pumpkin, parsnip, and cauliflower are roasted with some herbs, garlic, and onion for about half an hour. After they chill for at least 20 minutes in a cool spot (I use an unheated room), the vegetables are wrapped in puff pastry in a baking dish, and baked for another 30 minutes or so.
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.
Tips and Notes
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.
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.
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).
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! You could add some beans or chickpeas for a little added protein, too, though I find that reduces the special holiday aspect a bit.
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.
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. My thyme is just a bit small right now so I didn’t use any.
More Holiday Mains
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- 500 grams (1 lb.) pumpkin (1/2 a medium pumpkin)
- 400 grams (14 oz.) 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
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 sheet vegan puff pastry
- 1 egg, whisked (optional, not for vegan)
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) 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.
• I used a hokkaido pumpkin, which doesn't need to be peeled. If you use a different type, make sure to peel it before chopping.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 215mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
This post was originally published in October 2019. It has been updated with new photos, some tweaks to the recipe, and updated text as of October 2020.