Pies Please
December 3, 2013 9:03 AM   Subscribe

It's cold and dark in the UK winter and I wish to feast on warming, comforting savoury pies. Can you share your favourite vegetarian recipes please? Fussy eating details below.

I prefer pies made with shortcrust pastry, rather than puff, but either is fine. (I am a lazy cook so either pastry will be of the frozen variety, if that matters.)
I will sometimes be cooking for my Mum who doesn't eat cheese.
I like some kinds of cheese but pretty basic ones - mainly hard cheeses or mozzarella. I don't like goat's cheese or feta, or as a rule anything that smells like old socks.
I love love love all mushrooms, and am open to pretty much all veggies. I'm not a huge fan of aubergine or courgette, although I wouldn't rule them out.

Apart from those couple of exclusions I'm easily pleased. I have no interest in counting calories right now, and I have no food allergies, so go nuts! My belly thanks you.
posted by billiebee to Food & Drink (30 answers total) 112 users marked this as a favorite
Are you only looking for savoury pies?
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:06 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Should have stated it's for my main evening meal, or heated-up leftovers for lunch, thanks!
posted by billiebee at 9:08 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

We make shepherd's pie with texturized vegetable protein in place of the ground meat. Bob's Red Mill's recipe is good, if you need a reference. You can also make a good pot pie with frozen shortcrust. The Kitchn does a vegan one with tofu that I make with dairy (I don't much care for vegan pie crust and I'm not vegan, so I don't care!). Vegetarian Times does one without tofu, if you're not a fan.

I like to make handpies with sweet potatoes and onion. The Kitchn has a good guide to making and filling handpies--your frozen short crust will work fine, you don't have to make your own crust. This is a delicious savory pie with apples, leeks and hard cheese (cheddar or sheep's milk).
posted by crush-onastick at 9:19 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

You'll already know about Lancashire butter pie...?

If you can do without a recipe I like a pie made with assorted veg (onion, celery, parsnip, and whatever) and butterbeans, in a savoury cream sauce which is just heavy cream with 'brown' seasonings (tamari, vegetarian worcestershire, etc).

I am not a huge fan but lots of people do seem to like this sort of southern US (I think? Warning: Paula Deen recipe follows) tomato pie.

This is a recipe for onion pie which (unusually, in my experience; usually these things go racing towards quiche territory) uses no eggs.
posted by kmennie at 9:20 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are you talking about the sort of pies made in a 9" pie dish, or hand pies/pastys?

I just made some delicious sweet potato hand pies to use up leftover shortcrust pastry dough, which seem to be keeping pretty well. I microwaved two sweet potatoes for 15 minutes (rotating every 5), then let them cool and mashed the insides. I mixed the mash with salt, pepper and a lot of fresh dill, then filled the hand pies with this mash plus some goat cheese- but shredded hard cheese would work great, too. Then I baked them for 30 minutes in a 375F oven. It was so easy! Two sweet potatoes made enough for about 8 little pies.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:20 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

My SO really did not like butter pie, and he comes from a country where they put fricking MACARONI in a pie.
posted by mippy at 9:23 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lazy cook? Savory pie? My friend, what you need in your life is ... MEXI-PIE. This is a winter staple I invented a few years ago, and it is WAY more than the sum of its canned-goods parts. You will not be able to stop consuming it. If you cannot find Masarina or Sazon Goya where you are, any corn flour and Mexican seasoning will do.

1 can black beans
1 bag frozen corn (Trader Joe's Fire Roasted corn highly recommended)
1 can chipotles in adobo
2 c. Masarina (or similar) corn flour - found alongside the Goya stuff in most supermarkets
2 packets Sazon Goya - found right next to that big bag of Masarina you just bought
1 c. shredded cheese - cheddar, Monterey Jack, whatever has the least amount of visible mold
2 eggs
Sour cream

Dump your Masarina in a bowl. Pour in a slow stream of warm water, pausing every few seconds to stir. How much water? Damned if I know. But when your Masarina forms a nice, doughy ball (with no dry/powdery spots), you've added enough. Stir a packet of Sazon Goya until everything's a nice pale orange.

Dump your package of corn into a bowl; microwave for three minutes.

Grease (or butter, or oil) up a baking vessel of your choice - I used a 12" springform pan, but anything of comparable volume will do the trick. Pat the Masarina dough onto the bottom and 2" up the sides. It doesn't have to look pretty, and it won't.

Pull your bowl o' corn out of the microwave, drain off any water. Rinse the can of black beans thoroughly and dump them in, too. Mash up one (or several) chipotles and their sauce and stir those in, too. Stir in a packet of Sazon Goya and the eggs. Dump the mixture into your prepared crust.

Dump shredded cheese on top of pie and bake for 20 - 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with sour cream.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:25 AM on December 3, 2013 [16 favorites]

This butternut squash and caramelized onion galette is my favorite.

It's versatile too! I use goat cheese, though the recipe actually calls for fontina, and I've found that it's delicious without any cheese at all. And you could totally put mushrooms in there...
posted by figgy_finicky at 9:28 AM on December 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

One of my hands-down favorite recipes is for a cheese pasty developed by the US restaurant Moosewood, one of the big grand-daddies of the vegetarian cooking movement. It indeed used shortcrust pastry, cheddar cheese and vegetables; I think the vegetables were a couple carrots, a big leek, a couple celery stalks and a turnip; but those vegetables are infinitely replaceable (I can't eat turnips and have happily swapped the turnip for a parsnip). Vegetables get chopped, you have a couple cups of shredded cheddar, mix all together, make up a bunch of shortcrust pastry rounds, put a mound of filling in the middle of each, fold in half, seal, crimp, bake.

The recipe's in this cookbook if you'd like to have a go.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, I forgot to mention that the sweet potato thing also has sauteed onions in it! Darn, I knew I had forgotten something.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:30 AM on December 3, 2013

Oh! Speaking of old-school veg: Hunza pie

I think we need instructions for making the macaroni pie. For science.
posted by kmennie at 9:31 AM on December 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

Spinach and ricotta pie? Make sure the water is well squeezed out of the spinach, maybe mix an egg with the ricotta if you like a quichier result, add some nutmeg. You could add some sundried tomatoes or roast peppers, but it would still be tasty without.

Note to other answerers, OP is in the UK so what you may think of as Mexican staples are not easily obtainable.
posted by emilyw at 9:32 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sonora Style Enchiladas--Note all ingredients available at Tesco.

Start with a layer of corn tortillas in a pie dish.

Combine a can of Vegetarian Chili with a can of Refried beans. Put about 1/3 of the blend on the tortillas

Layer on grated mild cheddar cheese (or not in the case of your Mum.)

Continue for 3 layers. Leaving the final layer of cheese (no tortilla on top)

Bake until warmed through and the chili mix is hot (nuke the chili mix before loading into the pie pan for quick heating.)

To make extra luxurious, between layers, spread some cream cheese on the tortilla prior to puttiing on the chili mix.

When the cheese is yummy and crunchy on top, remove from oven.

Serve with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, green onions, black olives and sour cream.

If you want to be fancy, add some Enchilada Sauce.

You can make ahead and freeze if you like.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:32 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've had and enjoyed a sort of potato and stuffing pie, usually after a holiday meal. Mix up leftover mashed potatoes with leftover stuffing. maybe add a little extra seasoning. You could easily throw in a bunch of sauted mushrooms. (I love mushrooms and I frankly think that would be incredible and will be doing that next time.) Top with cheese. Cook until hot and cheese is melty. Om nom nom.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:38 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finely dice two large packs of crimini mushrooms and two or three shallots. Saute the shallots in a few tablespoons butter until soft; add the mushrooms and season with salt and either dried Bouquet Garni or your favorite herb combination; fresh thyme or sage would work wonderfully. Cook until the mushrooms are soft.

Spoon a few tablespoons into an empanada shell (Goya sells these frozen; they're meant to be deep fried, but can also bake them. Or cut a circle out of storebought standard pie dough with the lip of a large cup or small bowl).

Fold the circle of dough over. Crimp the edge with a fork to seal, brush top and bottom with oil, then bake at a reasonable temp until golden (I'm guessing you use Celcius based on the use "aubergine" and "courgette" versus eggplant and zucchini, but it takes about 12-15 min at 425 Farenheit).
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:42 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just had this on Sunday - Curried Parsnip pie!
posted by Gor-ella at 9:52 AM on December 3, 2013

Lentil & vegetable cottage pie
posted by zamboni at 10:10 AM on December 3, 2013

I generally freestyle it with the toppings & pastry, but favourite fillings include:

- Artichoke hearts & chestnuts in garlic, soft onion & creme fraiche sauce
- Mushroom & quorn in white wine & dried cep sauce (I like a bit of truffle oii to finish)
- Lentil, spinach and halloumi
posted by tardigrade at 10:19 AM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Made this squash, chard, potato chickpea pie for Thanksgiving and I've been eating it for lunches since then! It is quire delicious!
posted by matcha action at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2013

Best answer: Oh boy if you love mushrooms have I got a savory pie for you! I've made this several times, most recently as a dish for my vegetarian husband at Thanksgiving this year, and he and his mom both commented on how wonderful it was. I thought so, too. It contains cottage cheese, but if you don't like cottage cheese regularly you shouldn't be put off by it -- the cheese just sort of adds a creamy but largely unrecognizeable texture to the innards of the pie (you see some small white curds in there, but they sort of get lost in the delicious flavor of the carmelized onions and mushrooms).

Mushroom and Onion Pie
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

1/4 cup butter
1.5 lbs mushrooms, sliced (use fresh, I used a mix of button, portobello, and shitake)
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 oz cottage cheese
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
15 ounces pie crust, for top of pie
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large skillet, melt butter over moderately high heat. Cook onions, then add mushrooms; saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour until well mixed. Stir in wine and cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove pan from the heat.

2. Stir cottage cheese, chopped parsley, salt and white pepper into the mushroom mixture. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 9 inch pie plate. Place the pie crust over the filling and press the edge to seal it onto the plate. Flute the edge decoratively, if desired.

3. In a cup, mix egg yolk with water; brush the mixture over the pie crust. Cut slits in a decorative design into the crust to allow the steam to escape during baking. Bake the pie until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 15-20 minutes, and serve.

The recipe as written calls only for a top crust to this pie, not a bottom crust, and I think this is the right move here. When I have tried in the past to cook it with a bottom crust, I've found the bottom crust to get quite soggy, so you'd probably have to parbake it which is generally more trouble than I'm willing to go to.

I used this recipe for the top crust (just halve it unless you're going to make 2 pies) and it was great -- flaky and not overworked. I've used storebought pastry for the top crust before, too, and that's great too, and less work.

Good luck! Really, if you like mushrooms, this is a really, really, really good savory pie option for you, and very easy, too.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:39 AM on December 3, 2013 [7 favorites]

For a family gathering we made a vegetarian version of this chicken and leek pie, just left out the chicken and added more sage and garlic and chucked in more vegetables, carrots and peas I think. It actually tasted better than the chicken one. It's not as much work as it seems, especially if you can find frozen cut up leaks.
posted by timesarrow at 11:54 AM on December 3, 2013

Look, I know this is kind of maybe a derail, but you don't just come into a thread and drop an aside about macaroni in pie without any details. Just not done.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:00 PM on December 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

This was a favorite of mine at one time: Complementary Pie

Though I always left out the onions.

I also like quiche made with cauliflower and at one time I made up my own recipe that was a cross between apple pie and quiche. I will skip an attempt to describe or reember it since it was a lot of work to peel and slice fresh apples, so probably not your thing.
posted by Michele in California at 1:30 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I know this recipe says Summer Pie but it really is good all year round. I always make it with a crust and add whatever protein source I have on hand to make it a main dish vs. a side - in my case, bacon or ham, but you can keep it vegetarian by adding mushrooms, tofu, etc. etc. Just make sure whatever you add is cooked enough to get most of the water out so it doesn't get soggy.

Mmmm I bet you could even top it with nuts.
posted by muddgirl at 2:02 PM on December 3, 2013

Okay, stick with me . . . here is a recipe I created earlier this year for a wild mushroom ragout:
Wild Mushroom Ragout

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped, including pretty part of green
4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, chopped
.75 oz fresh marjoram
.75 oz fresh thyme
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Cracked black pepper
8 oz button mushrooms, small diced
8 oz shitakes, sliced
8 oz wild mushrooms (or more shitakes if wild are unavailable)
1 package enoki/beech mushrooms
2 cups red burgundy
2 cups water
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
sheep-milk feta cheese, crumbled

Heat olive oil in large heavy-bottomed pot; sauté scallions with garlic; add marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper. Add button mushrooms, shitakes and fresh wild mushrooms; sauté over high heat until mushrooms release moisture; add wine, water and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Add 1 bunch chopped parsley and enoki; gently stir and simmer an additional half an hour. Taste; adjust salt. Toss with saffron pappardelle and a little reserved pasta-cooking water; sprinkle with remaining fresh parsley. Serve immediately with crumbled feta on the side.

This is a very delicious mushroom dish with lots of depth and would work really well as a pie filling with a few adjustments: Reduce the liquid (leave out the water, cut the amount of burgundy in half), add a thickener (bread crumbs, beurre manie, roux) and stir the crumbled feta right into the mix--about a half cup, maybe? could probably leave it out for your maternal unit, though the cheese adds a great deal to the flavor. If you aren't fond of feta, you could substitute any other salty, crumbly cheese you like. Chuck this whole mess into a par-baked pie shell and put in the oven for half an hour or so to brown everything off. Hey, voila! Wild mushroom pie! You could also bake this filling inside a two-crust pie--brush the top with egg wash for a nice shiny golden finish and bake in a fairly hot oven until the pastry is done.
posted by miss patrish at 2:19 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cauliflower (steamed or blanched a little), onion, and smoked gouda.

Potato and black bean is also good. I like to add a little vinegar to my potatoes.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:22 PM on December 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

This vegetable pot pie by Ina Garten is kind of ridiculous (butter! Cream! More butter!) but it's really good (I substitute vegetable stock for the chicken to make it vegetarian, and use whatever veggies I have on hand). Also, any of Smitten Kitchen's galettes are amazing.
posted by Empidonax at 5:23 PM on December 3, 2013

I'm a person who's not fond of coconut in desserts, but love it in some soups and many Asian dishes, and I've had in mind to try making some sort of spinach and pumpkin or sweet potato and/or chickpea pie with coconut and curry. I haven't come up with my recipe yet, but I'll share a couple of things I've bookmarked for reference, and just to try on their own: Honey baked pumpkin and vegetable pie on kumara and coconut cream sauce ("kumara" is a type of sweet potato, apparently, so I'd use sweet potato or yam), and Vegetable pies with Coconut and Cashew.

I have another bookmark for "impossible" savory pies, in case you don't have frozen pie dough on hand but still want an easy Pie-type dish, or if you want to add things like parmesan and herbs to the crust part.

Something warming, comforting, savoury, and pie, but without a crust (though I think it will ping that winter comfort pie yearning): Shepherd's Pie (recipe – or any recipe you like), but made with lentils instead of minced meat. Just cook the lentils in your preferred manner until they are not at all soupy, dump in the bottom of your baking dish, pile delicious mashed potatoes on top of that, then top generously with shredded cheese of your choice (I usually use cheddar or feta, and sometimes I top with thin sliced tomato rounds before sprinkling the cheese) and bake in a medium oven until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly. You can sub garlic mashed potatoes or a combo of mashed potatoes and turnips if you want to get kinky. And, if you like lentil soup, you can cook down and freeze the leftovers to use for this dish later, which makes it fast and easy – set the lentils out to thaw in the morning, then all you have to do is make your mashed potatoes and assemble.

Also not strictly pie, but pie-like, and very delicious, is savory bread pudding... which I thought I had cleverly invented when it occurred to me to try the typical bread pudding dessert recipe with savory ingredients and cheese, but it turns out other explorers had sailed those seas before me and called the discovery "strata." Here's a recipe from Smitten Kitchen for Spinach and mushroom strata, but there are many, many recipes online (search "strata" or "savory bread pudding"). Basically, you don't even need a recipe, though, just the ratios of bread, milk, and egg, and add whatever you want. It's a great way to use up whatever odds and ends of veggies and other stuff you have hanging around, plus do something other than french toast with that stale half-loaf. To me, this is one of those great easy, no-fail, yet delicious dishes that are almost impossible to get wrong.
posted by taz at 7:10 AM on December 4, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I made my first one tonight, a version of onlyconnect's mushroom and onion pie. I just swapped the white wine for red, left out the cottage cheese but added balsamic vinegar, and caramelised the onions first. It was gorgeous, and my Mum loved it too, thanks!

I can't wait to work my way through the rest of these, they all sound amazing so thank you for all the suggestions and links. See you in the Spring for diet tips :D
posted by billiebee at 12:11 PM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cider pie!

I got this off the back of a stuffing packet years ago. This has Red Leicester in it, but you can leave it out, or use another strong hard cheese, you can also substitute vegetables if you want, and I've made it with apple juice instead of cider (I've never gone so far as switching out the sage and onion for another flavour, but I bet you could mix it up that way too). And it's puff pastry, but it would be fine with shortcrust.

You need:

3oz butter
8oz potatoes, peeled and diced
4 tomatoes, diced
2 small courgettes
4oz carrots, halved and sliced
4oz mushrooms, sliced
1 medium cooking apple, peeled and diced
1/2 pint dry cider
18oz puff pastry
170g box of sage and onion stuffing (you only use one sachet from the box)
3oz Red Leicester cheese

Melt the butter in a pan and add the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cider and cook covered for 15 minutes. Season.

Roll out half the pastry and line a 2 pint pie dish.

Make up one of the sachets of stuffing, and spread on the bottom of the pie dish. Sprinkle over half the cheese. Drain the veggies and spread on top of the cheese. Add the remaining cheese on top. Roll out the rest of the pastry to make a lid. Cut a slit in the top and brush with milk.

Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes at 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
posted by Helga-woo at 10:52 AM on December 8, 2013 [13 favorites]

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