Pot pies are the ultimate in cold weather comfort foods and these mini pies baked into mason jars are adorably delicious and a festive, fun dinner or party idea. They also made the house smell heavenly and feel warm and cozy on a dreary, rainy day. These mini pies are filled with a savory blend of potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and peas in a creamy vegan sauce made with veggie broth and almond milk. Mini pies are an easy way to make individual servings, especially for busy families who may not eat dinner at the same time. This recipe makes eight individual pot pies so eat four now and freeze four for another meal (although my husband ate two, just FYI).
The big decision is doing a top and bottom crust or just the top. My Mom used to buy frozen pot pies for us and I clearly remember when Swanson switched to top crust only. It was a huge let down for me, obviously as I still remember. So I decided to do half with a bottom crust and half without. My personal opinion is that the bottom crust is unnecessary in such a small pot pie and the bottomless pies have more savory filling. So perhaps my tastes have changed over the years.
TIPS: There are several ways to take shortcuts when making pot pies. The easiest is to start with a prepared crust, although for those that prefer to make their own, I like a recipe for White Whole Wheat Pie Crust from King Arthur Flour. Incidentally, if you are using a prepared pie crust, the 2 crusts are enough dough for 8 top crusts and four bottoms. Another shortcut is to use frozen prechopped vegetables, Just saute for about 5 minutes before filling the pies. These veggie pot pies can be frozen before cooking and popped in the oven later.
MASON JAR VEGGIE POT PIES
- pie crust, enough for top and bottom of regular pie *see TIPS
- 2 Tbsn olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 2 Tbsn flour (0r 0ther thickener)
- 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, unsweetened
- 1 tsp thyme + 1/2 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 6 large criminy or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 small egg, egg substitute, melted vegan butter or almond milk with a dash of agave (for eggwash)
- 8 small mason jars and 1 lid (or ramekins)
- If you are using homemade pie crust, roll out dough to quarter inch thickness and cut into 8- 6 inch circles, if making a bottom crust. If you are using a prepared crust, cut one of the circles into quarters.
- Line mason jars with the dough, pressing with your fingers to spread or omit this step if just using top crust.
- Then using a mason jar lid, cut 8 circle toppers with the other crust. Reserve remaining dough for garnish.
- Saute onion in olive oil for several minutes, then add celery and carrots and saute another five minutes.
- Stir in flour and slowly add broth, then the almond milk and simmer until it thickens another 5 minutes. If it’s not as thick as you like, add another tablespoon flour (best done by dissolving in water first to prevent lumps). If you like a creamier sauce, use a larger proportion of almond milk.
- Add potatoes and spices while the sauce is thickening and simmer 5 minutes or so. Check taste before adding salt.
- Add cauliflower and broccoli florets and simmer five minutes.
- Add mushrooms and peas and simmer just until mushrooms lose their water.
- Spoon filling to top of mason jars
- Top each pie with a crust circle and crimp the edges with a fork.
- Brush with egg wash of choice
- Roll out leftover dough and cut out 8 shapes with cookie cutters, if desired. If you don’t have leftover dough, you can also cut out shapes leaving a decorative hole in the crust. Hearts or stars are cute options.
- Using a sharp knife, ‘draw’ on lines to recreate the suggestion of stems, if desired.
- Place cut outs on top and brush with eggwash.
- Bake at 425 for 30 minutes
- Let cool slightly before serving.
Mason Jar Veggie Pot Pies