Vegan mushroom pie

Vegan mushroom pie

vegan mushroom pie cross

With the outside temperature dropping to the lowest it’s been this year yet (we had a bit of snowfall this morning and it’s was so nice to wake up to it, it’s all melted by now unfortunately), the need for comfort food has increased steadily and Christmas is approaching fast too so I figured a low effort dinner centerpiece would do nicely.

With that in mind, I made a deliciously creamy and cheesy vegan mushroom pie, which continues my mushroom theme I started on Wednesday with this festive layered pâté .

This vegan mushroom pie is bursting with flavour and is really quite straightforward to make. You could make the filling well in advance – freeze it even – and then assemble and bake the pie on the day. It would make for a delightful, low effort vegan centerpiece at Christmas or Thanksgiving if making a more elaborate vegan Wellington does not appeal. Below, I walk you through all the key ingredients and the process of making this simple pie, including detailed step-by-step photos. I hope you’ll give it a crack and if you do that you’ll enjoy it!

MORE ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS

MUSHROOM: You can use any fresh mushrooms you enjoy, but as I wanted this recipe to be as accessible as possible, I went for brown mushrooms known as chestnut in the UK (and cremini in the US).

HERBS: I used a combination of fresh thyme and rosemary to flavour the filling but either of them on their own works well too. You could, of course, use dried herbs too, but go easy on them – I would start with a good pinch – as they tend to be (provided they are not stale) more pungent than fresh.

BALSAMIC: balsamic vinegar works really well with mushrooms () and it cuts through the richness of the filling wonderfully. If possible, splash out (it costs about £7 / 8.5 $ in my local store) on a bottle of aged balsamic vingar as its flavour and consistency is so much better.

NUTRITIONAL YEAST: nutritional yeast is a staple vegan seasoning that adds a cheesy flavour. It is inactive yeast so don’t worry if the name freaks you out – we are not adding baker’s yeast to anything. If you don’t have it, you could use white miso paste in its place although in much smaller quantity (1 tbsp should be plenty).

TAPIOCA: tapioca, also known as tapioca starch, is a thickener and I used a small amount of it here to thicken the ‘cheese’ sauce so that it binds the filling better. Cornflour (cornstarch) or arrowroot are both commonly used replacements, but I have not tried them in this dish so I cannot guarantee that they will work just as well.

CASHEWS: I used cashews to create a really simple vegan cheese / cheese sauce to bind the mushroom filling together, add creaminess and substance to the filling. If you found a melty vegan change that you enjoy, you can use that instead (and skip the entire making of cashew cheese process – STEPS 7 & 8). If you cannot have cashews, soaked sunflower seeds will bring very similar result.

BREADCRUMBS: I used a sprinkling of breadcrumbs on the pastry to ensure that it does not get soggy from the filling. If you are gluten-free, use coarsely ground walnuts.

PUFF PASTRY: contrary to a popular belief, a lot of commerically available pastry is accidentally vegan and that includes puff pastry. It goes without saying that if the pastry is marketed as ‘butter’ or ‘all butter’, it won’t be vegan but if no such claim is made, it’s worth having a look at the ingredients list. I used a ready rolled puff pastry that comes in 23 cm / 9″ by 37 cm / 14.5″ sheets and weighs 320 g / 11 oz. My baked pie was 20 cm / 8 inches long and 14 cm / 5.5 inches wide. If you want to make this dish gluten-free, look for gluten-free (and vegan) puff pastry. It is sold in the UK by a Jus Roll brand, for example.

vegan mushroom pie shallots mushrooms

Sauté shallots and garlic until softened and fragrant first, then remove from the pan and sauté mushrooms until cooked – shrunk and dark brown – and all of the liquid has cooked off.

vegan mushroom pie mushroom cheese

Once mushrooms are done, return shallot and garlic mixture to the pan. Season well, add balsamic and cook for a few further minutes to caramelise a little. Whisk the ‘cheese’ sauce in a separate pan for a couple of minutes, until thickened and a little strechy.

vegan mushroom pie filling

Add thickened cheese to the mushroom mixture and fold the two together with a flexible spatula, until well combined. Cool down completely before assembling the pie.

vegan mushroom pie shaping

Divide your pastry sheet into two unequal parts, the smaller one will form the base of the pie and the bigger one will drape over the filling. Sprinkle the base with breadcrumbs leaving 1.5 cm / 0.5 inch all around for sealing, then heap the mushroom filling on top. Using a spatula, form it into a uniform mound, sprinkle some more breadcrumbs on top of the filling then loosely cover with the bigger piece of pastry.

vegan mushroom pie assembly

Next step is to shape the pie. Using your hands gently drape the pasty over the filling without streching it at all. Use your fingertips and then tines of a fork to seal the top sheet of pastry with the base around the filling. Trim the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Brush the pastry with a vegan eggwash mixture, sprinkle with seeds of choice and using a sharp knife make 3-4 slashed in the pastry top so that the build-up of steam has a means of escaping. Refrigerate until the oven has been pre-heated, then bake until golden-brown.

vegan mushroom pie top down

vegan mushroom pie top down cut

serves
4-6
PREP
30 min
COOKING
65 min
serves
4-6
PREPARATION
30 min
COOKING
65 min
INGREDIENTS

FILLING

  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 3 large shallots, very finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, very finely diced
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves and ½ tbsp chopped rosemary leaves*
  • 750 g / 10.5 oz mushrooms*, sliced
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp aged balsamic
  • 100 g / ¾ cup cashews, soaked*
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • ¾ tsp salt & ¼ tsp pepper, adjust to taste

REMAINING INGREDIENTS

  • 25 g / ½ cup breadcrumbs or coarsely ground walnuts
  • 320 g / 11 oz of vegan puff pastry*
  • eggwash: 2 tbsp plant milk, 1 tsp maple syrup, ½ tsp soy sauce
  • sesame, poppy or nigella seeds, to decorate

METHOD

FILLING

  1. Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add shallots and sauté on a low flame for a few minutes, before adding in garlic and herbs.
  2. Sauté shallots and garlic until softened and fragrant, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Heat up another tablespoon of oil in the same pan (no need to wash it) and add about a third of sliced mushrooms. Coat them in the oil and let them cook slowly, stirring from time to time.
  4. Once the first batch of mushroom looks more or less cooked (shrunk and dark brown), add another and once the second one looks cooked, add the third batch. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Skip to step 7 while waiting.
  5. Once all of the mushrooms are cooked and all of the excess liquid cooks out, return fried shallots and garlic to the pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes or so to caramelise then add balsamic to the pan. Cook for a further minute before switching the heat off.
  7. Whizz drained cashews, nutritional yeast, tapioca, a good pinch of salt and pepper and 135 ml (½ cup + 2 tbsp) of water in a mini blender until smooth.
  8. Transfer the mixture to a new pan and whisk on low heat until the mixture has thickened and becomes a little strechy (about 2-3 minutes).
  9. Add cheese mixture to the mushroom mixture and mix the two together. Cool down completely.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Remove the pastry out of the fridge 10 minutes before assembly.
  2. Place rolled out dough (keep it on its backing paper) on the table ahead of you so that the longer edge is parallel to you.
  3. Cut a 16 cm / 6.25 inches piece of pastry as a bottom of the pie and another slighly larger (18 cm / 7 inches wide) piece as a lid. My pastry was 23 cm / 9 inches deep, yours might be a bit different, that’s ok.
  4. Sprinkle breadcrumbs all over the base of the pie leaving a margin of approximately 1.25 cm / 0.5 inch all around, for sealing.
  5. Heap the filling on top of the breadcrumbs into a shapely mound, then sprinkle more breadcrumbs on top of it (they keep the pastry from getting soggy).
  6. Drape the larger piece of pastry over the filling, sealing it all around the pie, using tines of a fork. Trim the excess off with a sharp knife.
  7. Brush the entire pie with vegan egg wash, make a few incisions in the top with a sharp knife and sprinkle with seeds of choice. Refrigate for 30 minutes while the oven pre-heats.
  8. Place a pizza stone or an unpside down metal baking tray in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 200° C / 390° F.
  9. Remove the pie from the fridge and place it in the pre-heated oven using a pizza peel or a flat tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry has puffed up and is golden brown.
  10. Allow it to settle a little (30 minutes or so) before cutting. Store cooled leftovers an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NOTES
*HERBS: I used a combination of thyme and rosemary, but you could also just one of them, adjust the amount to taste, but I would suggest at least 1 tbsp of fresh herbs.

*MUSHROOMS: any mushroom you enjoy will work, I used chestnuts/cremini as they are very easily accessible in the UK.

*CASHEWS: soak them in boiling water for at least 20 minutes (can be longer!) or in cold water overnight to soften.

*PUFF PASTRY: I used a ready rolled puff pastry that comes in 23 cm / 9″ by 37 cm / 14.5″ sheets and weighs 320 g / 11 oz. My baked pie was 21 cm / 8.25 inches long and 15 cm / 6 inches wide.

*FREEZING TIPS: You can make the entire pie in advance and freeze it (before or after baking). I froze it baked, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then simply reheated in a 180° C / 355° F for about 30 minuts, covering the top with a piece of foil for the first 15 minutes or so.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
555
28%
sugars
9 g
10%
fats
36 g
52%
saturates
8 g
39%
proteins
14 g
28%
carbs
47 g
18%
*per 1 out of 6 servings
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5.0
7 reviews, 9 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Connie B:
Made this for Christmas and it was sooooooo delicious....there was nothing left! Thank you for sharing such scrumptious recipes!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Connie! I am so happy to hear that this dish was such a success and I really appreciate you coming back to leave a review - thank you. x Ania
Joann:
Made it for New Year’s day lunch and everybody loved it! Made the filling the day before and assembled it in the morning. Very good and very easy to make! Thank you for another fab recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Joann. I am delighted to hear that it was a success and that you found it easy to make too - that's the feedback I was hoping for. Thank you for taking the time to leave this lovely review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Jen:
Thank you so much for this yummy recipe! 🙂
Made the filling on Christmas Eve, assembled it on Christmas morning and then cooked it alongside the roast veg. Very straightforward recipe to make, even with a broken wrist! And it was really tasty too. Looking forward to trying it cold later today ....
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Jen. I am so happy to hear that you found this recipe easy enough to make even with a broken wrist (I'm so sorry that you've had this happen just before Christmas) and that you enjoyed the flavours. And thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Nicola:
That was absolutely delicious!
Thank you so much for this recipe.
We had it as our main for Christmas.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Nicola - I am so happy to hear that you chose this dish as your Christmas main and that you enjoyed it, that's lovely to hear. And thanks so much for taking the time to write this lovely review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Rachel:
Thank you for this lovely recipe. I tried it last week and all the family enjoyed it. I intend making it for Christmas dinner for the vegans in the family. Can I prepare it a few days ahead or do you recommend waiting till the actual day ?
Many thanks
Rachel x
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Rachel, I am so happy to hear that it was a success and how nice of you to some something special for vegans at your Christmas table. I would recommend making the filling in advance, yes (the flavour is better after a day or so) but would be nervous about wrapping in pastry until just before baking as I worry that the pastry will get soggy. Having said that if you are generous with breadcrumbs, you might be ok. x Ania
Joanne Craddock:
Delicious pie and so easy to make. It's going to be our Christmas Dinner main this year for sure!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Joanne! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and found it easy to put together. I hope it will go down with the rest of your family at Christmas! And thank you so much for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Another gorgeous recipe, full of flavour. Highly recommend making ❤️
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you Fi, so lovely to hear that you enjoyed it. x Ania
Kaitlyn:
It just started flurrying outside for the first time all winter today--this pie seems like just the ticket. Although I am budgeting my calories lately, I'll make this as soon as I'm ready for a day of more indulgence (which will probably be very soon, because it is the holiday season!). By the way, I hope this doesn't sound silly or out of turn, but would you consider putting together a recipe or two that is intentionally a bit light on the calories? I only ask because you are so good with the flavors and I'm sure it would turn out so yummy and satisfying. It can be a bit of a challenge to find recipes that are all three sometimes (and vegan of course!). Thank you anyway, hope you are well otherwise!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Kaitlyn,
    Yes, it snowed a little (I mean not properly but I will take it!) here yesterday morning and it really put a smile on my face when I woke up! I miss snow! No, it doesn't sound silly or out of turn at all, don't worry.

    Currently I still have a couple of rather indulgent holiday recipes planned, but once I've had a chance to rest I was planning to do something like that in January/February actually. I am also trying to lose weight - being a food blogger with a sweet tooth is not good for your waistline! - and so I'm exercising a lot more and budgeting my calories like you say, I have also started strength training so I am more focused on eating more protein rich foods after my workouts - I was thinking that this maybe of use to some people as well and so I was wondering if it's worth posting some recipes like that.

    In the meantime, there is quite a few healthy dishes on the blog already - as much as I love sweets, I also love eating healthy for my main meals. I tend to keep my main meal to about 500 kCal and have it as nutritious as I possibly can (lots of fibre and volume) so that I don't feel like snacking so much.
    Here are some examples I can think of:
    tofu traybake (I use broccoli instead of asaparagus in winter)
    chicken burrito bowl (tofu option is great if you dont want to eat meat analogues)
    broccoli pesto pasta
    slaw bowl (which I tend to have with a small amount of oil-free hummus, pickles and a slice of rye bread)
    beetroot, carrot and apple salad (which I tend to have with a small amount of oil-free hummus, pickles and a slice of rye bread)
    a simple stir-fry (I tend to steam the veggies above the rice if I want a healthier option and bake tofu in the oven)
    red lentil pancakes
    chunky and filling veg soup
    Hope this helps a little!
    x Ania
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