When I was growing up, my mom’s close friend was vegan. In the 1980’s, this was uncommon in the U.S.’s Midwest. She was a wonderful role model–compassionate, kind, and giving. And she’d often shared recipes with my mom. It didn’t take long for her savory vegan tofu pot pie recipe to become a staple in our household, especially at Thanksgiving and the holidays.
This vegan pot pie with tofu is inspired by her recipe. It preserves all her delicious flavor, but takes a few shortcuts. I hate making pie crusts (maybe you do too?), so I use puff pastry. I also bake it right in the cast iron skillet.
A few notes…
- ・Sometimes, I just make the fried breaded tofu from this recipe. I splash it with a little soy sauce before turning the heat off the skillet, and then, eat it with bbq sauce. It’s that good.
- ・No cast iron skillet? No worries. Spoon the tofu pie filling into a greased casserole dish and top it with the puff pastry. It’ll work just fine, but you may need to adjust the cook time based on the size of your dish.
This vegan pot pie tastes awesome on it’s own or drenched in Roasted Garlic Gravy or Brandy Shiitake Mushroom Gravy. Pair it with some mashed potatoes, Roasted Beets or Sourdough Stuffing with Spinach, Fennel and Vegan Italian Sausage. You don’t have to wait for the holidays to enjoy it!
Vegan Tofu Pot Pie
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
14 ounce package of extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
⅓ cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
¾ cup chopped celery
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 cups sliced mushrooms
½ cup frozen peas
¼ cup water
1-2 frozen vegan puff pastry sheets (I used a package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets) – thawed enough to handle (~30 minutes at room temperature)
1. In a sealable container (that does not leak), mix flour, nutritional yeast, granulated garlic, and salt. Then, spread it in an even layer in the bottom of the container.
2. Place the tofu cubes on top of the flour mixture. Then, seal the container with the lid. Shake the container to coat the tofu.
3. Add the olive oil to large cast iron skillet and move it around so it coats the bottom of the skillet. Dump the entire contents of the sealable container into the skillet–tofu and all the extra flour mixture. Do not move the tofu around at all.
4. Turn skillet to a high heat until the oil starts bubbling a bit and then, turn the heat down to medium. Wait for 1-2 minutes, and then, flip tofu. Wait another 1-2 minutes, and flip again. Keep flipping every minute or two until all the sides of the tofu are crispy. Then, sneak a piece of fried breaded tofu and eat it, because it tastes good! 😉
5. Shove the tofu over to one side of the skillet. Then, add the onions, carrots and celery. Sauté the vegetable for ~3 minutes over medium-low heat. Then, flip them into the tofu. Splash everything with soy sauce. Taste it, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more salt? more soy sauce? more nutritional yeast?).
6. Remove the skillet from heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and frozen peas. Stir to incorporate them. Pour in ¼ cup water.
7. Top the skillet with puff pastry sheets. Try not to leave gaps. (note: If you don’t have a cast iron skillet that’s safe to go in the oven, spoon the filling into a greased casserole dish and top with puff pastry. You may need to adjust the cook time based on the size of your dish.)