Roasted Root Vegetable Pie: Round up the rutabagas, summon up the squash

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Man, oh man, there’s nothing like a big slice of pie to go with Thanksgiving dinner.

But, what about a big slice of pie AS Thanksgiving dinner? No, not the pumpkin or chocolate cream pie, but a rich, robust root vegetable pie.

As our world becomes smaller and closer, more and more of us are rubbing elbows with different diners at our yearly feasts. When I was younger, the most unusual eater I knew was my oldest brother. His big culinary/dietary mantra? He didn’t eat pizza because he didn’t like the cheese. In a household where dinner always offered  two choices (take it or leave it), leaving out food groups was not really heard of.

As my circle grew, I met more eaters with different tastes and different passions for foods. I remember with fondness my late brother-in-law, a Belgian who introduced me to the wonders of chocolate for breakfast.

My sister-in-law from East Boston introduced us to the concept of macaroni and gravy. My first thought was “Eeeeewww” until I realized she was really talking about spaghetti and red sauce.

So, now that several of my friends and colleagues are vegetarians, and my family and I eat many more meatless meals, it’s a thrill to find a recipe for a main dish that’s vegetable based, but really provides all of the comfort and heartiness our minds associate with more meat-based dishes.

So without further ado  I present to you Roasted Root Vegetable Pie, lovingly created by our own Chef Susan Reid.

There’s nothing more inspiring than a big bunch of nature’s bounty. I can just smell the sweetness of the carrots and feel the crisp crunch of the celery.

You’ll need about 9 to 10 cups of chopped root vegetables. Please use the recipe for inspiration, not as written-in-stone. If you don’t like leeks, try sweet onion instead. If you hate rutabaga, add more carrots, etc. Believe you me, I’m not going to come knocking at your door shouting, “Food Police! Drop that turnip!”

For the pie, chop the veggies into 1″ chunks and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive or vegetable oil. Roast them in a 425°F oven for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. You want them to be fork tender and caramelized on the edges. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Most of the veggies are quite easy to peel and chop into pieces, but the leeks require a little extra attention. First, cut off the long, stiff outer leaves.

Next, split the bundle in half lengthwise. Leeks are notorious for harboring grit between the leaves, and you can even see a bit of it here and there in the split.

Hold the bundle root side up under a stream of running water, shifting the leaves with your fingers to get the best rinse.

Next, chop the rinsed leaves and swish them around in a bowl of cold water. Scoop them up  and place them in a large strainer. Place the strainer over another bowl to drain for a few minutes. Now, on with the show.

The original directions for the filling  in the recipe call for boiling the potatoes on the stovetop, and that works very well. I did want to try it with baking potatoes, just to see if one step could be cut out – and it works beautifully. You can wedge the potatoes in beside your sheet pans as you roast your veggies. Remember, you’ll need these potatoes for the filling, so don’t dice them up with the veggies.

Once you have the veggies roasting, you can move on to making the herb crust. In the work bowl of a food processor, place:

2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, chive, etc.)
½ cup cold unsalted butter
¼ cup cold cream cheese

Pulse until the mixture is loose and crumbly. Continue to pulse as you drizzle in 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk, until the crust holds together in a ball. Wrap the crust in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.

***Bonus*** All of this can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days, so it works great for the busy holiday season.

When you’re ready to roll the crust out, lightly sprinkle your rolling mat or rolling surface with flour and place the disc of dough in the center.

Trust me, there’s a layer of flour there, really. Honest, it’s just really tiny flour.

(OK, fine, I forgot to flour before taking the picture.)

Roll the dough into a circle large enough to cover your 9″ or 10″ pie pan, plus plenty for overhang. This is a good sturdy crust, so you can pick it right up and drape it into the pan.

That’s right STOP! What you see here is a classic mistake that leads to shrunken crusts. You shouldn’t push down on the crust or stretch it to get it to fill the bottom of the pan. If the gluten is stretched at this point, it will shrink back during baking, leaving you with a half-filled pie pan and a skimpy crust.

Instead, lift the edge of the dough and let it drape down into the bottom of the pan. Once the crust is evenly placed in the pan, trim and flute the edges. See PJ’s blog here on how to flute.

You’ll notice that this crust is very generously sized. If you have plenty left over, rewrap it in plastic and rest it in the fridge overnight. Roll it thinly the next day and bake on a sheet pan. Break it up and serve it like crackers with wine and some good cheeses.

Let’s get mashin’! For the filling, mash together your baked or boiled potatoes, 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (your choice again), 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt. Once you do the mashing, stir in 2 beaten eggs. You’ll have a thick, creamy mixture that will coat and bind your roasted vegetables for the pie filling. (Check out my “masher.” It’s really my pastry blender doing double duty.)

I haven’t tried it, but if you’re shooting for a vegan filling, you might want to try using tofu instead of eggs at this point. Let me know how it goes if you do.

Once the veggies and potatoes are mixed well, spoon them into the unbaked pie crust. I found it much easier to fill the crust little by little rather than dumping everything in the center and trying to push it to the edges.

Bake the open-faced pie in a preheated 400°F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden and the center is set. Cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. Topping with a nice cream sauce is optional, but quite tasty.

Isn’t that just lovely? From the flake of the crust to the creamy, soft, earthy filling, this pie says fall harvest in every bite.

Please bake, rate, and review our recipe for Roasted Root Vegetable Pie.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. JuliaJ

    Ooh, sounds delicious. For a more festive look, perhaps layering a ring of thinly sliced (raw) carrots or potatoes brushed with olive oil around the top? Will your Winter Pastry Cutters cut through a hard carrot??
    Hi Julia,
    I don’t know how well you could cut through a carrot, but you could cut out some extra pieces of crust and bake those on a separate sheet, then place them on top of the pie before serving. You could even have a separate dish of them and everyone could choose their own shape. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  2. miller0814

    YUM! That looks delicious! Perfect timing too since I have rutabagas and carrots ready to be harvested in the garden. I can’t wait to try it!
    Irene made her version for our weekend pot luck and it was great. This really is a very adaptable recipe. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  3. Sarah

    Oh boy, that looks delicious! And the timing is perfect! I’ll be preparing a traditional New England Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, etc., but our daughter is bringing some vegetarian friends from college and I was wondering what tasty dish I might provide for them that would also complement the turkey. This will be just right!

    Cubed and roasted beets might be pretty — just a handful distributed throughout the mixture, not enough to turn the whole thing purple. I don’t care for turnip or rutabaga, but I have some nice winter squash that could work. I forget the name of it, but it’s rather drier than butternut or acorn, so it might hold its shape better in a mixed filling. Blue or red potatoes might be another nice choice.

    The crust is very beautiful.

    Thank you for creating and sharing this recipe, and all the others. Your photos and clear instructions have inspired me to start photographing my own cooking and baking, and posting the illustrated recipes to my own blog.
    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for your kind comments. Susan Reid is the actual recipe writer on this one, so give her a big hand. I love your idea of more color in the veggies and I’m definitely planning to try some beets next time. I’m so happy to hear that we’re inspiring you. Be sure to send us links to your blog so we can check it out and be inspired ourselves. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  4. skeptic7

    That looks really really good. This would be a great dish for meat lovers too. I would like a nice slice the day after Thanksgiving with some Turkey and gravy on the side, or with a cup of Turkey soup.
    Why do you have cream cheese in the pie crust? I normally think of cream cheese as those little cold lumps that won’t mix well with the dough whenever I try cream cheese pie crusts. Can this pie crust be made without a food processor?
    The cream cheese will add a rich element to the crust and a nice flavor. The pie crust does not need to be made in a food processor. Feel free to mix by hand, or bring the dough together slowly and gently in a stand mixer. ~Amy

    Reply
  5. victorias

    This looks delicious. Can the unbaked pie crust be made in advance and frozen?
    Absolutely. You can even prep and roast all the veggies ahead of time and freeze those in a separate container. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. kinsley7

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Not only do I love root vegetables, this will make a perfect dinner for our next movie night (my niece is vegetarian).
    Sounds like fun. What’s on the list for movies? I haven’t seen a good chick flick lately, but I did scare myself silly with a cheesy horror movie last night. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. AmericanGirlinQuebec

    Omg thank you so so much! My husband went vegetarian this year, and I have been trying to figure out what to make him as a main dish for Thanksgiving this year while the rest of us eat turkey. I think he’ll absolutely love this savory tart! Thank you so much! I assume I can make it a day in advance and just pop it in the oven for a few minutes to warm it back up before Thanksgiving dinner, right?
    Yes, warming it the next day would be fine. ~Amy

    Reply
  8. JelliDonut

    Sounds so delicious! I’d love to make a batch of mini-sized pies and freeze them. Think it would work? Thanks!
    I think it would work great to freeze the mini pies. Shouldn’t be a problem at all. ~Amy

    Reply
  9. levinson17397

    This looks great – we love vegetable pies. My favorite filling that would be great with this crust is from Martha Rose Shulman’s The Vegetarian Feast. All the vegetables are in chunks, and are bound with a savory gravy. We add a hearty protein element with cubes of tempeh.

    Reply
  10. jtdavies

    I have trouble rolling dough thin enough for crackers. Could I use a pasta roller?

    Or phrasing it a different way, have I found a good reason to buy another kitchen toy?
    The pasta machine does work well for cracker dough as long as your dough isn’t too sticky. I believe I just gave you license to go shopping! ~Amy

    Reply
  11. waikikirie

    Hey MaryJane…You and Susan did a great job. I was just saying to the DH that I would like to eat more vegetable dishes. This looks yummy!!! Can’t wait to give it a whirl.

    Reply
  12. Julie

    As a 15 year vegan (half my life), I am THRILLED to see your last two blogs. To anyone interested in (or skeptical of) vegan cooking/baking, please know that it does not limit you at all. Rather, it actually EXPANDS your culinary repertoire. We are just used to cooking with animal products, but with experimentation and vegan resources (cookbooks, etc) you will find your dietary options expand, NOT diminish. There is a whole ‘nother world of foods out there!!!!

    Reply
  13. sunfire

    This recipe caught my eye because of the beautiful looking/sounding crust which I quickly saved to my PC thinking dill would be great in it. Although I love root veggies, the filling seems so heavy. So thanks for the crust recipe!

    Reply
  14. aedpad

    Will you please confirm the “1-2 Tablespoons milk,as needed” as my dough didn’t start to come together until 6 Tablespoons of milk were added.
    Sometimes more liquid is needed in a pie crust recipe depending on the conditions and climate. It is also important that the flour is measured accurately. Review our method for measuring flour here. ~Amy

    Reply
  15. gscbale

    Would it be possible to make the crust with the white whole wheat flour? I am trying to minimize white flour in my diet.
    Thanks!
    You may certainly use white whole wheat flour, just be sure to add at least 1 tablespoon more liquid per cup of the whole wheat flour used. ~Amy

    Reply
  16. waikikirie

    Question….My potatoes and veggies are in the oven (smells heavenly), my crust is resting in the refrigerator, but I have a question about the pie dish. I only have a glass one. Should I lower the oven temp by 25 degrees? Hopefully I can get and anwer before the baking…teehee. Thanks so much
    Yes, generally the temperature should be lowered by 25 degrees when baking in Pyrex. I bake in Pyrex and do not follow this rule of thumb with super results. See what works for your! If you feel as though your crust is browning too quickly, lower by 25 degrees for the rest of the bake. Good luck! Elisabeth

    Reply
  17. homebird

    The photo contained in the email announcing this recipe shows what looks like a white sort of sauce over the slice of roasted veggie pie. What is it?
    The sauce is a bechamel, much like one you would use to make macaroni and cheese. ~Amy

    Reply
  18. Sarah

    Mary Jane, thanks for your kind invitation to share a link to my blog. You inspired me to finish a post that I had started last week – homemade beef pot pie, topped with cream biscuits. (Busy weeknights call for cream biscuits – so quick) For vegetarians, any savory filling with sufficient ‘gravy’ could be substituted for the meat filling.
    http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/2011/11/beef-pot-pie.html

    My blog Quodlibet (which means “what you will”) covers all sorts of topics, but more recipes may be seen by clicking on the “Recipes” tag at lower right. I welcome visitors!
    Hurray Sarah, thanks for sharing. I made biscuit dough before leaving home this afternoon, so I hope they save me one for when I get home tonight. Biscuits and gravy is the BEST!. See you soon. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  19. KPNJ

    is it possible to assemble the pie and refrigerate it to be baked the following day? i will not have the long baking time from freezer to oven. Also can you use flaked potatoes instead of baking/boiling potatoes – this question is based on another reviewers comment that her pie was dry.
    Yes, you can put it in the fridge overnight before baking. I’ve never tried it with potato flakes. If you find your potatoes are drier and seem to need a little moisture, add some milk or cream to the filling until it is moist. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  20. KPNJ

    can you make this pie crust and stuffing all and refrigerate it overnight instead of freezing it? t hanks
    Yes, that would work just fine. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  21. doula_char

    Made this for friends last night- absolutely amazing!

    I added beets to mine- the trick to not ending up with purple pie is to roast the beets on a separate sheet, and fold them in last.
    you can see the picture here: http://6outof7.blogspot.com/

    Great roasting/beet tip! Happy Baking! Irene@ KAF

    Reply
  22. samantha laverde

    Hi this is a wonderful recipe I will have to try soon, today I have been searching all over the internet for wonderful vegetable pie recipes, and I have found so many I will give this one a try soon. Thanks.

    Reply

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