Tender, earthy lentils, sweet oniony leeks, and meaty mushrooms star in this creamy, rich, and hearty vegetarian skillet lentil pot pie with a flaky pastry top! This lentil pot pie is as comforting as it is impressive, and a store-bought puff pastry crust makes everything super easy.
I gotta admit, I've seen several vegetarian holiday spreads this year, and I've been a bit disappointed by the turnout. Most, if not all, of the menus didn't have a single true vegetarian entree. There were lots of delicious-sounding side dishes, but there were no mains...no protein...or clear, show-stopping main dish.
And so I'm really excited to share this dish with you! It's so hearty, flavorful, and has the perfect balance of richness with vegetal goodness. Looking for more fun vegetarian mains? Try my white bean risotto, Mediterranean chickpea soup, or ricotta gnocchi with lemon.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
You may be wondering...what's special about this lentil pot pie recipe? Well, let me tell you!
- Sauteed onions, garlic, and leeks build a sweet, oniony, and aromatic base for the lentils.
- Mushrooms, white wine, and soy sauce add depth and umami flavor to bring this vegetarian pot pie to the next level.
- Store-bought puff pastry crust is an easy hack to reduce the headache of making your own pie crust while still resulting in a beautiful, flaky and brown crust to dig into.
- Hearty lentils offer a satisfying flavor and texture.
- Using a cast-iron skillet to saute the vegetables and bake the pie makes for a super easy clean-up.
I made this lentil pot pie in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill (using their Organic Unbleached All-Purpose White Flour). Sponsored content allows me to continue running the blog and developing delicious recipes for you!
This recipe uses lots of veggies to build flavor, but there are many options for substitutions so that you can create the pot pie of your dreams.
- Mushrooms: If you've tried any of my other mushroom recipes (like my mushroom bourguignon or my mushroom biryani), you know I'm a huge fan of pan-searing mushrooms until they're crispy and browned. We're going to apply that same technique here to really extract as much flavor from the mushrooms as possible. You can use whatever mushrooms you like, though I don't recommend white button mushrooms because they don't have enough flavor here. Cremini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and maitake would all be delicious.
- Aromatics: If you can't find leeks, you can substitute a sweet onion; it won't yield exactly the same notes, but it'll still be delicious. Though I don't call for them in the recipe, carrots are often a classic ingredient in a pot pie and would be great here, too.
- Lentils: I call for French green lentils because they are the sturdiest of the lentil varieties; they'll stay intact through the cooking and baking process. I don't recommend trying this with brown or orange varieties, as they may get too mushy.
- Flour: Flour is a key ingredient that thickens your pot pie sauce to a creamy consistency. I like to use Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, but you can use whatever you have at home.
- Soy sauce: A touch of soy sauce adds a nice umami flavor to round out the dish. Worcestershire sauce works well too!
- Milk: I typically use 2% or whole milk when making this recipe; anything lower in fat will create a looser, more watery texture.
- Vegetable broth: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I'm a huge fan of Better than Bouillon's stock bases. Any of their bases would be great here, whether it's the vegetable, mushroom, or chicken bouillon.
- Store-bought puff pastry (or a homemade pie crust if you feel so inclined!): You can usually find puff pastry in either the refrigerated or the freezer section; both will work; just make sure to thaw the puff pastry beforehand! I call for 8 ounces of puff pastry or about ½ a standard box of Pepperidge Farm or Dufour Puff Pastry sheets.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, refer to the recipe card.
How to Make Lentil Pot Pie
Step 1: Cook the lentils. Cook the lentils in salted boiling water until al dente (they will finish cooking in the oven). Drain and set them aside.
Step 2: Saute the vegetables. Meanwhile, pan-sear the mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Saute the garlic, onion, celery, and leeks for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are nice and soft. Add in the rosemary and the cooked lentils.
Step 3: Add the thickener. Sprinkle the flour all over the onion mixture and stir to combine.
Step 4: Add the liquids. Over medium-high heat, deglaze the pan with wine, then add the milk and vegetable stock. Simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
Tip: At this point, you can choose how creamy you'd like the pot pie. If you want to have the lentil-vegetable mixture be super creamy (like in the video), you'll want to remove the pan from the heat once the liquid is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If you want less liquid/creaminess, continue simmering for an additional 3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened enough to the texture of a bechamel sauce.
Step 5: Cool the mixture. Remove the pan from the heat, and season with salt and fresh pepper. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. This prevents the puff pastry from melting as you place it over the pan.
Step 5: Roll out the puff pastry. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry into about an 11-inch to 12-inch circle* so that it can cover the mixture with the edges slightly hanging over the pan. Press any overhang into the sides of the pan to seal. Trim any excess dough with scissors.
*The thinner you roll out the dough, the thinner the pastry. If you want a super flaky crust, keep it on the thicker side (the dough should not be translucent at all).
Step 6: Bake! Bake the pie in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes -- or until the pastry is deeply golden brown and the filling has thickened. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve.
Storage and Reheating Instructions
Leftover pot pie can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Cover the skillet or baking dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Reheat leftovers, uncovered, in a 350°F/177°C oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through. If the topping is browning too quickly, you can cover it with foil.
For sure! You can absolutely make and roll out your own pie crust here. I could even see a biscuit topping being delicious too.
Puff pastry tends to be a bit flakier and crispier than pie crust, whereas pie crust is a little heavier. I really love the use of puff pastry here -- who could say no to a flakier topping?
Make sure to use either 2% or whole milk in this recipe to prevent a looser consistency. Additionally, the longer the pie bakes in the oven, the thicker the filling will get. If it still looks loose, it may need more time in the oven!
If the puff pastry topping is browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil.
You can easily make the filling up to 3 days in advance. The day you want to bake the pot pie, thaw and roll out the puff pastry topping, place over the filling, and bake.
If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, you can also bake this in a pie pan. Keep in mind that baking times may vary slightly.
This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill. I received compensation in exchange for this collaboration. All opinions are my own. Thank you!
For even more cozy recipes, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.Happy eating! Love, Karishma
Vegetarian Lentil Pot Pie
- ¾ cup French green lentils
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 ounces mushrooms, cremini, oyster, or maitake are great options
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned, and tough green parts removed to yield 5 ounces
- 1 sprig rosemary, destemmed and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup whole milk, or 2% milk
- 1 cup vegetable stock, I recommend Better than Bouillon
- ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 8 ounces puff pastry, thawed
- Cook the lentils: Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Generously season the water with salt, then add the lentils. Boil the lentils for 18 - 22 minutes, or until they are cooked through but still retain a bite. Drain and set aside.¾ cup French green lentils, Salt and black pepper
- Saute the mushrooms: Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a 10-inch cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, and allow to sear for 5 minutes before flipping (this ensures that they brown nicely). Flip the mushrooms, then sear for another 3 - 5 minutes or until crispy and browned on both sides. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer mushrooms to a plate. Set aside.3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 8 ounces mushrooms, Salt and black pepper
- Saute the aromatics: Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Saute the garlic, onion, celery, and leeks for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and cooked through.6 cloves garlic, 1 medium onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 large leek
- Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F/191°C.
- Stir in the chopped rosemary and the cooked lentils into the skillet. Sprinkle the flour all over the lentil-vegetable mixture, then stir to combine until no dry spots remain.1 sprig rosemary, ⅓ cup Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour
- Add the wine: Increase the heat to medium-high, then pour in the wine. Scrape up any bits of flour or vegetables stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then simmer the wine until reduced by half and no alcoholic smell remains.½ cup dry white wine
- Simmer the sauce: Stir in the soy sauce, milk, and vegetable stock. Simmer the liquids until they are thick enough to just barely coat the back of a spoon, about 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, then cool for 15 minutes until warm, but not hot. Stir in the parsley.Note: If you prefer a thicker pot pie with less liquid, simmer the liquid for an additional 3 minutes until the liquid is as thick as bechamel.1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 cup whole milk, 1 cup vegetable stock, ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley
- Roll out the puff pastry: Flour a cutting board or clean work surface. Place the puff pastry sheet on top, and roll out into a 12-inch circle (it may not be a perfect circle, that's fine!).8 ounces puff pastry
- Assemble the pie: Lay out the puff pastry over the top of the skillet, making sure it hangs over the edges. Trim any excess and press the edges against the side of the skillet to seal. Cut out an X in the center of the pie to release steam. Place the skillet over a large baking sheet to catch any spillage.
- Bake: Bake the pie in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the filling is thickened and the puff pastry is a deep-golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly for about 5 - 10 minutes, then serve warm.
- Puff pastry: You can usually find puff pastry in either the refrigerated or the freezer section; both will work, just make sure to thaw the puff pastry beforehand!
- Storage and Reheating: Leftover pot pie can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Cover the skillet or baking dish with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
- Reheat leftovers, uncovered, in a 350°F/177°C oven for 10 minutes, or until warmed through. If the topping is browning too quickly, you can cover it with foil.
- Make-ahead: You can easily make the filling up to 3 days in advance. The day you want to bake the pot pie, thaw and roll out the puff pastry topping, place over the filling, and bake.
- Tip: If the puff pastry topping is browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil.
- If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can also bake this in a pie pan. Keep in mind that baking times may vary slightly.