This broccoli vegetarian pot pie is a healthy variation of chicken pot pie, without the meat of course… Broccoli and almonds replace the chicken in this easy vegetarian recipe. This pot pie is filled with colourful veggies, smooth béchamel with a nutty flair, enveloped in a flaky filo crust. Comfort food at its best! Perfect for Easter brunch!
This recipe was developed and written by Marie from The FoodOlic, who is a guest blogger on my blog! Her work is amazing! Check her bio and her fabulous Vegetarian Pot Pie recipe below!
I’m Marie, a fellow food blogger and glad to be invited for a second time to contribute on happykitchen.rocks for Elena. Just like her, I like to make healthy recipes without omitting to bring the taste along. This veggie pie is a great example of what I do, I invite you over to check my blog at The FoodOlic. So… let’s rock that kitchen!
The main idea here is to make a vegetarian version of a chicken pot pie. The usual ingredients are still in there; green peas, carrots, leeks, tarragon, béchamel sauce and to make it extra healthy, I’ve used a filo pastry for the crust.
As a substitute to the meat, I’ve chosen one of my “favs”; broccoli. Not only does it give the pie an extra shade of green but broccoli is, as you may know, one of the healthiest veggie out there.
Although broccoli alone doesn’t give as much proteins as chicken does, I’ve added a few shaved almonds to the mix. This way it brings the proteins that you need, plus it helps thicken the mixture, without saying… it gives the pie a nice nutty touch!
How to Make Healthy Vegetarian Pot Pie with Filo Crust
Filo is practically impossible to make at home, so usually it’s not a handmade dough, it comes in a frozen packaging from the market which contains mainly a small amount of compressed flour and water sheets. Many believe filo pastry is a calorie bomb but the truth is far from it.
It all depends on the amount of olive oil you choose to add in between the layers. This way you’ll have control over it. If you use an olive oil in spray, you’ll cover the sheets perfectly with barely any oil involved. It’s a great trick to cut on the fat from the traditional flaky dough.
If you choose to use an olive oil spray, the whole process for this recipe is equivalent to about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. If you use a brush, you’ll probably use about double of that amount and if you choose to use a “traditional” flaky crust from the supermarket then you’ll get a full stick of butter and more in there (about 7 times more fat).
So, filo is a great way to cut on all that extra fat, plus it’s as crunchy and flaky as the traditional “butter filled flaky pastry”. Since I saw that technique on one of Jamie Oliver shows, I’ve been doing my savoury pies with filo ever since. It takes a tad more time but in the end, it’s way healthier. The result is an extra flaky crust that holds perfectly the filling. A great alternative!
How to Make Healthy Vegetarian Pot Pie
Filo needs some extra preparation, nothing too complicated, but you’ll need a proper workspace to make it. The first step, which I forget the most, is to take out the frozen pack of filo from the freezer one hour ahead… but if you manage this difficult step, well the rest is a piece of cake.
The next step is to make the filling. Chop and sauté your veggies, make the béchamel sauce and mix it all with some cheese and shredded almonds.
I use a filo package into which the sheets are the size of a standard sheet of paper. A package contains a total of 10 sheets. The important thing to remember here is to make a filo base large enough to take the filling from the pie and fold it over. In the end, it’s going to be those 4 stacked layers of filo that holds the pie. Here is a video showing how to assemble a filo pie.
So, let’s make this flaky vegetarian pot pie!
Healthy Vegetarian Pot Pie
FOR THE VEGETARIAN POT PIE FILLING:
- 260 grams or 9 oz filo sheets
- 1 broccoli
- 2 leeks
- 2 carrots
- 200 grams or 7 oz frozen green peas
- 2 teaspoons tarragon dried
FOR THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
- 60 grams (2 oz) butter or 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 60 grams or 1/2 cup flour
- 125 ml or 1/2 cup cold milk
FOR THE VEGETARIAN POT PIE:
- 50 grams or 1.8 oz shredded almonds
- 20 grams or 1 oz aged cheddar
- salt and pepper
- olive oil spray
MAKE THE FILLING:
- Take the frozen filo out of the freezer 1 hour prior starting.
- Start by making the filling. Cut the veggies in small pieces and small florets then cook the broccoli, carrots and leeks in a big pan with a bit of olive oil and salt, medium-high heat until al dente (3 minutes). Add the tarragon and green peas in the end and cook for one more minute until warm.
MAKE THE BECHAMEL SAUCE:
- Make the béchamel (directly over the veggies). Add the butter and the flour over the veggies, mix, let it cook for a minute or two, then add the cold milk and mix until it thickens into a béchamel, about 2 minutes. Once the veggies are set in their creamy béchamel, stop the fire and add the almonds, the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.
MAKE THE FILO BASE:
- Start by having a big piece of baking paper on a large enough working space (easier to move the filo with the paper later on). Add 3 slightly overlapping (length side) filo sheets for the base making a big rectangle, then spray or brush a light layer of olive oil and repeat the step with 3 other sheets over the previous ones. Keep going until you have used all the filo. In the end you should have a big rectangle of 4 layers.
ASSEMBLE THE POT PIE:
- Add the filo in the centre of a baking plate of your choice (I use a 30 cm circular metal plate about 5 cm high) with the help of the underneath baking paper. Once the filo is well centered and pushed down into the pan, add the filling. Cover it with the sides of the filo until the filling is well covered. Give a last spray of olive oil and salt on top of the pie before closing it up with the baking paper. This step prevents the top of the pie from burning. Add a metal fork or any oven proof element on top of the baking paper to prevent it from going up. See the video instruction below for more details.
- Bake in the oven on the lower level, at 180°C (350F) for 30 minutes or until the filo is lightly golden. Let cool down for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!