“Chicken” Pot Pie

I live!!! Were you wondering? The only difference is where I live. Can you guess where?

Yes, Mark and the cats and I have moved from one coast to the other. So I’ve been busy with THAT. I work remotely now (at the same job I had before), which is really cool. From my home office I have a view of the bay and San Francisco. I’ve started volunteering at not one but two wildlife hospitals, which I absolutely love, and I’ve been exploring a lot of the parks around here, usually in a rather fruitless search for wildlife, though I’m getting better at finding it. You can read – and SEE – more about my nature and wildlife adventures at my photo blog, which I’ve been a LITTLE better at updating than this one.

Now with food! The other day I went shopping at Trader Joe’s and decided to put together an easy pot pie for dinner, using TJ’s chicken-less strips, some frozen veggies, and TJ’s crescent roll dough (which I was pleased to find was vegan since they didn’t have any vegan pie crusts and I wasn’t feeling like making one). Well, Mark scarfed that dinner down and then tried to eat the half of my pie that I didn’t eat, although I said I was saving it for lunch the next day. Then we had friends over for dinner two days later that weekend for Mark’s birthday so I asked Mark what he wanted for his birthday dinner and he said, “MORE OF THOSE POT PIES!!!” So I doubled the recipe, swapped in fresh veggies for frozen, and made it again, and guess what else I did? I TOOK PICTURES SO I COULD DO A BLOG POST! Yeee-haw!!

This is a meal you can make as simple or as complicated as you have the time and patience for. You could make it entirely from convenience foods: store-bought vegan “chicken”, frozen veggies, and pie crust, or entirely from scratch: your own chicken-style seitan, all fresh veggies, and if you are a better person than I, a homemade crust. The pot pies I made for Mark’s birthday dinner were a hybrid. The quantities below make two 2-serving pot pies, although it’s easy to vary the size of the pot pies by choosing whatever baking dishes you have on hand. I made double this for Mark’s birthday dinner, which served four of us and left us with a couple extra pies for lunch the next day.

“Chicken” Pot Pie
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1/2 white or yellow onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1-3 Yukon gold potatoes (depending on size), chopped
12 oz vegan “chicken” strips (or reconstituted Soy Curls, or chicken-style seitan), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 3/4 cup vegan “chicken” broth
1/3 cup unsweetened, plain soy or almond milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp vegan margarine
leaves from a few springs fresh thyme, or about 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
black or white ground pepper, to taste
1 package vegan crescent roll dough (like Trader Joe’s brand)

I did a lot of the prep work for this the day before, chopping everything and storing it in the refrigerator. Here are the “chicken” strips and veggies, chopped:

I also pre-chopped the onions:

I used Trader Joe’s “chicken-less strips”. In fact, I think almost every single ingredient except the herbs (which I am amazingly growing) and the “chicken” broth came from Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s is the closest grocery store to our house, which is convenient because we are on an extremely strict budget these days.

Peas from Trader Joe’s!

The next day when I was ready to prepare the pot pies I did the following:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the celery, carrots, green beans, peas, and potatoes into a large pot and cover well with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Put the olive oil and margarine in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When the margarine has melted, add the onions and saute for a few minutes, then add the garlic and saute until the onions are soft.

Add the thyme, rosemary, and pepper.

Incorporate the flour to make a thick roux. Cook for a minute or two to take the raw edge off the flour.

Start slowly adding the “chicken” broth, stirring thoroughly after each addition of 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

Stir in the soy or almond milk. Here is the gravy after all the broth and the milk have been added. Remove this pot from the heat.

Brown the “chicken” in a large skillet. This step may be optional for some types of “chicken” and is personal preference, but at least for the TJ’s “chicken-less” strips, I preferred to do this. Note, though, that I skipped it the first time I made these pot pies and I got no complaints from Mark. Or myself.

Stir the drained veggies and the “chicken” into the gravy.

Find some oven-safe dishes that are a good size to bake the pot pies. I like making individual pot pies, although most of the pictured dishes are a tad large for a single serving. Divide the pie contents between your dishes. Remember that for the dishes pictured here, I had doubled this recipe.

Pop open the crescent roll dough package and use the pieces to form a top crust over each dish. Use a knife to create a few vent holes in each crust.

Arrange the pot pies on a large baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. When I doubled the recipe and baked all these dishes at once, I found I had to bake them a little longer. You want the crusts to be golden brown – probably even a little darker than they are pictured here.

I served this with homemade bread (I’ve been baking more than I was in Virginia!) and a fresh tossed salad.

This has been the first post I’ve made in months, and the first picture-heavy recipe post I’ve made in FOREVER, so that’s probably all the pictures I’ll bombard you with, but as I mentioned before, I have been sharing a few of my nature and wildlife photos over at blog.renae.org, so if you are interested in following my quest to find wildlife in the Bay Area, check it out over there. And hopefully I will be back here soon with more food. My current kitchen is small and features a stupid glass-top stove I don’t get along with, but working from home has provided me a little more leisure for cooking as I no longer have a commute, and we have to be very frugal to live here, so I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in the kitchen. Mark’s been urging me to start posting here again, so perhaps this will be my comeback!


  1. Annie Said,

    November 5, 2015 @ 5:27 am

    Glad to see a post from you again! Thanks for the recipe, it looks delicious.

  2. Jes Said,

    November 5, 2015 @ 1:23 pm

    A view of the bay from your home office!?! *swoon* Super jealous 🙂

    I love love love a good pot pie and now I totally have to make one next week. Sans TJ’s stuff because…sigh…not a store in sight.

    So glad to see you back posting recipes!

  3. Lacey Siomos Said,

    November 5, 2015 @ 3:24 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for 2 years now and I’m always excited when I come back to see you’ve posted something new. You’re one of the coolest and most real bloggers I follow and I love reading your life updates. I probably should have commented on more posts, but you’ve taught me to make tofu, soy yogurt, and a lot of different types of cuisines that I probably would have never gotten into (mostly the Korean and Thai dishes.) I’m really hoping you’ll blog more in the future. Those pot pies look awesome, by the way.

  4. Amy Said,

    November 5, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

    Happy to see you’re back! This looks so good and I love your pyrex!

  5. Jackie Said,

    November 7, 2015 @ 2:38 pm

    Always great to see you post. I made tempeh last month. Wildly successful on my first try mostly thanks to your excellent tutorial.

  6. Josiane Said,

    November 16, 2015 @ 6:31 pm

    I’ve been following along on your adventures through your photo blog, and loving it. Still, it’s always lovely to find you posting here too!
    “Chicken” pie (similar to a pot pie, but prepared in a pie pan and with a bottom crust) is my favorite holiday dish, but I’ve never made one of the “pot pie” variety – your recipe makes me want to give it a try: it sounds a little easier, and equally delicious!

  7. Lisa Kieda Said,

    November 18, 2015 @ 8:16 am

    How exciting that you’ve moved to San Francisco! Let me know if you’re ever planning on coming through Salt Lake City for a visit or on your way to Southern Utah. You’d have a place to stay with vegan food & cats. Stay in touch and happy Thanksgiving. Lisa Goldstein Kieda

  8. Becky Said,

    December 10, 2015 @ 7:33 pm

    Welcome, neighbor!!! Haha I am many hundreds of miles away but also in CA. I am excited for you. This pie looks so good I’m gonna have to make it some upcoming weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hadar Said,

    December 16, 2015 @ 1:32 am

    Welcome to the Bay Area, from another vegan blogger! Let me know if you want to get together for a nice soy latte and swap recipes and kitchen stories!

  10. Nikki Said,

    February 22, 2016 @ 1:55 pm

    So glad to see that you finally posted here, too! I have been viewing your lovely photos, as well. I love pot pie and may have to try to make one with the busted can of crescent rolls. I could imagine a agreeable flaky texture here. The crust has a nice rustic appearance, also. Did you get the link for Camillia brand beans meatless Lenten recipes that I emailed you last week? P.S. I brought home some leftovers of tempura fried goodies in a tamarind glaze from this great little Asian fusion bistro near the house a couple of weeks ago and Paul LIKED it! Baby steps are being made in Paul’s food adventure! 😀

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