Homemade seitan and a biscuit crust make this delicious, vegan pot pie into a savory, holiday delight, perfect for Thanksgiving.
I’m leaving you—and my husband and child—for a little over a week. By the time you read this, I will be cruising the Caribbean with my parents and sister. But at least I’m providing you with a new holiday dish (and the family with leftovers). Since I won’t be getting back until just before Thanksgiving, too close to create a dish, photograph it, and post the recipe before the big day, I decided to get out the good china and serve my Thanksgiving meal a little early.
Thanksgiving dinner, to me, is about comfort food, not necessarily fancy food. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and anything with gravy all spell “comfort” to me. So it occurred to me to revisit a comfort food of my youth, chicken pot pie.
In our home, there were two types of pot pie: those frozen ones in the little aluminum pans and my mother’s big casserole dish version, which she topped with biscuits. I cringe a little now to think that my brother and sister and I may have at first preferred the frozen pies to my mom’s, which seemed to our childish minds somehow counterfeit with no crust to break into and biscuits dotting the top but never covering it completely.
As I grew older, and past the novelty of food from the freezer, I came to love my mother’s homecooked casseroles and to see the beauty of the biscuits topping it, each one, dumplinglike, sopping up just a little of the dish’s gravy on the bottom while remaining crusty and biscuity on top. In my own kitchen, I’ve experimented with stretching the dough across the top of the casserole, but I found it actually tastes better, less bready and overwhelming, when it’s cut into biscuits.
My vegan pot pie uses seitan instead of chicken, of course, and it’s a bit of a production for something that looks so homey and old-fashioned. It starts with a base of vegetable stew; once that’s cooking, I make up a batch of homemade seitan and add it to the stew to cook and soak up some of the vegetables’ flavors.
When the stew is ready, I make the biscuits (pumpkin biscuits in this case because they look so festive), pour the stew into a casserole dish, top it with biscuits, and bake until they’re done. You can make this with a little less work by using cubes of baked tofu, TVP, or store-bought seitan instead of homemade and reducing the amount of water you start with, but to me part of the gift of a holiday meal is making it all myself.
This isn’t a fussy recipe, so you can make it in whatever baking dishes you have on-hand. Serving it in individual casserole dishes, each one a little different from the others, can make for a charming presentation, but just be sure that your dishes are deep enough (see the instructions below) or you’ll find that you’re serving mostly biscuit and little pie.
Celebration Pot Pie with Pumpkin Biscuit Crust
- 2 pounds potatoes cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large onion cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 ribs celery cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 8 ounces mushrooms quartered
- 2 large carrots diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 1/2 cups frozen baby peas
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup Imagine No-Chicken Broth cold (or other veg. broth)
- 1 tablespoon tahini or other nut butter
- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin canned or cooked and water pressed out
- 1 cup unsweetened soymilk –mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice (soy works best but you can use other non-dairy milks)
- additional soymilk or water as needed
- Put 12 cups of water on to boil in a large (at least 6-quart) soup pot. Add each vegetable (potatoes, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots) to the pot as you chop it. Add the bay leaves, thyme, sage, garlic, poultry seasoning, onion powder, celery salt, soy sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the seitan: Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the broth and nut butter. Stir the broth mixture into the dry ingredients until well blended. Knead gently 10 times. Turn out onto a cutting board and press it as flat as possible. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then using a sharp knife, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the seitan cubes to the simmering vegetables, taking care to separate them before they go into the pot. Stir well and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 45 minutes, remove the bay leaves and add the peas. Mix the miso in a small bowl with a little of the hot broth, and then add it to the stew, along with the nutritional yeast. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, stirring often. When mixture thickens, reduce heat and allow to simmer while you make the biscuits. (If stew does not seem thick enough, add a little more cornstarch/water.)
- (You can make the recipe up until this point the day before serving and refrigerate the filling. When ready to assemble, reheat the stew as you make the biscuit topping. Stew should be hot when the biscuits are placed on top.)
- Preheat oven to 400 and oil two or more deep casserole dishes (any combination of casserole dishes or pie pans to hold about 6 liters). Mix the dry ingredients for the biscuits in a medium bowl. Stir in the pumpkin and the soymilk/lemon juice. Add additional soymilk or water a teaspoon at a time as you stir until all flour is moistened and dough forms a ball. Turn out onto floured board and knead two or three times. Roll out to 1/2- inch thick, and cut into circles using a 1 1/2-inch wide floured glass or biscuit cutter. Gather remaining dough and use it to cut additional biscuits. You should have between 24 and 30. (Alternately, cut the biscuit dough to fit the pans, leaving about an inch all around to allow for dough to expand.)
- Pour the stew into the prepared pans, making sure there is at least 1/2-inch free at the top. Place the biscuits on top, spacing them evenly. Bake until biscuits are lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it!
AnonymousDecember 3, 2009 at 12:11 pm
Instead of using the biscuits, I used a traditional but vegan pie crust recipe to create personal sized turnovers. I only used eight cups of water to make it thicker for less leakage and didn't include the seitan. Possibly one of the best things that has come out of my oven. Thanks Susan!
AnonymousDecember 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm
I've been cooking fat-free Vegan for only 4 weeks. This was the 4th recipe I've tried from your blog and it was absolutely heavenly. The best thing I've tasted in 4 weeks. It did take quite a bit of work and time in the kitchen this afternoon but it was worth it. Thank you so much for all your delicious recipes and beautiful pictures. I think I can stick with our new life style with your help.
Tresa in Texas
AnonymousDecember 7, 2009 at 5:52 pm
I used your recipe as a guide and made my own version for two, which ended up being one of the best things that has ever come out of my kitchen!! As there were only two of us, I simply used enough of the veggies to fill about 1/2 of a small pot. I added veggie stock and some beer to cover the mix along with fresh strands of Thyme and Sage left over from Thanksgiving. I also used Bragg's Aminos instead of the soy as well as garbanzo bean miso rather than soy miso and opted to do without the Seitan. It was a very simple dish to create – just throw it on the stove for about an hour to simmer! Then I made a nice roux to thicken because corn starch is "ick", if you ask me… (I understand that for fat free purposes, you wouldn't do a roux). The biscuits were dense and chewy – we just loved everything! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!
VegancatDecember 10, 2009 at 7:31 am
I love biscuits…they are so different to any other *thing* i know..it is unique to the english kitchen( and yeah… american biscuits came from england too so they are still somewhat the original british one)
Normally i do not like pumpkin but here i would give it a try..my mother made horrible dishes with pumpkin, i think thats the reason why i do not like them.
But the fine china gave me the creeps..do you mean bone china?
There is a big batch of bone inside..originally bones were burned and the ash was mixed into the raw mass and after putting it in the oven you had bone china…
I really would not want to eat from something like that…
I googled it some time ago and now i search my boards and discard of the stuff if i find anything.
It is just the same as silk… or elephant teeth for a piano
CarieNovember 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm
It’s possible it’s porcelain.
Charlie BeanDecember 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm
I saw, i cooked, i loved it
SusanVDecember 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm
It's an old copper pan I bought in an antique store. It wasn't very expensive, and if you like to browse in antique stores, I'll bet you could find a similar one pretty easily.
emilyreviscombsJanuary 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm
I've been looking for blogs like this– yours is perfect! All the recipes look absolutely delicious, and there is beautiful photography to boot. 🙂 I can't wait to try this pot pie!
LainaFebruary 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm
Susan, I want to make this recipe this weekend.
Do you think I could use all white-wheat flour for this recipe?
Thanks so much! 🙂
SusanVFebruary 6, 2010 at 3:46 pm
Hi Laina–Yes, I would just use a little bit less, maybe an 1/8th of a cup less white whole wheat, and add more if necessary. Hope you like it!
LainaFebruary 22, 2010 at 10:07 pm
Thanks, Susan. I made this for supper tonight. I feel like I've found a diamond among jewels. This was soooooooooooooo delicious.
I didn't expect it to take that long to prepare, but it was worth every minute in the kitchen!!!
So far, this is the cream of the crop! Thanks so much for your dedication and service to the world of healthful eating. You are the true treasure. 🙂
AnonymousMarch 10, 2010 at 11:34 am
This is the part that confuses me:
"Meanwhile, prepare the seitan: Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the broth and nut butter. Stir the broth mixture into the dry ingredients until well blended. Knead gently 10 times. Turn out onto a cutting board and press it as flat as possible. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then using a sharp knife, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the seitan cubes to the simmering vegetables, taking care to separate them before they go into the pot. Stir well and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally."
You say "prepare the seitan", but then seitan is not mentioned in the preparation (except the "add seitan to vegetables" part). What about the nut butter mixture that was flattened on the cutting board and cut into 1/2 inch cubes? What do you do with that and how is that related to the seitan preparation?
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my question. I would love to make this dish, I just don't understand the instructions.
SusanVMarch 10, 2010 at 12:06 pm
Anonymous, the mixture of nut butter, wheat gluten, broth, etc. IS the seitan. All of the ingredients listed under the heading "Seitan" combine to create the seitan, just as the flour, baking powder, etc. listed under "Biscuit Topping" combine to make biscuits. You mix the seitan ingredients into dough, knead it, cut it into cubes, and add it to the simmering vegetables.
MeghanSeptember 19, 2010 at 12:01 pm
Is there anything that could replace the wheat gluten in the homemade seitan? I really want to make this for Thanksgiving this year, but I’m allergic to gluten.
SusanVNovember 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm
I would skip the seitan and use tofu or tempeh instead. Decrease the water by, I would guess, at least 2 cups.
AniishaNovember 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm
Made this today and we loved it! Happy to find out just how easy it is to make seitan. Thank you. Enjoy your trip!
judyNovember 18, 2010 at 10:31 am
Hi Susan, this will be a recipe I try in the near future, but for now I’d like to ask your opinion on using these biscuits as stand alone biscuits for Thanksgiving dinner? Would I need to modify anything in them? Would you even suggest them for this or are they intended solely as a topper? I saw the whole dish and just kept thinking how good these must be alone, possibly with a little earth balance, whipped with some cinnamon/agave or brown sugar? I’m revamping the whole Thanksgiving menu, and wanted to try all new dishes this year, down to the rolls…please tell me these will do fine:) Thanks!
SusanVNovember 20, 2010 at 10:05 am
Judy, you can definitely use the biscuit recipe for biscuits. In fact, I have another recipe on the blog where I made them with raisins and served them with a sugar glaze, but it’s essentially the same recipe. They’re not going to taste as decadent as biscuits made with shortening or margarine, but you can serve them with Earth Balance and let your guests decide how fattening to make them. 🙂
BrenNovember 20, 2010 at 9:54 am
Long time reader, first time commenter. This recipe was absolutely delicious so I just had to thank you for all the good and lovely work that you do. 🙂 This dish is the ultimate comfort food, and is very nostalgic for me – even though it’s WAY better than any pot pit I ever had as a child.
Anyway, your website has has been a wonderful aid in the transition from vegetarian to vegan – thanks again, and keep ’em coming!
Harvest girlNovember 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm
hi.. it looks so good.. im ready to start cooking right now! except for the biscuits i have no pumpkin and Im in the islands and the market is to far to rush out.. What can i do?? banana? flaxseeds? sweet potato?
SusanVNovember 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm
I vote for the sweet potato! 🙂
AnonymousDecember 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm
I made this today and I was really excited about it but slightly disappointed by the results. The texture of the seitan was really odd – kind of rubbery – and the biscuits didn’t turn out as expected. They didn’t expand or fluff or anything of that nature, but instead just got crispy in the exact form that I placed them on the pot pie. Other than that everything was good. Thanks for the recipe!
AmyJanuary 2, 2011 at 7:50 pm
Hi Susan! I found your website about a 7 months and have been baking my way through your recipes–a yummy and fun adventure! I can’t say enough good things about your blog 🙂
I’ve been staring at this recipe since the weather turned cold in the Northwest, but I have a question–how well does it freeze? I’m just one here, so I was going to make individual servings and then freeze a bunch for later meals. If I do freeze it, could I freeze the biscuits on top, or would I need to freeze them separately (you said the stew needs to be hot when you place the biscuits on in the above recipe)? Or do I just have to make a new batch of biscuits every time I decide to unfreeze a serving? Any thoughts or ideas would be most welcome as I can’t wait to try this!
SusanVJanuary 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm
Hi Amy! Thanks for your kind words. If I were going to freeze this, I would make both the filling and the biscuits at the same time and then freeze them all separately. In other words, filling in individual containers and unbaked biscuits frozen individually, separately. I’d probably put the biscuits on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet and freeze them. Once frozen, they could be put into a large freezer bag or container. Please let me know how it works out if you try.
AmyDecember 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm
Given the cold weather up here in the Northwest, I wanted to check back in and let you know I did try freezing this recipe with mixed results. I split the filling into individualized ramekins, froze it, and then did biscuits frozen on a cookie sheet and then placed in a bag in the freezer. I found that if you just placed it frozen in the oven it had a tendency to dry out, get really gummy. As a result, I found you had to baby-sit the filling and add more water when it was getting low and then try to figure out when it was mostly defrosted to add the biscuits.
What worked better was to mostly defrosted it in the microwave, then add about a 1/2 cup extra water to the serving, place the frozen biscuits on top, and cooked it in the oven for about 20-30min (I just used your 400 heat setting). While it wasn’t as good as just-made, it was certainly very very tasty and an easy dinner for nights I was too busy to cook from scratch.
JolenAugust 16, 2011 at 11:11 pm
This recipe has been on my mind for the past couple months! I just started going vegan after I got back from college. I felt so icky and overstuffed with such unhealthy meals that I decided that I needed a lifestyle change. Your website is one of the first I stumbled upon, and I’ve been creating dishes from it ever since! I even made my birthday cake from your chocolate raspberry recipe; it was so delicious and my family was amazed to see something so ‘crunchy-granola’ taste so good! I plan to make this recipe for my very Greek/French side of the family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and hopefully turn over a few minds to a meat-free style of living! Thank you so much for all these wonderful, delicious dishes!
MelissaNovember 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm
My husband made this dish for Thanksgiving and followed your recipe to a T (except for poultry seasoning…he couldn’t find it). It came out AMAZING and made two huge casserole dishes worth of food. We ate one on Thanksgiving and the other the next day. It reheated perfectly in the oven. The pumpkin biscuit crust was delicious (in fact, we’re going to make some regular pumpkin biscuits with your recipe just because they were so good!) and the broth thickened nicely into a yummy gravy. The seitan chunks were great, too! Overall, one of our new favorite recipes. A lot of work went into it, but it was so worth it. Thanks so much! 🙂
emilyNovember 29, 2012 at 12:23 pm
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I love your blog and have always enjoyed the recipes I’ve made from you- but this has been my favorite by far! I made this pot pie for Thanksgiving this year (just for me, I made a fourth of the recipe– my whole family is non-vegan), and it was the best Thanksgiving meal I’ve had since becoming vegan 3 years ago (and even since becoming vegetarian 7 years ago)! I had two meals worth of leftovers, and it was great reheated in the oven as well- the biscuits were extra nice and soft after being in the pot pie overnight! Everyone in my family had a taste and they were all very impressed by this! I love love love this pot pie and am already planning to make it for Christmas dinner! …and maybe New Years too! 🙂 Thank you for your recipes!
RobertMay 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm
This was good but the biscuits lacked the pumpkin flavor
Cara O'SullivanNovember 16, 2013 at 11:50 am
I hope you have a lovely cruise. Trust me-there are so many yummy recipes for us to try on this website, your taking a break won’t be create a problem.
Do you think substituting tofu or tempeh or just beans for the seitan would work?
JennyNovember 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm
I don’t have any white miso, though I do have red. Would it be ok to substitute that, or can I leave it out completely?
Thanks! Can’t wait to make this!
Susan VoisinNovember 23, 2013 at 5:09 pm
Try using a little less of the red miso because it is stronger-flavored.
kerstin deckerJanuary 12, 2014 at 10:30 am
Hi Susan, thanks for your site, I use it often and very successful. Sometimes I make dishes not for a holiday, but because I want to. So I made your timbales and also the Potpie with pumpkin biskits . I am german by birth and like my own own german comfort foods , so I make everything with a twist. Soo, soo good. ( by the way, been vegan for the last 15 years)
TheresaFebruary 27, 2014 at 8:35 am
I like this recipe for stew and pumpkin crust topping. I wish to know if it is a 15oz. can or larger of pumpkin in this recipe??
Is it imperative to squeeze the moisture out of the pumpkin or could I just use it out of the can??
Thanks so much.
WernerMarch 31, 2014 at 10:58 am
This IS comfort food in the first degree! Can’t get over the depth of flavor of the broth, the best vegan pot pie recipe I have found. I used soy curls instead of seitan, and made half the recipe. Everyone loved it. Thanks so much for the winner-keeper. Will definitely make next Thanksgiving.
HummingbirdSeptember 8, 2014 at 12:34 pm
Can gluten free flour be substituted in the biscuit recipe?
Susan VoisinSeptember 8, 2014 at 1:38 pm
I’ve never tried it so I can’t say what the results would be.
Ellen LedermanNovember 9, 2014 at 11:20 am
This was amazing! I looked at other pot pie recipes, but they seemed so one-dimensional, like a frozen pot pie. I knew yours would have depth and flavor…and I was right! YES! Noosh and miso add to the umami taste.
And my husband, who is the seitan-master of our home (not as impressive as it sounds since there’s only the two of us!) appreciated the ease of making the seitan. He thinks you are a genius to cook it within the dish rather than pre-cooking it.
AmyDecember 4, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Definitely 5 stars! My family of 6 ALL loved this, which is almost miraculous 🙂 Since two of my children are allergic to soy I left the soy sauce and miso out but added more salt, 2 tsp. garlic powder, and an extra tablespoon of of nutritional yeast to the stew. I also used only whole wheat pastry flour in the biscuits – they were nice and light. I didn’t think I would ever eat biscuits or pot pie again after adopting a whole foods plant based diet. Thank you so much for all your hard work developing and posting these recipes!
JamesJuly 17, 2016 at 4:31 am
This was delicious! So simple and hearty 🙂 Might make as a pie too. Some notes: halved the recipe, used a different biscuit recipe (with fat :P), substituted vegan sausages for seitan, salt for celery salt, onion granules for onion powder, dried sage for rubbed sage. Thanks Susan 🙂
Donna KingDecember 29, 2018 at 10:10 am
I think this recipe is amazing , I do vegan catering write most of my own recipes even I use some else recipes I end of changing so much it totally different however yours is spot on I love the concept of simmering the seitan I have done something similar and the biscuit topping amazing
AmyJuly 23, 2022 at 2:24 pm
I love the biscuit recipe. I make is solo all the time and I just adapted it to make it pumpkin scones. I just added 1/2c brown sugar and a tablespoon of pumpkin spice. My kids loved it!
I drizzled a little icing on top. Delish!