This rustic take on a pot pie combines the classic fall flavors of carrots, sweet potatoes, rosemary, and sage in a creamy sauce that is rich and bold flavored, even without chicken stock. Enjoy this pot pie as a vegetarian holiday entree or a hearty side dish to a meat-centered meal.
All-in-One Skillet Pot Pie
This pot pie is prepped on the stove, baked in the oven, and served directly in the skillet—which saves time doing dishes! For those looking to save time upfront, a pre-made pie crust works as well as a freshly prepared one. If it cools before everyone comes to the table, you can pop it directly back into the oven to keep it warm until everyone is ready.
While it isn’t the fastest recipe, its presentation and taste stand up to a casual family dinner or an elegant meal.
The Perfect Pot Pie Filling
If you find working with a traditional roux stressful, you’ll be happy to know that this recipe breaks down the process into a more foolproof one: Just add butter to the empty pan, sauté the vegetables, sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, then whisk in the liquid. Simmer until thickened.
When the pot pie goes in the oven, it will bake just long enough to cook the crust on top, and the filling won’t thicken much further.
Pie Crust Tips and Tricks
The less time you spend on it the better—fork tines pressed all around, fingertip patterns, and other normally-great decor touches should be avoided, as they will melt the crust further.
- If you make the crust yourself, this recipe is an excellent choice, because there will be no leftover crust. You do not need an egg wash on top, but feel free to use one for extra shine if preferred.
- Keep the crust refrigerated until five minutes before rolling it out.
- Cast iron pans retain heat, so it’s best to let the cooked filling sit for about 10 minutes before placing the crust over the skillet.
- Make sure the crust reaches the edges of the pan, otherwise the filling will seep out. It can overlap the pan edges to the outside or reach just to the inner edge; either works fine.
- Once the crust is placed on the skillet, you should make at least two one-inch vent lines with a sharp knife for steam to escape.
Best Herbs for Pot Pies
When it comes to flavor, rosemary and sage were chosen for their fall, holiday feel in this pot pie. Use either fresh or dried herbs; using one fresh and one dried is our suggestion, so you don’t have to have two types of fresh herbs on hand at once.
To substitute fresh or dried herbs or vice versa: Half tablespoon of fresh for one half teaspoon of dried.
If rosemary and sage aren’t your favorite flavors, you can also use:
- Italian herb blend
- Dried dill
Pot Pie Vegetable Tips and Swaps
This pie is easy to adapt to your personal taste, but I do recommend sticking to mostly root vegetables here, because they all have similar cook times. If you swap in a green vegetables like broccoli or zucchini, they will overcook.
A half to three quarter-inch dice for all root vegetables will ensure even cooking, and since this is a rustic dish, there is no need for perfect cubes.
As far as root vegetables go, the underground world of tubers is at your disposal! Keep it simple with our selection of sweet potatoes, carrots, and potatoes, or make a colorful exchange with beets. You could also use parsnips, turnips, or rutabagas, if available.
Whatever combo you choose, stick to only one or two sweet root veggies (beets, sweet potatoes or yams, parsnips) with at least one savory (potatoes, rutabaga, turnip), to equal a total of four cups. Even though white sweet potatoes are slightly firmer than yellow, both work equally well here.
Peas are added for green color and a customary pot pie flavor; they can be omitted or swapped for lima beans, should you have friends or family who enjoy that embattled veggie.
No Cast Iron Skillet? No Problem
The fun of this dish will not be lost if you can’t cook and serve it all in one vessel! If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, cook the filling on the stove, then pour it into a deep dish pie plate, top with the crust, and bake that way. We used a 10-inch cast iron pan, so a 10-inch deep dish pie plate is ideal. If you don't have a pie plate, cooking in a shallow 9x11-inch casserole pan will work.
How to Make Ahead and Freeze Pot Pie
This dish reheats well and can be made a day ahead, then popped back into the oven at 350°F for 25-30 minutes to reheat. Note that you do not want to keep it in the cast iron pan for more than two days, or you’ll risk the vegetables turning grey from the pan.
It also freezes nicely. Freeze individual portions or the entire pie in Tupperware containers, not the cast iron pan itself. While the pie crust may soften slightly, reheating in the oven instead of the microwave will help it re-crisp.
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- 1 pie crust
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 large sweet potato (1 1/2 cups), peeled and diced
- 1 large Russet potato (1 1/2 cups), peeled and diced
- 2 small sprigs (1/2 tablespoon) fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup frozen peas
Have pie dough ready
If you’re making your own pie crust, make that first and have it chilling in the refrigerator ready to roll out once you’ve made the pot pie filling.
Melt butter, sauté onion, add vegetables
Place the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the onion and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add the carrot, sweet potato, Russet potato, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. When ready, the vegetables will have softened slightly, with little flecks of caramelization.
Make the roux
Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. The vegetables will look a little pasty. It’s OK.
Add broth and milk, stirring constantly and scraping any fond (brown bits) stuck to the pan.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Initially this will appear as if there is too much liquid and the vegetables are swimming in it, but the sauce will thicken to a gravy-like consistency.
Stir frequently and reduce heat to low if the simmer turns to a boil. The vegetables should be fully cooked and the sauce thickened.
Remove skillet from heat and preheat the oven
Turn off the burner, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the peas.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Let the pot pie filling and the skillet cool while the oven preheats and you roll out the pie dough.
Roll out pie crust:
Remove your pie crust from the refrigerator. If it’s too firm to roll out, let it rest for 5 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll your pie dough into a circle, turning the dough a quarter turn every time you pass over it with a rolling pin until it is 11 inches in diameter.
Drape the dough over the rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to place the circle of dough over the filling in the pan. Gently press the dough against the filling and up the sides of the pan. Be careful when pressing, as your skillet will still be warm. Make sure there are no gaps where filling can come through.
Cut 2 to 4 slits, 2 inches each, in the pie crust to allow steam to escape.
Place the skillet in the 375°F oven and bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, increase the heat to 425°F and bake 5 to 10 minutes further until the crust is flaky and deeply golden. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Scoop piping-hot portions into serving bowls. Perfect for nights when there is a chill in the air.