Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry.

There is nothing more comforting in winter than a pot pie. The all-in-one meal with its savory filling and crispy buttery crust is like a hug on a plate. But many people shy away from homemade pot pies as being fussy to make or assume that they have to be full of meat, making them a hard choice if you are feeding a household that includes a vegetarian. But I am here to tell you that your new favorite pot pie is both meat-free and super simple!

The World's Easiest Pot Pie

A hearty mushroom and white bean pot pie is just the thing on a blustery winter's night, with plenty of protein and deep savory flavor, so even omnivores don't miss the meat. And you can change up the mushrooms and styles of beans, the spices and herbs, even the crust, so once you know the ratios, you can experiment to your heart's content. Here's how to make easy pot pie magic any night of the week.

1. Start with an easy pot pie crust

For starters, unless you are passionate about pastry, use a store-bought fresh or frozen pie crust or puff pastry. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before making your pie.

2. Collect your pot pie filling ingredients

For your filling, for a 9-inch pie, you are going to want about a pound of mushrooms. You can go as basic as white buttons, a little punchier with criminis, or go all-out on something wild like chanterelles or morels. Use one mushroom for an intense flavor, or balance three or four varieties for more complexity. Clean them well and chop coarsely.

Then you want something oniony. Shallot is elegant, regular onion is sweet, leek is more vegetal, and again, feel free to combine. You want about half a cup minced total. If you love garlic, add a minced clove. If you want to take your filling to a curry place, feel free to add some grated ginger or even a minced chili pepper.

You'll need a 14-ounce can of white beans. You can go for small navy beans, or huge gigante beans. Cannellinis are wonderful and creamy. If you prefer, you can use dried beans; just soak and cook to package directions until tender before using as they won't cook in the pie. 

Finally, you'll need ¼ cup of cream—it can be cream, half and half, or even sour cream (chances are that one of those is probably living in your refrigerator right now).

Pot Pie
Credit: Getty / gorchittza2012

3. Assemble the pie

It couldn't be easier. Here's what to do:

  • Cook the aromatics in about a tablespoon of oil or ghee until wilted, then add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid and begin to brown.
  • Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour over the mixture and cook to remove raw flour taste and brown slightly.
  • Stir in about six ounces of either stock or water, and cook until it thickens, about five minutes.
  • Add the drained can of white beans.
  • Once the beans have heated through, stir in about a quarter cup of cream.
  • Add salt and pepper to your taste and any other spices you might like. If you have fresh herbs, add a couple tablespoons: Thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and parsley are all are great in this. Taste again and adjust seasoning.
  • Set aside to cool, or store in the fridge up to two days before assembling your pie. You want the filling completely cooled otherwise it will melt the butter in the crust.

When you are ready to assemble, transfer your cooled filling to 9-inch buttered pie dish.  Heat the oven to 350, then top with your preferred crust, crimping the edge around the rim of the dish. Brush with a beaten egg and cut a few slits for steam to escape. If you want some extra oomph, sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the crust.  Bake on a sheet pan to catch drips for 35-40 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the crust is baked through. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.