I first published this recipe for Parsnip Topped Vegetable Pot Pies last January but it’s too good not to share again! It’s an easy, nutrient dense way to help you incorporate vegetarian meals in your family’s diet. The filling is full of tasty vegetables and the crispy parsnip rosti topping makes these wonderful pot pies pure comfort food.
It can be hard to make changes to your diet when you are a food blogger. However, by adjusting how I eat and working hard with my personal trainer this year I’ve dropped 4 dress sizes and am feeling stronger and fitter than I have in years. I’ve been able to continue recipe testing – I think I might patent my 3 bite taste test programme for cakes – and the best thing is I rarely feel like I’m missing out. Of course, being able to eat delicious, comforting meals like these Parsnip Topped Vegetable Pot Pies really does help!
I was inspired by a recipe for Mini Mushroom and Parsnip Rosti Pies by Anna Jones in Waitrose Food Magazine but my adaptation uses a wider variety of vegetables and some slightly different flavours. The mushrooms give a ‘meaty’ texture that even meat and potato aficionados will love. Plus, my Parsnip Topped Vegetable Pot Pies really don’t take all that long to put together, although there is some light chopping, sautéing and stirring involved.
If you want to make your Parsnip Topped Vegetable Pot Pies vegan, you’ll need to leave out the crème fraîche and cook the mixture a little longer before transferring it to the pie dishes so that the liquid reduces into a thicker sauce. If you aren’t going for the vegan option, feel free to use ‘light’ or ‘half fat’ crème fraîche and although strictly speaking they are not exactly the same thing, sour cream works perfectly well here too.
Parsnip Topped Vegetable Pot Pies
To make the recipe ahead of time, you can follow the directions up to step 8. Leave peeling and grating the parsnips till later so they don’t discolour (so skip step 9). Complete step 10 and then cool the vegetable mixture and store it in the fridge until you need it. Transfer the mixture to the pie dishes before heating. Peel and grate the parsnips for the topping, toss them with the oil and use them to top the pie filling as described in the recipe. You will need to bake the pies for a little bit longer to ensure they are piping hot throughout.
- 3 to 4 tablespoons mild olive oil, divided
- 3 leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped in fairly small pieces
- 3 cups (300 grams or about 10 ounces) sliced mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
- ½ cup (125ml) vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon ketchup or tomato paste or puree
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 flat leaf parsley sprigs, stalks and leaves roughly chopped or 1 teaspoon dried flat leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons crème fraîche (optional)
- generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or 180°C for fan ovens).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
- Sauté the leeks and red pepper for a minute or two until they are well coated in the oil.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté.
- Grate in the garlic, add the thyme and pour the stock over top.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, allowing the liquid to reduce a little.
- Add the ketchup, mustard, parsley and crème fraîche (if using).
- Cook gently for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. (This will take longer if you omit the crème fraîche.)
- Meanwhile, grate the parsnips into a bowl and toss with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
- Add the pepper and nutmeg to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan, stir through and taste for seasoning.
- Divide the vegetable and mushroom mixture between four small pot pie dishes.
- Pile the grated parsnips on top, leaving a little gap around the edges.
- Drizzle with a little more olive oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
- Serve with peas, steamed green beans or a crisp, fresh salad.