This hearty vegan mushroom pie is a crowd-pleaser - a rich beery gravy with thickly cut chestnut mushrooms and nutty puy lentils.
This is the dish that launched the blog - my entry into the Linda McCartney competition in 2011 to find 'the Nation's Tastiest Meat-Free Dish'. I won, and this vegan mushroom pie became part of their ready-meal range! It was a surreal but brilliant experience, watching my pie recipe go into production in their factory in Norfolk.
The pie is always a crowd-pleaser - beer and puff pastry is surely a winning combination in anyone's book. This is just as good with chips and mushy peas as it is with roast potatoes and all the trimmings. I often make little individual pies, instead of one big one - the recipe below makes 4 individual pies or one big one as pictured.
If you're in a hurry, you can speed this recipe up by using tinned green lentils instead, though I tend to find them a bit mushy so prefer to use dried puy lentils whenever I have time.
📝 What you need
Shallots Go for the small, round ones (pickled onion size), or if you can only get hold of the big 'banana' shallots, just use 3 of them and slice into rounds.
Chestnut Mushrooms work really well here as they tend to hold their shape much better than other mushrooms when cooked, and retain their 'meaty' bite.
Ready-rolled puff pastry Many of the big brands of puff pastry are in fact vegan, just avoid any that are marked 'all butter' and do check the label before buying.
Puy lentils give such a brilliant texture to this pie - they are dark green and very nutty. If you can't get hold of any then any other dried lentil will be fine.
Dried porcini mushrooms These give the 'gravy' all of its intense, mushroom flavour. They aren't cheap but they do go a long way so do splash out if you can.
Brown ale There are a lot of vegan ales out there these days - many are clearly marked on the label, but if you're not sure there's a really handy app called Barnivore which is very good for checking whether alcoholic drinks are vegan.
If you're cooking for kids or someone who doesn't like beer, just swap it for more vegetable stock. Or for a bit of variation you can use red wine instead, to turn this into a bourguignon-style pie. Lovely!
❄️ Can I freeze my pie?
Yes! This pie freezes really well - in fact I sometimes make up quite a big batch in individual foil pie trays ready to defrost and pop in the oven when I need a speedy comfort-food dinner.
Make up the pie filling as per the instructions, then leave it to cool, cover with the puff pastry and brush with milk, then freeze before baking. You will need to fully defrost the pie before baking it, or the pastry will end up burnt before the filling is properly cooked.
⭐️ Reader Testimonials
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "I made this pie and oh my gosh it tastes absolutely delicious! My partner had 2 portions he liked it that much, you wouldn’t think it was meat free." Victoria
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Have just made this and it was absolutely delicious! Don’t normally remake much, but this will be something I can see us making again and again!" N.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This recipe went down a treat in our house, will be making this again!" Danielle
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "These are the nicest pies I have ever eaten. Gorgeous!" Emily
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Hearty Mushroom, Ale & Lentil Pie
- Olive oil
- 10 small shallots, halved
- 1 tsp garlic purée / ready-chopped garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 75 g puy lentils, washed and drained
- 300 g chestnut or flat mushrooms, sliced thickly
- 20 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 275 ml brown ale (check it is vegan)
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 50 g baby spinach
- Cornflower and dariy-free margarine made to a paste (to thicken)
- Ready-made puff pastry (check it is vegan)
- Soya milk to glaze
- Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add shallots and cook gently until brown. Reduce heat, add the garlic and cook for two more minutes.
- Stir in tomato purée, lentils, and mushrooms. Turn up heat and cook for five minutes.
- Stir in the brown ale and 100ml of the stock. Cover, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, soak the porcini mushrooms in 200ml warm water for 20 minutes, drain (reserving the soaking liquor) and chop roughly. Add both the porcini and the soaking liquor to the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
- Simmer for a further 10 minutes, using the remaining stock or the cornflour and margarine paste to adjust the consistency until a thick gravy-like pie filling is achieved.
- Stir through the baby spinach, and spoon the mixture into the pie dish. Brush the edges with a little soya milk and cover with rolled puff pastry.
- Brush the pie top with soya milk and bake for 20 minutes or until pastry top is golden and well risen. Serve immediately.