Cannellini Beans Take Vegetarian Pot Pie Up A Notch

Chicken and beef are popular pot pie fillings, but these, of course, are off the menu on a meat-free day. Even if you're observing Lenten abstinence or have adopted a vegetarian diet you can still dine on a pot pie filled with beans. While Mashed developer Tanika Douglas' garlic and thyme cannellini pot pie recipe may be partly named for two of its flavoring agents, the non-meat of the matter is the filling is made from canned cannellini beans.

Cannellini beans, which may also be labeled as white kidney beans, have what Douglas calls a "creamy texture." She praises them for being both "hearty [and] nutritious." For these reasons, she says they make "the foundation for a satisfying and substantial filling," but the same descriptors could apply to just about any canned beans besides green ones. In other words, there are numerous cannellini bean substitutes you could use. Douglas acknowledges this, suggesting, "For a twist, consider experimenting with different bean varieties such as butter beans or navy beans to add a unique touch to the pot pies."

Here's how to make a cannellini pot pie vegan

While Douglas's cannellini bean pot pie is meat-free, it's not without animal products. Douglas herself admits that the parmesan cheese called for "is not traditionally vegetarian" due to the rennet it contains, but says it's possible to obtain a rennet-free version. Still, the cheese is made from milk, and this means that it is off-limits to vegans. Vegan parmesan substitutes are available commercially, but you can also swap out the cheese for nutritional yeast or ground cashews. (Use roasted, salted nuts for extra flavor since the raw ones can be bland.)

Douglas's recipe also calls for a few more non-plant-based items including butter and an egg. In this recipe, you can simply skip the butter and add extra olive oil to saute the vegetables. As for the egg wash, just omit it entirely since it's employed primarily for aesthetic purposes, and the crust will taste just as good even if it looks more beige than golden. No need to worry about the puff pastry, either, as the store-bought stuff is usually vegan so there's no need to DIY that particular ingredient.