American and Canadian

Vegan Tourtière

A vegan version of the French-Canadian tourtiere, or meat pie, made with mushrooms, chickpeas and a warming mix of spices. The crust is also vegan, made with olive oil and vodka. Enjoy this hearty pie throughout the winter months.

This is what Canadian Living has to say about tourtiere:

Tourtiere is the creme de la creme of pies. Lightly spiced and herbed, this pork pie is especially anticipated for Christmas Eve celebrations, but it’s equally tasty throughout the holidays and winter months. Tourtiere is completely make-ahead, delicious when turkey or chicken take over for pork and perfectly complemented by a tangy relish such as chili sauce.

Pork, turkey or chicken, really? Is that the best you can do? The secret to the tourtiere is in the spices, so why not get creative with the filling? This is a dish which super simple to vegetarianize, and the the recipes I have seen online run the gamut from processed meat replacers to lentils to mushrooms. I’m sure they’re all equally good because, as I say, the secret is in the spices. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice are the quintessential spices to warm you up in the winter.

My favorite recipe for vegetarian tourtiere uses mushroom, chickpeas and carrots for a little colour, along with the traditional onions, garlic and potatoes of a meaty tourtiere. There’s no reason to wait until Christmas, we enjoy this hearty pie all year round!

A vegan version of the French-Canadian tourtiere, or meat pie, made with mushrooms, chickpeas and a warming mix of spices. The crust is also vegan, made with olive oil and vodka. Enjoy this hearty pie throughout the winter months.

While the filling is rather simple to make vegan-friendly, the pie crust posed something of a challenge. Butter is normally what makes a flaky pie crust. Obviously that won’t do. Shortening and coconut oil are not available to me here and I’m a little wary of margarine. What I do have oodles of is olive oil (hello Spain!). Would that work? What if I first froze it and then grated it the way that I used to make butter crusts? Hey, it worked! The frozen olive oil created little pockets which when melted produced a flaky crust.

A couple of things that I learned: don’t touch frozen olive oil with your hands, it will melt immediately and make a huge mess. I kept my oil wrapped in the ziplock bag in which I had frozen it, and then wrapped a tea towel around it while I grated it. Secondly, work quickly! Olive oil melts faster than butter so chill the flour and grate it as quickly as possible so that your crust doesn’t turn out greasy.

Vegan Tourtière

Vegan Tourtière

Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A vegan version of the famous French-Canadian Christmas pie with all the spices and heartiness of the original!

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons vodka

For the tourtiere

  • 300 grams (10.5 oz) white button mushroom caps
  • 1 jar (400 grams / 14 oz) chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

    For the crust

    1. Measure out the olive oil and place it in a ziplock bag to freeze overnight. Mix together the water and vodka in a cup and place it in the fridge to chill. Mix together the flour and salt and chill in the fridge.
    2. When everything has chilled, grate the frozen olive oil into the flour. Keep it partially wrapped in the ziplock bag and wrap a tea towel around it so that the warmth from your hand doesn’t melt the oil. Work quickly.
    3. Mix lightly with a spoon until crumbly. It does not need to be worked with your hands or a pastry cutter like with a butter crust, it will come together very quickly. Mix in the liquid a tablespoon at a time until the crust just holds together. You may not need all the liquid.
    4. Divide the crust into two, flatten into rough discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Pop them into the freezer while you prepare the filling, but don’t allow them to freeze solid.

    For the filling

    1. Use a food processor to chop the mushrooms and transfer to a bowl. Chop the chickpeas in the food processor, being careful to keep some texture and not to make a paste. Combine with the mushrooms.
    2. In a large pan over medium-high heat add the oil, mushroom-chickpea mixture, celery, leek and carrot and fry, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
    3. Add the potatoes, vegetable stock, soy sauce and spices and cook until thickened – about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

    For the tourtiere

    1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F)
    2. Remove the pie crusts from the freezer. Roll out one crust to the size of your pie plate between two pieces of plastic wrap to prevent sticking. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap and flip the crust into your pie plate. Remove the plastic wrap.
    3. Roll out your second crust, also between two pieces of plastic wrap, to the size of the top of your pie.
    4. Fill your pie with the spiced mushroom-chickpea filling. Flip the top of your pie crust onto the top of your filled pie and remove the plastic wrap. Seal the edges and cut vents in the top of the pie. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes until golden brown.
    5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. Can be served hot or cold with gravy, chutney, ketchup or sweet chili sauce.

    Notes

    Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/vegetarian-tourtiere-with-cheddar/13634/

    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 6
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 620Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 14g

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    5 Comments

  1. Reply
    Renee
    December 13, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Would love to try this! Looks amazing! Was wondering if the vodka was necessary or could it be left out/replaced?

    • Reply
      Kristen
      January 11, 2019 at 3:20 am

      I do not use the vodka. However it likely helps keep the water and the crust cool as it transfers heat out of things very well. Also, I find myself adding a lot more water to it. I am not sure if it is just the general temperatures here in New England or if I just got zesty with the chilling but I had a challenging time getting everything to combine enough to roll it out. I actually needed to add the heat of my hands to get it there. Funny, but I’ve done other vegan pie crusts and the season affects what I need to do dramatically

      Oh I also found that oiling the rolling pin was very helpful!

      This recipe tastes amazing! I’ve never had a standard Tourtiere but my Canadian husband thinks this is great and an awesome substitute!

  2. Reply
    CLAUDIA
    June 28, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    I love this recipe, it’s a family favourite! My 3yo is picky yet loves 2 servings at dinner, my 10yo would eat half the pie by herself if she could, and even my meat-loving husband raves about this recipe. The combination of spices plus the smoky saltiness of the soy sauce make a wonderful balance.

  3. Reply
    Leigh Norton
    December 30, 2019 at 12:33 am

    This was my 3rd fully vegan Christmas this year. I usually struggle to find a main dish that both vegans and non-vegans really enjoy, especially one with readily available ingredients I have on hand. This was a big hit. I already have another one ready to go in the freezer. Thanks so much for this recipe. I plan to use it every year from here on as my main.

  4. Reply
    RPG
    August 17, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Hi,

    What can I use as a substitute for the mushrooms?

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