Rustic White Bean & Thyme Pot Pies (Two Ways!)

School is just about out for winter break, and I, for one, am so excited to have my little buddy back at my side for a couple of weeks! I have visions of homemade cookies and salt dough ornaments and gingerbread house making, though I fully admit that by the end of break most of my plans will have likely devolved into Sofia the First and Wild Kratts marathons. I’m planning to keep work at a minimum for the remainder of the month to help support the former and hopefully (mostly) prevent the latter. Thus, I’ve photographed, written, and scheduled a handful of recipes to share between now and then … and let winter break begin!

Oh wait! I guess I’ve gotten ahead of myself. I have a recipe to share right now! Okay guys, I have been trying to come up with the perfect pot pie recipe for awhile now. Something hearty with a good amount of protein for the vegetarians yet it won’t be weird if you add meat to the mix. At the risk of tooting my own horn, I really think I’ve finally nailed it with these Rustic White Bean & Thyme Pot Pies.

Individual vegan/vegetarian pot pies with meat option for the carnivores at the table! Hearty white beans, carrots, and potatoes in a creamy thyme-flavored sauce.

Individual pot pies are another perfect way to feed meat-eaters and vegetarians at the same table. Simply start with a veggie base, add some cooked chicken (or turkey, hi leftovers!) to the meat-eaters’ portions, and away you go!

Oh, and if you like, you can totally make use of cute little alphabet cookie cutters to differentiate pot pies. 

Individual vegan/vegetarian pot pies with meat option for the carnivores at the table! Hearty white beans, carrots, and potatoes in a creamy thyme-flavored sauce.

Individual vegan/vegetarian pot pies with meat option for the carnivores at the table! Hearty white beans, carrots, and potatoes in a creamy thyme-flavored sauce.

These Rustic White Bean & Thyme Pot Pies make the perfect winter dinner situation. They’re surprisingly easy to make – especially when you resort to store-bought pie crust as I often do. If you prefer a homemade situation that has no dairy, look no further than Minimalist Baker’s coconut oil pie crust. It’s terrific!

Okay, so we’ve got hearty cannellini beans along with hunks of carrots and buttery Yukon Gold potatoes, all in a savory, creamy, thyme-spiked sauce. Simple, rustic, yet somehow special. Even though this pot pie doesn’t contain traditionally wintery veggies, I think it just screams comfort and winter. Not literally, because that would be frightening. 

Speaking of winter, I’m off for winter break! Happy Holidays, friends, and see you on the other side!

Individual vegan/vegetarian pot pies with meat option for the carnivores at the table! Hearty white beans, carrots, and potatoes in a creamy thyme-flavored sauce.

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Rustic White Bean & Thyme Pot Pies

Hearty white beans, carrots, and potatoes in a creamy thyme-flavored sauce. Just add cooked chicken or turkey for the meat-eaters!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, vegan butter (like Earth Balance), or olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt + more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound (2 cups) diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Your favorite store-bought pie crust or homemade pie crust (for a homemade vegan option, I really like this coconut oil pie crust)**

Optional meat:

  • 1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken or turkey per pot pie

Equipment:

  • 4-5 (10-ounce) ramekins*

Directions:

  1. To a medium saucepan, add the olive oil or vegan butter. Warm over low heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute just until the onions are beginning to become translucent, 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir constantly for three minutes, adding the garlic during the last minute.
  3. Slowly pour in the vegetable broth, stirring constantly. Add the beans, potatoes and thyme sprigs. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are just about fork tender, about 5 minutes. Remove thyme stems. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired, to taste.
  4. If adding chicken or turkey to any of the pot pies, add 1/4 cup to each ramekin.
  5. Divide bean filling between the four or five ramekins, carefully stirring those that have meat with a small spoon to evenly distribute.
  6. Cut circles of crust about 1″ larger than the circumference of the ramekins. To keep track of the meat pot pies vs. the veggie pot pies, I like to use letter cookie cutters – “VEG” for veggie and, in the case of the batch I made for the blog, “CHX” for chicken. A simple V or C will work or any old shape to help you tell them apart will do! Just be sure you at least slit the top to allow for steam to escape.
  7. Bake 375 degrees for about 35 minutes, until the pie crust is golden brown and the filling is nice and bubbly.
  8. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

* Filling should be just enough for four 10-ounce ramekins if not adding meat. If adding meat to some, you should be able to stretch to five.

Vegan option:

Use Earth Balance vegan butter or olive oil and a vegan pie crust (some store-bought pie crusts are vegan – check the ingredients)

Meat option:

Self-explanatory! 🙂

All images and text © for Kitchen Treaty.