I’m a freak for vegetarian comfort food. Unfortunately, vegetarian comfort food generally isn’t much less fattening than its meat-laden brethren. Bummer!
This pot pie pasta, though, is much healthier than anything labeled “pot pie” would seem. It isn’t packed with loads of butter and gobs of cheese. It’s inspired by one of the most classic comfort food recipes of all time – chicken pot pie – minus a huge quantity of heavy gravy, and no pastry in sight.
I mean, it’s pasta, and that’s not necessarily the healthiest thing around, sure. But you could use whole wheat pasta if you want. Otherwise, you’re looking at a whole bunch of nutrient-packed veggies, a light and flavorful pot-pie-gravy-like sauce, no pie crust (just the pasta instead), and some diced cooked chicken added at the end of the process, if you like. Plus, it only takes about 20-30 minutes to make. Not too shabby for a dish that all but yells “comfort food!”
And I’ll tell ya, I need some comfort food after that Downton Abbey finale. WHY WHY WHY?!
Pardon the segue, but seriously. WHY?!!!
I’m a little heartbroken. I’m going in for seconds.
Veggie Pot Pie Pasta with Optional Chicken Add-In
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 pound fiori pasta (can also use penne or another short tubular pasta)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion (minced (about 1 cup))
- 1/2 stalk celery (diced small (about 1/4 cup))
- 2 carrots (diced medium (about 1 cup))
- 1/4 small butternut squash (diced medium (about 1 cup))
- 1 large clove garlic (minced (about 2 teaspoons))
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Additional kosher salt plus freshly ground black pepper to taste
- If including chicken (also add ...)
- 1/2 cup diced (cooked chicken per serving (we use store-bought rotisserie chicken or rub boneless, skinless chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill them until cooked through))
- Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente, per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, and butternut squash and cook until onion is translucent and the rest of the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute for another minute, stirring frequently.
- Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Continuing over medium heat, slowly add broth, stirring constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture thickens, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in pasta and peas.
- Taste and add additional salt along with freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- To add meat, scoop about 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture to a separate pan over low heat. Gently mix in 1/2 cup diced, cooked chicken per serving and cook until the entire mixture is heated through.
- Serve immediately.