Ina Garten Vegetable Pot Pie (Barefoot Contessa)


Ina Garten’s Vegetable Pot Pie is great (of course it is!) but the effort is more than a 45 minute prep session.  I have made a few changes to her original recipe.  I added some parsnips.  I skipped asparagus tips and instead added shiitake mushrooms.  I did not use Pernod (it is expensive, not something I keep on hand) and I don’t think the recipes suffers without it.   She recommends making this dish in four individual oven proof dishes.  For simplicity, I used one deep 8 x 8 rectangle baking dish.  I think a normal pyrex will work but you may not have room for all the filling.   If only serving this dish and your guests are hungry, the pie should feed around 4-5 people.

Ina says:   Prep: 45 minutes, Cook 1 hr 35 Minutes, Total Time 2 Hours 45 Minutes

Dishthistoday:  Impossible.  You will need more time for sure.

Prep: @ 85 minutes until the dish went into the oven and I work fast.  With slightly more efficiency, I believe I could have saved an additional 5-10 minutes mostly when cooking the potatoes.  Note I bought pre-prepped fresh squash.  This saved probably 10-15 minutes off the prep time.

In terms of difficulty, the non-pastry piece is time consuming but easy to follow and the filling is delicious.  The pastry portion is also not that difficult assuming you have a LARGE food processor and are used to making dough.


Pot Pie Filling

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onions (1 1/2 medium/large onions)
  • 1 fennel bulb
    • Remove a small top part of bulb like you would for an onion
    • Remove the stalk portions (not edible)
    • Cut bulb in half and remove the core
    • Slice up the rest of the bulb in thin small pieces
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups good chicken stock (use good boxed version)
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod (ok to skip)
  • Pinch saffron threads (best price Trader Joes or Costco Kirkland Brand)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups large-diced potatoes (1/2 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms (vs her asparagus tips)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced carrots (3 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4 – inch – diced parsnips (2-3 parsnips)
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, 3/4-inch-diced butternut squash (recommend buying already prepped)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen small whole onions (1/2 pound)
  • Some frozen peas might make a good addition
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

For the pastry:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening  (half hour prior to making dough – cut into small pieces and put in freezer with butter)
  • 1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced (half hour prior to making dough – cut into small pieces and put in freezer with shortening)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk (she includes the whites) beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper


Pre-Prep the dough so it can be ready when your filling is ready

  • Measuring the dry dough portions and set aside until ready
  • Fill a large glass of water and ice and let the cubes melt so the water is cold.  You can measure the right amount of water later
  • Cut the butter and margarine for the dough and set in a plastic bag and place in the freezer to get cold.

Begin the filling:

  • Fill a large pot of water with salt and start boiling it on medium so it is ready early. This is for potatoes, carrots, and parsnips.  If you have a pot with a fitted insert for things like pasta – use it when cooking these vegetables.  It is faster than fishing out the potato pieces once finished cooking.  I wasted a good five to ten minutes fishing out the potatoes.
  • Prep the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, squash (if you need to) and mushrooms (if using)
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Lift out potatoes and drain
  • NOTE YOU ARE USING THE SAME WATER FOR POTATOES FOR carrots, parsnips and squash (see a few steps lower)
  • Once the potatoes start cooking –
  • Use a very large pan with high straight sides or another large pot for the filling
    • Melt the butter.
    • Add the onions and fennel and saute until translucent, 8 to 13 minutes.  Add mushrooms for 2-4 minutes.
    • Now begin making your pastry dough * *  (you have ten minutes while the potatoes finish and the onions and fennel are cooking.  Make sure to occasionally stir the onions and fennel and add the mushrooms near the end while making the dough)
    • Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Slowly add the stock, Pernod (if using), saffron, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.
    • Continuing cooking your vegetables in the water you used for the potatoes as needed
      • Carrots, parsnips, and squash together for five to seven minutes
      • Drain well.
    • Add the potatoes, mixed vegetables, frozen pearl onions, (peas if using) and parsley to the sauce and mix well.

** Making the Pastry Dough

  •  For the pastry, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the VERY COLD shortening and butter and mix quickly with your fingers until each piece is coated with flour.
  • Pulse 10-20 times, or until the fat is the size of peas.
  • With the motor running, add the ice water; process only enough to moisten the dough and have it just come together.   This took less than 2 minutes for the ball to form
  • Dump the dough out onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Putting it all together …

  • Move the filling to your cooking dish.
  • Brush the outside edges of cooking dish with the egg wash
  • Place the dough on top.
  • Trim 1/2-inch larger
  • Crimp the dough to fold over the sides, pressing it to make it stick with fork
  • Brush the dough with egg wash and make several thin slits in the top (7-10 slits).
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour (60 minutes), or until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.

Getting ready

Leek Prep (whole leek, slice off top and bottom, slice in half and remove rough core, then diced)

Making the filling

Dough before adding water; dough ball, dough rolled out

Drained cooked vegetables

Pie before oven and after being cooked

Piece up close



Original Recipe: