Vegetable Potpie with Cheddar Biscuit Topping

March 18, 2011

This vegetarian potpie is so incredibly flavorful, you won’t miss the meat at all! The biscuit topping is a lot easier to put together than a traditional pie dough topping, and the cheese in the biscuits adds just the right amount of richness. As in many vegetarian recipes, this originally called for mushrooms as part of the filling, but due to my dislike, I chose to leave those out and increase the amounts of potatoes and peas instead. (Please let me know if you’d like the version of the recipe with mushrooms!) I recommend putting a baking sheet on the lower oven rack when baking the potpie – the 13×9 pan was quite full and when the filling starts to bubble, inevitably some of it ends up on the bottom of the oven. This is best served the same day that it is baked, but it also reheats well, covered with foil,  in a toaster oven or conventional oven.

Recipe taken from the Gourmet Today cookbook.

Vegetable potpie

Serves 8

The filling can be made up to 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated; reheat before topping with the biscuits and baking.


For filling

  • 1  (1-pound) package frozen pearl onions (not thawed)
  • 2 1/2  cups water
  • 5  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1  fresh thyme sprig, plus 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1  medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3  carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2  celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 1  large parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2  medium boiling potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1  cup whole milk
  • 12  ounces frozen peas, thawed

For biscuit topping

  • 2 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4  stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1  cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 3  tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2  scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2  cups well-shaken buttermilk


  1. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine pearl onions, water, 1 tablespoon butter, thyme sprig, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 2-quart heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl; reserve liquid and discard thyme sprig.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/2 stick butter in in a 12-inch deep heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides. Add chopped vegetables, garlic, chopped thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown (bottom of skillet will become crusty), about 15 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add reserved onion cooking liquid and milk and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Reduce heat to moderate and simmer, covered, until vegetables are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in peas, pearl onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch or other 3-quart baking dish.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in cheeses and scallions, add buttermilk, and stir until just combined.
  6. Drop biscuits onto filling in 12 equal mounds, leaving spaces in between. Bake until topping is golden and filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

One comment

  1. […] (no apple topping though), we whipped up some fettuccine for lunch, and then ended the day with vegetable potpie. Still more than what I’d make on a typical weekend, but Sunday’s recipes were faster […]

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