Vegan Harvest pumpkin and lentil pie is so delicious it is a must try recipe as its guaranteed to be a family favourite.
This savoury vegan pumpkin pie is perfect for Thanksgiving, Harvest meals, Christmas dinner or other Autumn and Winter holiday get-togethers.
Although my family do love this flan chilled for picnics or pack lunches, and it is especially good served with a big crispy green salad.
This is a versatile recipe and the pumpkin can be easily replaced with carrot, sweet potato or butternut squash.
What Are Harvest Pies?
For centuries October-November in the northern-western hemispheres generally means the Harvest season is coming to an end. The crops are gathered, preserved and stored resulting in some certain veggies being in abundance and less expensive.
Nowadays, here in Scotland pumpkins only tend to be popular during October leading up to the Halloween festivities, and once All Hallows Eve has gone the pumpkins sadly end up in the bargain bin. However, pumpkins can last for many months if stored in a cool, darkish area preferably on a shelf or similar to allow air to circulate. I once had a Halloween pumpkin last for nearly 6 months!
Harvest festivals are popular around the world and are a tradition that goes back many centuries. The festivities celebrate and give thanks for the harvest bounty.
As the American Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, celebrated on the 4th Thursday each November, this is the perfect time to enjoy a Harvest pie. And the Canadian Thanksgiving is held on the 2nd Monday of October, as well as the Australian Thanksgiving held on the last Wednesday of November.
In the UK Harvest festivals were more popular during the Medieval times with the beginning of Harvest occurring on the 24th September. Although growing up in Scotland we did have Harvest church services that our school would attend, and there would be a large display of fruit, veggies, bread and pies.
On the 11th November in the UK Martinmas Day was observed which generally marked that the Harvest was coming to an end. Although nowadays the feast of St Martin is not popularly observed as it once was. However, other countries such as France, Scandinavia and Germany also traditionally celebrate Martinmas.
Harvest festivals, Martinmas Day and the like all tend to have food at the centre of the celebrations. A Harvest pie can technically contain any fruit, veggies or meat that are seasonal.
Vegan Harvest Pumpkin And Lentil Pie
I love stocking up on reduced price pumpkins as they have endless possibilities and can be used to cook or bake so many different delicious things. For pennies pumpkins offer amazing nutritional benefits in return.
Oh and dogs love pumpkins too!
I pull out my little food dehydrator and dry out the pumpkin scraps such as chopped up peel, seeds and scrapings. Once dry the scraps are ground up to a powder and then added by the spoonful to our family dogs dinner. Ground pumpkin seeds are actually considered a natural dog wormer.
I usually prepare this lentil pie recipe with carrot or sweet potato but seeing as I took advantage and purchased quite a few of the 25p pumpkins from my local supermarket I decided pumpkin would be a delicious stand-in.
The first thing to do is prepare the wholemeal pastry crust. Or if you are short of time a vegan-friendly ready-made shortcrust pastry can be used instead.
The pastry can be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge, or frozen for up to 4 months. A great time saver.
Once the pastry is ready it is blind baked which just means prebaking before adding the filling. Once part-baked the pastry shell is filled with the delicious pumpkin-lentil mix.
The pumpkin-lentil mix is utterly delicious. I actually have to stop myself from just eating spoonful's of it as the pastry is being filled up.
To make the filling the diced pumpkin, potato, celery and onion are cooked for 8 minutes in either a tablespoon of oil or half a cup of veggie stock. Next the sliced garlic is mixed through and a bay leaf chucked in. Lentils and bay leaf are a match made in heaven in my opinion. So tasty.
Red split lentils are mixed through the veggie mix before the hot veggie stock is poured i,n along with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. Although at the moment I am currently working my way through a large tub of Himalayan pink salt so that went in instead of the usual sea salt.
The pumpkin-lentil mix is cooked for twenty minutes, with an occasional stir as the filling will become very thick which is desirable.
If the potatoes are not soft enough after twenty minutes of simmering, I just turn the heat to very low and pop a lid on the pot and cook for a further 5-10 minutes which usually does the job. Although if the potatoes are still erring on the harder side just turn off the heat and keep the lid on and leave until the potatoes soften which they will do in just a few minutes.
After the mix is ready the lid is removed to allow the steam to escape and the mix to dry out and thicken up further.
Now all that needs doing is to fill up the pastry case with the tasty lentils and veggies, and remove the bay leaf. Once the pastry is full the nutritional yeast flakes are sprinkled over, along with the sliced spring/green onion and finished with a flourish of red pepper flakes.
Next the pie is baked in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes just to heat the lentil and pumpkin pie through and add touches of golden brown to the top.
The pie can be enjoyed hot straight from the oven but it is also absolutely delicious chilled. If serving 4 hungry people then divide the flan into 4 slices but it can serve 6 with additional accompaniments. Check out the recipe notes and FAQS for a few ideas.
How to prepare vegan Harvest Pumpkin and Lentil Pie
First prepare the wholemeal pastry crust. If using a shop-bought or already made pastry simply omit this stage and line your pie/flan dish.
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge on a covered plate or food container for 3 days.
Or frozen well wrapped for up to 4 months. To defrost remove the coverings and leave in the fridge to defrost.
The pastry or/and the filling can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen for up to 4 months.
Place leftovers on a baking tray and preheat the oven to the cooking temperature or reduce the heat a notch lower, and reheat for 15 minutes or until piping hot.
Place the tray on the middle or lower oven shelf and if concerned about the top browning too much simply add a little piece of kitchen foil over the flan.
Or enjoy a slice chilled for a tasty snack, quick lunch, pack lunch or lunch-on-the-go.
A few ideas:
* for a Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years dinner, or other Holiday festivity serve the lentil pie as a main along with roast potatoes, lots of tasty veggies, cranberry sauce, apple sauce and a vegan gravy
* sweet potato or regular wedges/fries/baked
* a crispy green salad
* vegan garlic bread
* baked beans/spaghetti hoops
* any steamed or sautéed green veggies such as kale, collards, cabbage, chard, broccoli, asparagus, peas, mange tout, Brussel sprouts, green beans
* roasted veggies, especially tomatoes, mushrooms, courgettes, aubergine/eggplant, sweet peppers, etc
* vegan coleslaw
* pickled onions, beetroot, red cabbage, cucumbers/gherkins
Of course. A few suggestions:
* replace the pumpkin with any type of squash including butternut, or use carrot or sweet potatoes
* celery can be subbed for courgette/zucchini
* ordinary potatoes can be replaced with sweet potatoes
* instead of wholemeal plain flour use plain white, all-purpose, or whole-wheat flour
* the spring/green onions can be replaced with chives, dill, or parsley
* red pepper flakes for the topping can be omitted or use chilli flakes, paprika, or your favourite seasoning mix such as Mrs Dash
* no fresh garlic available? use 2 teaspoon of garlic powder
* the nutritional yeast flakes can be switched out for shredded vegan cheese or simply omit and use a seasoning mix. Although nutritional yeast flakes marries up with the lentil filling and nutty pastry crust beautifully.
Depending on the size and depth of your pastry baking case there may be some filling left over.
Here are a few tasty ideas for what to do with it:
* Mix through veggie stock to create a delicious lentil-pumpkin soup, perfect for next days lunch.
* Instead of bread use the filling to stuff some Romaine lettuce leaf's
* A few dollops of lentil pate served along with a salad is particularly nice
* Create a delicious, mouth-watering lentil pate. Pack the filling into a bowl, smooth the top, and sprinkle red pepper flakes all over. Chill and enjoy spread over toasted bread, crackers, oatcakes, or use as a sandwich spread.
More Tasty Vegan Pie Recipes:
Vegan Harvest Pumpkin and Lentil Pie
- Pie/flan baking tin 9 inch diameter (23cm) or a rectangular case about 13½ inch (34½cm) length by 4 in (10cm) wide.
- Kitchen foil or baking parchment and baking beans, optional
- Rolling pin
- Non-stick pan/pot with lid
Wholemeal pastry crust:
- 130 grams red split lentils rinsed
- 200 grams pumpkin can be replaced with carrot, sweet potato or butternut squash. Diced or grated
- 150 grams potato any variety is fine, diced into small pieces
- 100 grams celery diced
- 1 whole bay leaf add an extra one if the leaf is small
- 600 millilitres vegetable stock hot
Sprinkle over filling before baking:
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes use more if liked for extra cheesiness and savouriness
- 2 whole spring onions green onions, just use the dark green stalk, sliced, or replace with chives
- 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes chilli flakes/paprika flakes, or cracked black pepper or other preferred seasoning mix, such as Mrs Dash
Prepare and bake wholemeal pastry crust:
- Grease your pie dish with a little vegan butter or oil.
- Add the flour, mixed herbs and salt to a bowl, stir to combine.
- Using your finger tips rub the vegan butter into the flour mix until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add tablespoons of water to the mix and stir until it starts to clump together. You'll need around 6-8 tablespoons on average. Once the mix starts to clump together use your hands to press it all into a dough.
- Knead for a minute or two until it is kind of smooth although this is a rustic pastry so the dough won't look completely smooth.
- If your dough is too dry pat your fingers into some water and then pat the water onto the dough. If too sticky simply sprinkle a little more flour over until the dough is just right.
- Preheat the oven to 180 Fan/ 200 Celsius/ 392 Fahrenheit/ Gas 6.
- Wrap the pastry with a clean tea towel, reusable food bag or even some parchment paper and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry ball onto a floured surface until thin and manageable but not too thin. Drape the pastry over the rolling pin and lift up over the pastry case. Press the pastry into the case.
- Use a knife to cut the pastry that overhangs the case, and mark the base all over with a fork.Cover the pastry with a piece of kitchen foil or baking parchment and baking beans.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the covering and bake again for 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, potato, celery and onion in either the oil or veggie stock for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the garlic and bay leaf, cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir through the red lentils.
- Pour in the hot vegetable stock, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
- The mix will become very thick so if the potatoes are not ready after 20 minutes, pop a lid on the pan and gently cook for a further 5 minutes. If the mix begins to stick just turn off the heat and leave with the lid on until the potatoes are soft.
- Remove the lid and leave the mix off the heat to dry out further for a few minutes before using to fill the pastry case.
Assemble and bake the pie:
- Once the pastry is filled, sprinkle over the nutritional yeast flakes, chives and red pepper flakes.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at the same oven temperature as the pastry was cooked.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Got any leftover lentil-pumpkin mix? Pack it into a small bowl, smooth it down and sprinkle some red pepper flakes over. Now you have some delicious lentil pate! So good chilled straight from the fridge spread on toast, crackers, oatcakes or simply eat from the spoon. Also tasty along with a crispy salad.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge on a covered plate or food container for up to 3 days. Or frozen well wrapped for up to 4 months. To defrost remove the coverings and leave in the fridge to defrost.
- The pastry or/and the filling can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen for up to 4 months.
- Leftovers can be served hot or chilled.
- Place leftovers on a baking tray and preheat the oven to the cooking temperature or reduce the heat a notch lower, and reheat for 15 minutes or until piping hot.
- Pumpkin can be replaced with butternut squash, sweet potatoes or carrot.
- For a faster pie use a shop bought vegan-friendly shortcrust pastry, or prepare the pastry in advance.
- Not keen on nutritional yeast flakes? Replace with vegan shredded cheese or simply omit, the lentil mix is delicious enough.