Vegan cowboy pie is adapted from the classic cowboy pie featuring barbeque flavoured beans and sausages with a cheesy mashed potato topping.
Cowboy pie is a fun, family meal that is super quick and easy to stick together for a yummy fuss-free midweek meal.
This pie is ideal for batch prep and can be prepared one or two days in advance for an instant dinner or frozen for those extra busy days.
Other popular names for this type of delicious pie cross hotpot are cheesy baked bean pie, sausage and bean pie, cowboy casserole and cowboy bean pie.
Quick Origins Of Cowboy Pie
Cowboy pie is a meal that was inspired by the American cowboy era but the exact origins are unclear. I have done a good deal of research but not found any definite answers.
One possible origins is that the recipe was devised by Slimming World as this meal appears to be one of their most popular dishes.
But it is more likely that the Slimming World recipe is just one of the many adaptions out there, and that the pie was invented within a family home many, many years ago by a savvy cook creating economical meals.
Cowboy pie is similar to the British classic cheesy baked bean pie. Cheesy bean pie is a simply affair with mashed potatoes topped with grated cheese and baked over a layer of baked beans.
No matter though as this fun dish will quickly become a family favourite as it has with my own. Kids can imagine their enjoying their cowboy pie on the prairies over a campfire. And perhaps for some families the name can evolve into cowgirl pie!
Vegan Cowboy Pie (Cheesy BBQ Baked Bean Pie)
Preparing this vegan cowboy pie, or cheesy baked bean pie, or another name that was provided by my daughter is Jazzy Bean Pie, couldn't be easier. There are a few steps to carry out before assembling but these are pretty simple.
First the vegan sausages are put on to cook according to the package instructions, and at the same time the potatoes are simmered in preparation for mashing.
Meanwhile the onions and garlic is cooked in some veggie stock or oil before the BBQ seasoning, paprika, red wine vinegar, and a little bit of sugar is mixed through. Next comes the cans of baked beans which are scooped into the onion-BBQ mix.
This mix is poured into your chosen large casserole dish. With the vegan sausages halved in two and popped into the beany mix.
The potatoes are mashed and spread out over the BBQ beany sausages, and baked for 30 minutes until crispy, golden and the baked bean sauce juices bubble through the topping. The pie is removed from the oven and sprinkled with vegan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes.
Finally the pie is baked for a further 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and gone a little crispy.
So simple, easy and most importantly tasty.
How To Prepare Vegan Cowboy Pie
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Leftover cowboy pie can be kept, covered, in the fridge for 3 days. Or frozen, well wrapped, in the casserole dish for 4-6 months. Defrost before reheating.
Leftover pie can be reheated at the cooking temperature. Place on a lower oven shelf, pop a cover over to prevent over browning and cooking, and leave for 25 plus minutes until piping hot.
Allow the pie to come to room temperature before reheating. This is especially important if the pie and casserole dish has been frozen, as if the dish is too cold it may crack during the reheating process.
This cowboy pie can be prepared gluten-free but ensure that your vegan sausages, baked beans, vegan margarine, and any seasoning blends are free from gluten ingredients.
A few suggestions:
* instead of mashed white potato prepare a sweet potato/turnip (swede/rutabaga), parsnip, carrot or celeriac mash. A mix of mashed veggies is tasty especially with some white potato also.
* the vegan sausages are optional, so if preferred omit this ingredient
* any variety of beans in a sauce can be used, baked beans or mixed beans in tomato sauce are perfect but so are canned beans in a chilli or curry sauce
* instead of BBQ powdered seasoning use BBQ sauce
* replace the BBQ flavour altogether with different spices such as chilli powder, cumin, paprika, taco seasoning, curry powder, etc.
* or simply omit the seasoning and just have the beans in the tomato sauce
* grated vegan cheese can be subbed for nutritional yeast flakes
* instead of shredded vegan cheese or nutritional yeast topping, your favourite seasoning can be sprinkled over the potato's before baking. Garlic and onion powder is especially tasty. As is the range of Mrs Dash (no salt) seasoning blends.
* replace the fresh onion and garlic for dried varieties
* for the mashed potatoes replace the plant milk with potato cooking liquid, or use half and half
* instead of using vegan margarine use a few tablespoons of hummus or white miso paste, a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes mixed through the mash is delicious
This pie is filling enough to serve on its own. But if serving hungry appetites or needing to stretch the pie out to feed more portions, here is a few ideas:
* vegan garlic bread or crusty bread
* 3 ingredient quick dinner rolls
* crispy green salad
* peas and sweetcorn
* corn-on-the-cobs, baby corn
* mangetout, green beans, field beans, yard beans, asparagus
* any of your favourite steamed or roast veggies
* vegan tomato ketchup/ brown sauce/ extra BBQ sauce
* vegan mayonnaise/sour cream
Yes. Leftover cowboy pie is the best!
Cowboy pie increases its flavours overnight and the pie can be mixed together with the potato mash mixed through the beany-sausages and used as a filling. Any sausage pieces can be sliced up further to spread them out.
* my family love a tortilla wrap stuffed with cowboy pie filling, wrapped up and baked until crispy and heated through. Sprinkle a little grated vegan cheese over the wrapped tortilla or use a few tablespoons of salsa to spread over each wrapped tortilla before baking.
* prepare quesadillas with the filling
* using vegan-friendly puff pastry prepare cheesy bean pasties
* have a cheesy bean toastie/grilled cheese sandwich
This pie can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge for a day or two before baking. Or bake, cool, and then freeze for quick future meals.
Try preparing several pies at once, eat one and freeze the others for later. You'll definitely thank yourself later!
Of course. There are always shortcuts.
* prepare the mashed potato in advance, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for 4-6 months.
* use a couple of packets of dry instant mash (vegan-friendly ingredients)
* cook the meat-free sausages in advance, this can save electricity or gas if the sausages are cooked along with anything else you need cooked
* prepare the bean and BBQ mix in advance and store in the fridge for up to 3 days
More Fun Vegan Family Meals
Mexican Rice And Bean Casserole (with a cheesy nacho topping)
Prepare your own baked beans in tomato sauce with this easy recipe.
Vegan Cowboy Pie (Cheesy Baked Bean Pie)
- large baking dish/casserole pan, for baking pie
- skillet/ sauté pan/ deep frying pan, for preparing filling
- medium saucepan, for preparing mashed potatoes
- potato masher
- 250 ml vegan stock
For the filling:
- 8 meat-free sausages optional, about 2 sausages per person precooked. Alternatively simply add the sausages uncooked directly into the pie.
- 4 cans baked beans 4 x 400 gram/15 oz cans, I used 2 cans or regular baked beans and 2 cans of mixed beans in tomato sauce
- 2 medium onions rough chopped
- 4 cloves garlic thin sliced or minced, use more if liked
- 2 tablespoons BBQ seasoning mix add more to taste, or use BBQ sauce. Or simply omit.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup/similar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Mashed potato topping:
- 900 grams potatoes sliced into chunks
- 2 tablespoons vegan margarine alternatively use 2 tablespoon of hummus or 1 tablespoon white miso paste if your diet omits margarine.
- 6 tablespoons plant-based milk potato cooking liquid or vegan stock can be used instead. Use more milk or stock to achieve desired texture.
- 90 grams vegan cheese grated. Alternatively replace with 6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes.
Pre cook your sausages according to the packet instructions. Alternatively add your sausages without precooking directly to the pie.
- Preheat oven to 180 Fan/200 Celsius/ 392 Fahrenheit/ Gas 6.
Prepare the mashed potatoes at the same time as preparing the filling.
- Prepare your mashed potatoes.Boil the chopped potatoes until soft, about 10-15 minutes depending on size.Drain but reserve some of the cooking liquid.Mash the potatoes with plant-based margarine and plant milk, Add extra tablespoons of potato liquid until the mash is the preferred texture.Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sauté the onion and garlic:
- Over a medium heat, cook your onions and garlic in the vegetable stock for about 6 minutes. If using oil cook the onions for 4 minutes and then add the garlic for 2 minutes, stir frequently.
Prepare the filling:
- Mix through the BBQ seasoning, paprika, sugar and red wine vinegar. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
- Mix through the 4 cans of beans in tomato sauce. Taste and add a little salt and pepper if necessary.
- Scoop the mix into a casserole dish.
- Pop the halved cooked meat-free sausages evenly over the mix.
Add mashed potato topping:
- Top with the mashed potato.
- Place on middle shelf in oven for 30 minutes until tinged with golden, crispy and the bean sauce bubbling.
Add vegan grated cheese to topping, optional
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the grated cheese or nutritional yeast flakes over.
- Pop back into the oven for 10-15 minutes until melted.
If your not using vegan cheese or nutritional yeast, the pie can be baked for longer if you'd prefer a crispier and golden topping.
- Instead of adding cheese don't remove the pie from the oven, and cook for a total of 30-45 minutes or until the topping is at your desired crispness and colour.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary. Data is run through nutritional computerized apps.
- Data includes the veggie sausages and vegan cheese, so if these are omitted the calories, fat, protein, carbohydrate, etc quantities will decrease.
- Meat-free sausages are optional. This cowboy pie is still delicious without the sausages as the beans are more than enough.
- The vegan cheese topping is also optional and can be simply omitted, or nutritional yeast flakes added instead. Or just sprinkle some of your favourite seasoning over the mashed potatoes before baking.
- Sliced tomatoes are delicious added to the mashed potato topping.
- Not keen on BBQ flavours? The BBQ seasoning can be switched for chilli powder, taco type seasoning, your favourite seasoning blend, or even curry powder.
- You can use 4 cans of baked beans, or replace some of the plain baked beans for mixed beans in tomato sauce, or cans of beans in a chilli sauce.
- Leftover cowboy pie can be stored in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days.
- Or frozen within the casserole dish, well wrapped, for 4-6 months.
- Allow chilled or frozen cowboy pie to come up to room temperature before reheating.
- Reheat at the cooking temperature, with a cover over the pie, until piping hot.
- Serve this pie on its own or with your favourite veggies or a crisp green salad.