Vegan ‘Chicken’ Tikka Masala Pot Pie

This vegan “Chicken” Tikka Masala Pot Pie is stuffed with chewy and juicy bits of vegan chicken and green peppers in a delicious, rich and healthy tikka masala sauce. On top goes a flaky, golden pie crust. What’s not to love?

Elegant yet quirky, my Tikka Masala Pot Pie is perfect eats to warm up your tummy on a frigid Fall evening. And I can’t think of a better dish to make Thanksgiving — or any dinner — more delicious.

I love pot pies– and if you’ve eaten my vegan mushroom pot pie, you’ll know exactly why. This vegan Tikka Masala Pot Pie is another one of my favorites, and I’d shared the recipe with you back in 2013. I’ve made many changes to it since, so I wanted to share the updated recipe — which I like even better — with new photos.

A tikka masala, full-bodied and flavorful, is a food so perfect, it has entire nations quibbling to take credit for it, from India to Pakistan to Great Britain. And while it is true that the concept of a tikka masala, and the masalas that go into it, are very South Asian, the dish is said to have actually been invented by Indian or Pakistani cooks in British restaurants, probably making it a British dish.

Whatever its origin, everyone can agree that a tikka masala is inarguably delicious. Stuffed under flaky, golden pastry, it becomes even more so. Digging into the crackly top to the rich, orange-red sauce below and discovering little bits of “chicken” tikka and green pepper is quite the gastronomic experience.

You could make one big pot pie with this recipe for my Tikka Masala Pot Pie, or divvy it up into four individual little pot pies. For the filling, instead of cream, I used cashew cream, onions, tomatoes, the vegan chick’n, of course, and fresh green bell peppers. You can also try this with my tofu tikka masala or my vegan butter chicken as the filling!

Ingredients for the pot pie:

  1. Unbleached all purpose flour
  2. Vegan butter
  3. Vegan chick’n
  4. Paprika
  5. Turmeric
  6. Ginger-garlic paste
  7. Raw cashews
  8. Vegetable oil
  9. Lemon juice
  10. Onion
  11. Tomatoes
  12. Tomato paste
  13. Coriander powder
  14. Cumin powder
  15. Garam masala powder
  16. Vegetable stock
  17. Green bell peppers
  18. Shallots (or more onions)

Tips for making a perfect tikka masala pot pie:

  1. You can use just veggies in your tikka masala, or tofu, if you don’t want to use a meat substitute. However, I strongly recommend using a meat substitute, because it gives you great texture that’s perfect in a pot pie.
  2. If you use veggies, use something that you’d typically use in a pot pie, like carrots or celery or mushrooms, or all of the above.
  3. If you do sub veggies, or tofu, you will still need to marinate and bake them, as you do with the vegan chick’n, before you actually add them to the masala sauce.
  4. Make sure your tikka masala stew is a little runnier than a typical tikka masala would be. That’s because your tikka masala will bake in the oven and become drier, so a slightly runnier stew will bake to the perfect consistency.
  5. Use a vegetable stock for the most flavor.
  6. I used a more traditional pie crust here, but if you want to make this easier, you can use puff pastry instead — a trick I’ve been using for years, and it works beautifully.
  7. This recipe is for a small family — or two very hungry people. If you want to make more pies, use the slider in the recipe box to adjust for more servings. The ingredient portions will automatically update.

Instructions

Make the pastry crust:

  • Whisk the flour and the salt in a bowl. Add the cold butter cubes to the bowl and cut it into the flour, using a fork or a pastry cutter, until you have a coarse, grainy mix with some pea-sized pieces of butter.
  • Drizzle in the ice-cold water, a little at a time, stirring frequently until the dough comes together. Try not to make the dough wet — stop adding water as soon as you can pull the dough together in a ball.
  • Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap, shaping into a disc with your hands as you wrap it. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Make the “chicken” tikka pieces:

  • Place all of the ingredients in a bowl, and toss to mix. Spread the faux chicken pieces on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until chewy.

Make the tikka masala sauce:

  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add the onions. Saute until they turn golden-brown, then add in the ginger-garlic paste. Stir-fry for a minutes, then add in the tomatoes and tomato paste.
  • Cook the tomatoes, stirring frequently, until they become very pulpy and darken slightly. Add the powdered spices — the coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, paprika and turmeric. Mix well and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of vegetable stock to the saucepan and mix well. Chop the “chicken” tikka pieces into smaller, bite-sized bits and add to the sauce. Bring everything to a boil.
  • Add the cashew paste and salt to taste. Add the green peppers and shallots. If the sauce seems too thick at this point, add some vegetable stock. The sauce will thicken as it cooks in the oven, so don’t make it too thick at this point. Once you have the desired consistency, turn off the heat.

Assemble and bake the pot pies:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Ladle out the tikka masala sauce into four ramekins. You can also make this in one large ramekin. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.
  • Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface, and, using an empty ramekin as the guide, cut four circles of dough large enough to fit the mouth of the ramekins.
  • Place each circle of dough on top of the tikka masala sauce in the ramekin. Cut a couple of vents into the top of the puff pastry using a sharp or serrated knife.
  • Place the baking sheet with the ramekins in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees and continue baking 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden-brown and the sauce is bubbling down the sides or through the vents in the pastry.
  • Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand five minutes at least before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 584.38kcal | Carbohydrates: 45.75g | Protein: 23.13g | Fat: 31.29g | Saturated Fat: 7.8g | Potassium: 595.8mg | Fiber: 6.17g | Sugar: 9.81g | Vitamin A: 1940.34IU | Vitamin C: 47.18mg | Calcium: 74.38mg | Iron: 5.37mg

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