I developed this chili pot pie recipe while I was in the middle of a full blown chicken pot pie craving crisis. All I could think about was a buttery flaky crust filled with a creamy chicken stew loaded with carrot, onions, and peas…..ahem (clears throat)……..I’m sorry, am I making you hungry? Have you already started googling chicken pot pie recipes? If you have it’s probably my fault. My apologies, I’ll continue with my story.
So I was dreaming about chicken pot pies and started going through the steps of the recipe in my head. It went something like this…butter…..heavy cream….salt….more butter….dang it, that’s a lot of calories. This was the point when I decided I needed to come up with a recipe that had the same savory richness of a chicken pot pie but was a little more healthy. I must have started craving Mexican food sometime during the process because I ended up with a chili pot pie recipe with a masa pie crust.
I also went a little extreme on the spectrum of healthiness and this recipe ended up being vegetarian, vegan, and also gluten-free. But don’t worry, I balanced out all that healthiness with a bit of beer which also added a deeper more complex flavor.
I had red quinoa on hand and used it for this recipe but any kind of quinoa can be substituted. Red quinoa has an absolutely beautiful color to it and also makes a great substitute for beef since it resembles it in both color and texture. Before cooking quinoa make sure to wash it thoroughly under runner water to remove the saponins which will give it a bitter flavor. Cook the quinoa in vegetable stock by bringing it to a boil and leave it covered while it simmers.
Then dice some zucchini and onion.
Heat oil in a pot, then add the diced onion, zucchini, minced garlic, and season with salt.
After the vegetables have softened, deglaze the pot with the beer (or you can substitute vegetable stock if you don’t have beer on hand) and add the fire roasted tomatoes and black beans.
Season the chili with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt to taste.
While the chili is simmering, combine the masa harina, paprika, and salt in a bowl and then add the water and vegetable oil. Note: I used a instant masa harina flour I found in the Mexican food aisle. Sometimes it also can be found in the baking section next to the flour.
Form the masa into a dough and then press it evenly into the bottom of an oven safe pan using your fingers.
When the vegetables have softened and the chili is finished cooking add the cooked quinoa and chopped avocado.
Spoon the chili into the masa pie crust.
Use your fingers to crumble the masa dough and sprinkle it over the top of the chili filling until the pot pie is completely covered. Gently pat the top with you fingers to seal the crust. Bake in the oven at 425ºF until golden brown.
If you desire, top the chili pot pie with freshly chopped tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro.
The avocado in the chili pot pie adds a surprisingly rich flavor to the dish and the protein from the quinoa makes this a filling and satisfying meal. If you are short on time, skip making the masa dough and add a few extra cups of vegetable stock to the chili filling to make a soup and serve with warm corn tortillas on the side.
- 3 cups instant corn masa flour
- 1 ⅔ cups water
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- ½ cup beer (I used red bridge, it’s a gluten-free beer)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Optional: Garnish with chopped avocado, cilantro, and tomatoes
- Bring quinoa and vegetable stock to a boil, cover and let simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
- In a large pot heat oil, add onion, garlic, zucchini, and season with salt. Cook until vegetables become softened, about 5 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with beer (or you can substitute with vegetable stock), add fire roasted tomatoes and black beans, stir to combine.
- Season with cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Bring to a boil, continue to simmer for 10-15minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Season with salt to taste. Once soup is finished cooking add cooked quinoa and chopped avocado.
- Combine masa harina, water, vegetable oil, salt, and paprika in a bowl and form a dough. Use fingers to evenly spread dough in the bottom of a oven safe pan.
- Spoon quinoa chili into the crust lined pan and then crumble the remaining masa dough over the top and lightly pat with fingers to form a crust.
- Preheat oven to 425℉ and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- If desired, top with chopped tomatoes, avocados and fresh cilantro.
- Masa harina is a finely ground corn flour that is commonly used to make tortillas in Mexican cooking. It can be found in most grocery stores in the baking or Hispanic section.