December 23, 2013

Savory, Seasonal & Vegetarian: A Fresh Take on Tourtière. ~ Shirley Plant

This holiday season I have created a tasty, vegetarian tourtière.

The minute I called it that, I realized I had made a small faux pas—traditionally, tourtière is a shallow meat pie, originating from French Canada, which uses pork and/or veal or beef, with seasonings of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and onions, combined in layers of pastry.

It is enjoyed during Christmas and New Years.

Tourtière is not exclusive to Quebec, and from what I have read can sometimes be made with fish, rabbit or wild game, but alas—not beans and grains.

So, what shall I name my vegetarian tourtière?

You be the judge.

Pie Crust

  •  2 ½ cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • ½-3/4 cup cold water


In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.

Cut-in shortening and add water slowly, until it all comes together.

Roll the dough into a ball and put it in plastic wrap, refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Roll out a pie crust and line a 12-inch pie plate.

Add filling, then add the top-crust to the top.


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I use brown rice flour)
  • 1 Tbsp summer savoury (herb)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1–1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup cooked millet
  • 1 can pinto beans (398ml)


In a large frying pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are transparent.

Add flour and stir.

Slowly add water and herbs—stir until mixture thickens.

Turn off heat and add cooked grains and mashed beans. Mix well and fill pie shells.

Cover top with pie crust and make a few slits in the top.

Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes.



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Assistant Editor: Renée Claude/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Courtesy of the Author

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Shirley Plant