Red Lentil Meatless Tourtiere Pie is the perfect alternative to the traditional French Canadian classic.
Swapping out meat with lentils is easy and delicious. Traditional tourtiere recipe with a twist. Who would have thought?
This was a post sponsored by Canadian LoveLentils campaign. They graciously compensated me, however all, opinions, recipes and photos are my own.
Christmas is quickly approaching and will be here before we know it. Have you started shopping yet?
Things do get a little crazy this time of year, especially on the pocketbook. Lentils are budget-friendly. This meatless version is a fun twist on the classic French Canadian tourtiere recipe.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for making this holiday meat pie are at the bottom of this post.
Did you know you can use lentils in delicious appetizers for all those holiday parties? Green Lentil Mini Cream Cheese Balls are party perfect and so easy to make.
We also love Smoked Salmon Potato Appetizers. Always a hit at the holiday parties.
Traditional Christmas Dinners
Everyone has their favourite foods to serve during the holidays. Family recipes of all kinds make an appearance during this festive time of year. Cranberry sauces, stuffing, baking and treats galore. Christmas would not be the same without tradition.
All the baking, treats, and Rum & Eggnog Lattes are always enjoyed, but our traditional Christmas Morning Sandwiches are the most anticipated meal of the season. In fact one year I was going to make something else, and my kids said Christmas morning is not happening unless they get these for breakfast.
Don’t forget to save that holiday ham bone and cook up a huge pot of pea soup. The perfect way to warm up from the cold.
I come from a Ukrainian background. Although my baba, mom and most of my aunts have now passed on, during my childhood and early adult years we celebrated 2 Christmases each year.
Talk about food. Wow, there was so much, especially when we all got together. Christmas Eve (which falls in January) was always the traditional “no meat” dinner that consisted of all the Ukrainian classics. Borscht was a MUST on the menu. Canadian butter tarts made an appearance for dessert.
Making A Meatless Tourtiere Pie
When Canadian Lentils asked me to take part in their Holiday 2016 LoveLentils campaign, I immediately knew I was going to recreate this classic French Canadian dish into a meatless version. A meat pie filling without the meat!
Have you ever used lentils in place of meat? It is the perfect alternative. Healthy nutrition is easy and delicious. Each 100 gram serving of red lentils includes 27 grams of protein, 18 grams of fibre, 1 gram of fat and zero cholesterol, along with vitamins and minerals. For more info visit the Canadian Lentil website.
This easy tourtiere recipe is going against ALL rules, but so delicious. A Quebec meat pie without meat? How can that be?
My greatest compliment from a reader last year from QUEBEC who happens to be a vegetarian. She served this red lentil meatless tourtiere to her family and THEY LOVED IT!
Here is what Rosy had to say:
I’m a vegetarian from Montréal, Québec, and I used your recipe for tourtière as part of our New Year’s Eve “Réveillon”. (ask your husband) spread. Tourtière is a traditional dish here, so it’s a tough crowd to please but everyone loved it, including non vegetarians, and it was so easy to make. We served it with traditional accompaniments like Green Tomato Chow Chow and pickled onions and beets. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe, and I wish you all the best for the new year.
Canadian Meat Pie Ingredients (Meatless Version)
This really is super easy to make. You will need:
- double pie crust
- cooked red lentils
- mashed potatoes
- spice blend (see the recipe below)
- avocado oil
- salt & pepper
Savoury Turkey Veronique Rustic Meat Pie has a really simple homemade crust. This is another French meat pie that incorporates ground turkey, white wine and grapes. A great idea for the holiday brunch menu.
I also LOVE this *(affiliate link) silicone pie plate. Makes for easy serving.
Preparing The Meat Pie
Red Lentil Meatless Tourtiere Pie is a healthy version of the original, with my take on spices and seasonings.
Here is what you do:
- Rinse lentils and cook until the desired doneness (be sure not to salt them till after they are cooked).
- Cook and mash the potatoes.
- Chop and cook the onion.
- Mix the cooked lentils, cooked onion, mashed potatoes, and seasonings.
- Place mixture into the pie shell, add the top crust and bake.
French Canadian Tourtiere History
My husband grew up in Quebec during his early years. Tourtiere is a classic French Canadian meat pie. It is referred to as Christmas eve tourtiere.
I had never heard of it until he introduced me to it. If you have never had it, I will tell you it is truly delicious.
Just like other cultures, tourtiere just as many secret family recipes as Ukrainians have pierogies and cabbage rolls. There is some interesting history on this classic dish.
Did you know:
- There are LOTS of secret family recipes for tourtiere in Quebec (and they don’t like to share their secrets).
- The SPICE BLEND is the key (hence the secret). It consists of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
- Usually made with meat (pork, beef and veal).
- Baked in a flaky double crust.
- It can be made with salmon or trout.
- Traditionally served on Christmas Eve at Réveillon (a late-night feast after midnight mass).
What to serve with tourtiere?
Since this is a very hearty dish, you really only need a few simple sides. Here are a few suggestions:
- a variety of pickles like pickled beets, dill pickles, pickled onions or zucchini pickles
- homemade ketchup is a great side for this recipe
- a simple holiday slaw is an excellent choice as well
- For the crust, feel free to use homemade. If you are pressed for time or do not like making pie dough, a store-bought double crust is perfectly fine. That is what I used in this recipe.
- To make the cute little cutouts, I used *(affiliate) mini cookie cutters.
- *(affiliate) Red lentils work best for this recipe. The texture most resembles the meat found in the traditional recipe.
Can you prepare the filling ahead of time?
Yes absolutely, especially cooking the lentils. You can have them ready in the fridge a few days ahead of time. Mix them in with the potatoes before adding them to the pie crust.
Can you freeze leftovers?
Yes you sure can. In fact, I like to make a couple of these meat pies at a time and bring one out for New Years’ Eve dinner.
Why not start a new tradition in your house with this Red Lentil Meatless Tourtiere Pie. Replacing meat lentils is easy, delicious and healthy!! Happy Holidays from our house to yours.
What are some HOLIDAY TRADITIONS in your house?
Need some holiday treat ideas? Here are a few.
- Holiday White Chocolate Mini Popcorn Balls
- Quick & Easy Festive Holiday Croissants
- Boozy Bourbon Chocolate Fudge
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Red Lentil Meatless Mock Tourtiere Pie
- 2 pie crusts (I used frozen double crust/thawed
- 4 cups cooked red lentils
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (cooked)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil (to cook the onions)
- Turn oven to 375º F.
- Rinse and cook lentils according to package directions (I used 1 cup dry to 3 cups water) ***salt after cooking***.
- Drain in metal sieve, and mash slightly. Set aside.
- Cut, cook and mash potato. Set aside.
- Cook chopped onion in about 1 tbsp. of oil until translucent. Set aside.
- Combine lentils, potato, onions and seasonings in a bowl.
- Place mixture into the bottom pie shell.
- Cut some slits (or pretty cutouts in the top crust).
- Wet the edges of the bottom crust with water, place on top crust and press to seal.
- Bake in oven for approximately 50-60 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool slightly before slicing.