Open-Face Vegetarian Potato Pie

Italian vegan pie

Open-Face Vegetarian Potato Pie

This vegetarian ‘pie’ was inspired by my mother-in-law’s rustic ‘rapa and patata‘ recipe. Her recipe is usually made to be a side dish and as many Italian dishes go, pairs perfectly with some crusty bread. We wanted to change it a bit to avoid eating so much bread so we fancied it up, and it is delicious! The traditional rapa-and-patata is nestled within a thin layer of potatoes that are brushed with pesto for added flavour. The presentation of this pie is beautiful and our friends and family loved getting their own little ‘pie’ at a recent dinner we hosted. 

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individual open face potato vegetable pie

For this dish we used a 1.5 pound package of Little Potato Company fingerling potatoes. Half of them are sliced thinly, brushed with pesto, then layered to hold the filling and crisp up on the edges. The other half is mashed and combined with a savoury mix of rapini, red bell pepper and onion. Put it all together, and you have a great savoury dish that looks pretty too! How can you go wrong?  The pesto is optional but it does add a nice dimension of flavour and the hot chili flakes give it a nice “kick”.

open faced vegetable pie with potato crust

This dish can go from a main to a side depending on portion size and is a great accompaniment to any main entree. We like the size and taste of these potatoes but you could definitely use any type of potato on hand.

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Italian vegan pie

Open-Face Vegetarian Potato Pie

  • Author: Nonna’s Way


This vegetable dish can be a main or side dish, depending on portion size. A savoury mix of potato, rapini, red bell peppers, and onion fills a potato-lined personal ‘pie’. Easy, delicious, and beautiful!


  • 1 bunch fresh rapini
  • 1.5lb fingerling potatoes washed
  • 2 tbsp pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • ½ red bell pepper, small diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil, EVOO
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chili flakes


Heat oven to 375F.

  • Prepare the rapini by removing the tough ends and old leaves. Cut into shorter lengths and wash several times.
  • Bring water to boil in a medium pot, add the cleaned rapini, cook for 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a separate medium pot, bring water to a boil and add salt to taste.
  • Add the potatoes.
  • After 5 minutes, remove half of the potatoes and set aside.
  • Cook the remainder of the potatoes until soft for mashing, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes, place in a bowl and roughly mash these cooked potatoes with a fork leaving them somewhat chunky then set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat and add the diced onion. Cook for 3 minutes stirring often.
  • Add the diced red pepper and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Roughly chop the cooked rapini and add to the onion/pepper mix, lower the heat to medium.
  • Add ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp ground black pepper and ⅛ tsp chili flakes. Stir well and continue to cook for about 4 minutes to incorporate the seasonings.
  • Add in the mashed potatoes, stirring over heat for another 3 minutes to combine.
  • Lightly grease 3 X 1″ high by 4″ round ramekins with olive oil.
  • Slice the reserved potatoes into ⅛” long slices. Line the ramekins, so that the slices touch each other and hang over the edge by about ¼”.
  • Spread 2 tsp of pesto and a sprinkle of salt over the potatoes in each ramekin. 
  • Fill with the rapini mixture.
  • Place the filled ramekins on a baking sheet, place in heated oven and bake until the potato slice edges are browned.



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