This post is sponsored by the frozen veggie fairies over at Dr. Praeger’s, whose heirloom bean burgers make this veggie taco pie recipe all the more filling and delicious. As with all opinions on this site, I only give my endorsement when genuine. Thank you as always for supporting the brands that make this site possible.
Frozen veggie burgers were one of my four main food groups in college.
When I lived off campus junior and senior year, the closest supermarket was a Whole Foods a mile away, which for those of us living in the bubble of college hill, might as well have been in a different city. So once a month I would make my pilgrimage there and stock up in the freezer aisle on healthy staples that would offset the biweekly late night pizza and chicken finger Fridays.
Half the time I would come home to discover my go-to boxes of veggie patties and soy nuggets lying empty, ravaged by one of my drunk housemates the night before, and then considerately placed back on the freezer shelf. But on more auspicious evenings, usually during exams, I’d try to figure out interesting ways to use them.
One of my favorites was in some sort of tortilla package—usually, a cheesy quesadilla or wrap (since wraps were the gluten-free bread of the early 2000’s). Recently, I once again came into a wealth of frozen veggie burgers, thanks to my friends at Dr. Praeger’s. And since I only have one drunk roommate now to pilfer my stash, I’ve been getting creative with some throwback dishes like this easy taco pie recipe.
It’s taken a little bit of adjustment getting used to my new apartment in Brooklyn. For the first time I’m living outside the organic golden triangle of Fairway, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. In fact, I think it’s the furthest I’ve lived from the latter since undergrad. And because there are very few casual restaurants or takeout places in DUMBO, I’m eating the majority of my meals at home.
So I’ve been learning to use my freezer as an extension of my pantry again, and loading up on some quick fix items to make sure that when I’m the one coming home tipsy from happy hour drinks in the city, I don’t have to use more skill than the average neighborhood raccoon to procure dinner.
This recipe, on the other hand, was a result of other more sober triumphs—a preemptive Cinco de Mayo dinner party I hosted a few weeks ago.
I’ve been dying to make a classy taco pie for ages, spruced up with the kind of toppings my college self would have never dreamed of (mainly, because kale wasn’t cool yet). Corn tortillas are my favorite way to get away with gluten-free crusts when I’m too lazy to make one from scratch. And in this dish, they’re quickly pan-fried until crispy, then layered with sautéed leeks, cherry tomatoes, kale (obviously), roasted sweet potatoes, a modest sprinkling of cheese and, yes, chopped up Heirloom Bean Veggie Burgers.
If you aren’t the type of person who stashes multiple boxes of veggie burgers in your freezer, fear not. You can easily bulk up this taco pie with a can of rinsed black beans. But I love the texture that the cake-y veggie patties give this cheesy Mexican casserole, and all the protein and fiber that they pack with it (6 different types of beans and lentils!).
If you’re looking for a vegetarian Cinco de Mayo main that’s produce-centric, yet topped with just enough gooey cheese to get your college self interested, then this veggie taco pie is your ticket.
And in case you’re looking for other more meaty Cinco de Mayo mains, I also have lots of inspo in the archives here.
From one healthy hedonist, to another,
Veggie Taco Pie with Sweet Potato, Beans, and Kale
This recipe was brought to you by the frozen veggie fairies over at Dr. Praeger’s. Thank you as always for supporting the brands that make this site possible. Products featured on Feed Me Phoebe are few and far between, and as with all opinions on this site, I only give my endorsement when genuine. And I couldn’t be a bigger fan of these burgers that kept me well fed throughout four years of pre-real world living.