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Photos and recipe by: Angela Tucker

Growing up in part with French-Canadian culture, there were certain customs that were followed at Christmas time. One of those was staying up late with my huge family on Christmas Eve as part of the “reveillon”. Another cultural element to the holiday season was “tourtière” which, if you haven’t heard of it already, is basically a pie filled with meat.

Since Christmas falls on a Monday this year, I thought it would be a great idea to give you a meatless spin on this traditional dish that you can share and enjoy with your family and friends. While I believe that this wonderful time of year is meant to be enjoyed, and that we should never feel guilty about the foods we eat, it also never hurts to have some lighter, healthier, and vegetarian/vegan versions on our traditional recipes. Compared to a traditional meaty, heavy tourtière this one is much lower in saturated fat and trans fat – you can read more about that here.

Saturated fat comes from animal-based foods, such as meats, high fat dairy, lard, shortening, and butter. Most pie crusts are made with lard or shortening, but did you know you can use oil instead (which significantly lowers the saturated fat)? For this recipe, we are swapping the lard/shortening with olive oil, and trading the meat with a flavourful rice and lentil mixture.

I have been making Lentil and Wild Rice Tourtière for my family at Christmas time for the past few years to offer them something a little different, and it is always enjoyed. In fact, it has now replaced the traditional tourtière at the Christmas dinner table.

Lentil and Wild Rice Tourtière

Makes: 1 pie (10″)

This wild rice tourtiere is a lighter and healthier version that is perfect for your upcoming Christmas dinner.


1/2 cup of wild rice and brown rice blend (dry)
3/4 cup of green lentils (dry)
3/4 cup black lentils (dry)
5 cups veggie broth (Use vegetarian beef flavoured if you can find it)
1 1/2 tbsp of canola oil
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Herbs and spices of choice, such as sage, thyme, parsley or basil

1 cup plus 3 tbsp of olive oil
5 tbsp of water
3 cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp of salt
Optional: Herbs and spices of choice, such as sage, thyme, parsley or basil


For the filling: 

  1. Rinse the the rice and lentils under cool water, then add to a medium size pot along with the broth. Bring to a boil and then cook on medium heat until the rice and lentils are soft and most of the moisture has absorbed (around 40 minutes).
  2. While the rice and lentils are cooking, chop the onion and mince the garlic. Warm the oil in a large pan on the stove and cook the onion and garlic until soft.
  3. Once the rice/lentil mixture is done, place in the pan with the onion and garlic. Adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

For the crust*:

  1. Measure out the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and herbs/spices.
  2. In a small bowl, add the oil and water, then whisk for a minute to emulsify.
  3. Make a little well in the middle of the flour and pour the oil/water mixture into it. Stir from the outside in just until the dough has formed (the trick to a flaky crust is to not overwork the dough). For visual instruction, see watch this YouTube video. (My recipe is an adaptation from the one in this video).

*If you are not into making your crust or are strapped for time, feel free to pick up some pre-made crusts from the store.

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F
  2. Cut the dough in half and form into balls.
  3. Place a layer of plastic wrap on top of a cutting board, then place the first ball of dough on it. Add another sheet of plastic wrap on top of the dough (there should be plastic wrap under and on top of the dough).
  4. Use the palm of your hands to gently start flattening the dough.
  5. Use a rolling pin to gently roll out the dough from the inside out, being careful not to let the edges break apart too much. Roll the dough out to just under 1/4” (or until it is a diameter that is a little over 1.5 inches wider than the pie pan you are using).
  6. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap, place the pie pan on top of the rolled out dough on the cutting board, and flip the cutting board on top of the pie pan so that the dough easily transfers into the pie pan. Gently press the dough into the pan and remove the plastic wrap.
  7. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for the second ball of dough.
  8. Take the filling out of the fridge and spoon it into the dough-lined pie pan, pressing it gently so you can fit in as much as you can.
  9. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap from the second ball of rolled out dough, and gently transfer to the top of the pie.
  10. Press and form the dough all around the pie so the bottom and top crusts hold together. Cut off the excess dough. Gently press a fork around the edge of the crust if you want to make it a little fancier.
  11. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 30 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting into it!

Nutrition Info:
(Per 1/16 of a pie)

Calories: 310
Fat: 16g
Saturated fat: 2.3g
Carbohydrates: 32g
Fibre: 4g
Protein: 10g
Iron: 2.5mg
Sodium: 98mg (depending on what type of broth is used)
Folate: 105 DFE

*Nutrition analysis completed using

Angela Tucker is a Registered Dietitian from rural Manitoba. Angela first became vegan for compassionate reasons but soon realized other ways a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet positively impacts the planet and health. To learn more about her philosophy on food, visit her blog PrairieSprout. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.