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Vegan shepherd’s pie made with lentils, mushrooms, and mashed sweet potatoes

Shepherd’s pie is a classic comfort food traditionally made with minced meat and topped with mashed potatoes. This vegan version swaps out the meat for lentils and mushrooms, creating a hearty and flavorful dish that’s perfect for vegans and meat-eaters alike. With the addition of mashed sweet potatoes on top, this shepherd’s pie is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients.

Region and History

Shepherd’s pie has its roots in British cuisine and is believed to have originated as a way to use up leftover meat and vegetables. Over the years, it has become a popular dish in many countries around the world, with variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup dried green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon flour (all-purpose or gluten-free)

For the Mashed Sweet Potatoes:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Lentil Filling:
    • In a saucepan, combine the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed.
    • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
    • Add the chopped mushrooms, carrots, and celery to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 7-8 minutes.
    • Stir in the dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked lentils to the skillet and mix well.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, soy sauce, and flour. Pour this mixture over the lentil and vegetable mixture, stirring to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat.
  2. Prepare the Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
    • Place the diced sweet potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
    • Drain the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mash the sweet potatoes until smooth and creamy.
  3. Assemble the Shepherd’s Pie:
    • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    • Transfer the lentil filling to a baking dish and spread it out evenly.
    • Spoon the mashed sweet potatoes on top of the lentil filling, using a spatula to spread them out evenly.
    • Bake the shepherd’s pie in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are lightly golden and the filling is bubbling around the edges.
  4. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Remove the shepherd’s pie from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
    • Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

FAQ

Can I make this shepherd’s pie ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the shepherd’s pie ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Just be sure to add an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time if baking from chilled.

Can I use different vegetables in the filling?

Absolutely! Feel free to customize the filling with your favorite vegetables or whatever you have on hand. Peas, corn, bell peppers, and spinach are all great options.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

The filling can easily be made gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour or omitting the flour altogether. Just be sure to check that your soy sauce or tamari is gluten-free if needed.

Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then bake in the oven until heated through.

Conclusion

This vegan shepherd’s pie is a delicious and wholesome twist on a classic comfort food favorite. With hearty lentils, savory mushrooms, and creamy mashed sweet potatoes, it’s a meal that’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking for a delicious and nutritious meal to enjoy, this recipe is sure to become a new go-to in your kitchen.

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