Shepherd’s pie is one of those satisfying comfort dishes. Traditionally Shepherd’s pie was prepared as a way of using up leftover meat, which served as the filling.The bottom of the pie dish was lined with mashed potatoes and then additional potatoes were spread on top of the filling. For our take on a vegan Shepherd’s pie—we substituted protein-rich French green lentils for the meat, added lots of vegetables, and topped our pie with roasted, smashed, potatoes. The result is a hearty, delicious, and exceptionally healthy meal.
The onions, garlic, carrots, and celery are first added to the pan.
The broccoli and peas get added later so they stay firm.
At the same time, the potatoes go in the oven, cut side down.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups peeled and sliced carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups stemmed and sliced cremini mushrooms, cut 1/4-inch thick
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 cups French green lentils, rinsed
1/4 cup red wine
4 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon organic vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled, halved lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
3/4 cup frozen baby peas
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat until shimmering. Stir in the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring continually for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in the lentils, red wine, 4 cups of the vegetable broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and mix well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes until the lentils begin to get tender.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add the potatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well until the potatoes are evenly coated with the oil. Place them cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet and place in the preheated oven. Cook the potatoes until they are fork tender and the undersides are brown—about 20 minutes. Once slightly cooled, place the potatoes face down on a cutting board and using a wooden mallet or the back of a wooden spoon, gently press down on each potato until it is slightly smashed.
Meanwhile, stir in the broccoli, frozen peas, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper into the lentil and vegetable mixture. Cook for 9 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a 9-inch round baking dish. Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth to the empty pot and deglaze the pan, scraping any leftover brown bits. Pour the broth along with the bits into the dish with the lentils and vegetables (this will add additional moisture to the casserole.) Completely cover the top of the casserole dish with the potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot.