Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

vegetarian shepherd's pieWith temperatures dropping, winter is finally here! Winter calls for warm and cozy meals- warm soup, freshly baked bread, and of course shepherd’s pie.

Shepherd’s pie is traditionally beef with a potato “crust”, a hearty dish perfect for cold winter nights. This recipe has all the rich and delicious flavor, minus the meat. Shepherd’s pie without the meat? Yes, and it’s delicious!

This dish is so easy to make, and is loaded with vegetables and oh-so delicious flavor. I love making this on a weeknight, and then we have delicious leftovers for lunches for the rest of the week. Way more satisfying than a sandwich!

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Yield: 6-8 servings

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

    Filling

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained

  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or beef stock)*

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • 10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
  • Mashed Potatoes (Topping)

  • 3 pounds potatoes

  • 2 tbsp milk

  • 1-2 tbsp butter

  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • *After lots of experimenting, we've discovered the meat eaters in our family greatly prefer the beef stock version. I enjoy both versions, but if you are serving picky eaters who aren't fully on board with the whole lentil shepherd's pie idea, beef stock is a great compromise.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a large baking dish. I use a large Le Creuset stoneware dish, but a 9x13 inch pan will work!

  2. Prepare potatoes, washing thoroughly and peeling if desired. Slice potatoes into quarters and boil for 15-20 minutes until tender.
  3. 
Once potatoes are cooked, drain and transfer into a dry pot or bowl. Mash until smooth and add milk and butter to taste. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. 
While potatoes cook, sauté onion and garlic (with a little olive oil) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté until onions are translucent and garlic is lightly browned.
  5. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and add lentils, thyme and stock. Stir and bring to a low boil.
  6. Once mixture boils, reduce heat and simmer uncovered. (Optional- add 1/4 -1/2 cup white wine to bring a little French flair to this traditional English/Scottish dish).
  7. After 25 minutes, add frozen vegetable and stir until well combined. Cover, and cook until lentils are tender (total cook time 35-40 minutes).
  8. If desired, thicken filling by adding a few tablespoons of mashed potatoes. Or, add 2 tbsp of cornstarch and whisk until well combined.
  9. Transfer lentil filling to baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. I used the back of a spoon to spread potatoes in an even coat.
  10. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes begin to brown. You may need to place a baking sheet under your dish to catch overflow. My dish is deep enough that this has not been a problem.
  11. Allow shepherd’s pie to cool before serving. Sauce will thicken as in cools. Enjoy!
  12. Leftovers? Allow to cool completely before covering. Leftovers may be keep in the fridge for a few days. We love leftover shepherd’s pie for lunch at work. It reheats nicely and is way more satisfying than a sandwich!
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Adapted from The Minimalist Baker

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