This lentil and sweet potato shepherd’s pie is flavourful and hearty- absolutely perfect for autumn and winter dinners! Serve with biscuits or bread and a side salad for the ultimate cozy feast.
SWEET POTATO MASH
- 6 heaping cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes (1-inch dice)
- 1 tbsp oil (extra virgin olive, coconut, or ghee)
- 4–6 tbsp unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp oil (this can be extra virgin olive, avocado, coconut, or ghee- anything good quality with a relatively high smoke point)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp-1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional but recommended for some heat)
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 small beet, peeled and very finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 3 cups cooked French green or black lentils (from 1 cup dry- see note)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce (such as Wizard’s Organic or 365 Organic)
- 1 tbsp dark miso or tamari
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce or tomato paste (barbecue sauce will make it more flavourful!)
- 2 1/2 tbsp light spelt flour or all purpose flour (or arrowroot for gluten-free option)
- 1 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
- Steam the sweet potatoes: Place the sweet potatoes in a steamer basket over a pot filled with a couple inches of water and steam for 15-20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Transfer into a bowl.
- Prepare the shepherd’s pie: Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat- preferably one that is oven-proof. (I used my 11-inch Lodge cast iron skillet.) Once warm, add the onion and garlic. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme, followed by the finely chopped beet, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 more minutes before adding the cooked lentils.
- Whisk together the broth, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast, miso, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce or tomato paste, and flour in a bowl and pour into the skillet. Bring to a low simmer over medium heat and cook just until the mixture starts to thicken. Stir in the peas and remove from the heat. It may seem like the mixture is too liquid-y, but it thickens considerably once baked.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher. Stir in the oil, non-dairy milk, salt, and garlic powder.
- Spoon the sweet potato mash over top of the lentil mixture in the skillet and spread it in an even layer as close to the edges of the skillet as possible.
- Transfer the skillet into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Allow the shepherd’s pie to cool for at least five minutes. Slice into 6 wedges and use a large spoon to serve.
- NOTE: If you do not have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the lentil mixture into a casserole dish with similar dimensions to a 10-12 inch skillet and bake the shepherd’s pie in that instead.
To cook lentils, rinse lentils through a fine mesh sieve to remove any dirt and debris. Transfer to a medium pot and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn town heat to medium-high and maintain a rolling simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not falling apart, 20-25 minutes. Add more water as needed. Once cooked, drain and proceed with the recipe.
Variations: Use 3 cups of cooked chickpeas or white beans instead of the lentils. You can also try white potatoes in the topping.
- Category: Dinner, Lunch
- Cuisine: North American, European
Keywords: vegan lentil sweet potato shepherd's pie