Creamy Vegan Shepherd's Pie
As far as cozy winter food goes, it's hard to beat a Shepherd's Pie. It's hearty and warming, perfect for the days when the sun sets at 5 and it's too cold to leave the house. As much as we enjoy the traditional version, we also love a plant based option, using lentils in place of ground meat. The tahini is a great substitute here for butter in the mashed potato topping, and adds a rich, creaminess to the filling. Our founder, Rachel's husband and kids enjoyed this dish for dinner the day we shot this picture and gave it a big unanimous thumbs up!
For the Lentil Filling
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped carrots
1 c chopped mushrooms
3 large yellow onions, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar of NY Shuk Matbucha Tomato Sauce*
1½ c brown lentils
3¾ c vegetable broth
¼ c Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
Salt & pepper, to taste
For the Mashed Potato Topping
2 large potatoes, Russets are great here
2 large sweet potatoes, we prefer white sweet potatoes here but regular will work just fine
1 tsp NY Shuk Hawaij
1½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
4 tbsp Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
¼ c oat milk
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 12-inch skillet over medium to medium-high heat until hot. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, you’ll need to transfer the cooked lentil filling to a baking dish when it’s time to bake.
- Add the onions with a couple pinches of salt and sauté for 5 mins, until translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent burning, but not too often so that they can brown. Add the carrots and mushrooms and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic, and rosemary and cook for a final 2 minutes.
- Add the jar of Matchuba (if not using, add all of the substitute ingredients listed below), vegetable broth and lentils. Stir to combine and increase the heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking until the lentils until most of the liquid has been absorbed 25-30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F and start making the topping while the lentils are cooking. Peel potatoes and sweet potatoes, chop into small chunks and place in saucepan with water that just covers vegetables. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Bring the water to boil and cook until vegetables are tender (about 15 mins). Sweet potatoes may cook slightly faster than the potatoes, so either leave them in slightly bigger chunks before boiling or add them to the boiling water 5 minutes after the potatoes. Once soft, drain water and place in a bowl. Add tahini, Hawaij, salt, pepper and oat milk, and mash together until everything is incorporated-- a few lumps is totally fine, we like the added texture!
- Just before assembling the pie, add 1/4 cup tahini to the lentil mixture and stir until well incorporated. Taste again for seasoning and add salt if desired.
- Transfer lentil mixture into oven proof baking dish (or leave in skillet if ovenproof). Spoon mashed vegetables over the lentil filling. Drag a fork through the vegetables to create a pattern or small wells and drizzle with olive oil and salt to create extra crispiness.
- Garnish with extra olive oil, pepper and herbs (we used chives).
*Substitute if you can't find Matchuba: 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz), 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp aleppo pepper or red chili flakes, 2 tbs balsamic vinegar, 1 tbs soy sauce.