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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Whipped Sweet Potato

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

This vegan Shepherd's Pie is a hearty comfort meal perfect for the holidays. Serve this up for Thanksgiving as a delicious plant-based side dish or entree!

VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE with sweet potato, lentils & quinoa!

I'll admit it, traditional Shepherd's pie isn't really my thing. I was never a big fan of meals that had ground beef in them, so when I removed red meat from my diet about 5 years ago, Shepherd's pie wasn't something I missed or craved.

But as I was thinking about plant-powered meals you can serve for the holidays, Shepherd's pie popped into my head. It's definitely not a standard Thanksgiving (or even Christmas) meal, but it totally works this time of year. It's comfort food at its finest, can serve a crowd and is simple to make ahead.

VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE with sweet potato, lentils & quinoa!

Since I know a lot of you are also following a primarily plant-powered diet, the beef had to go. Instead, we're making a lentil + quinoa vegan Shepherd's pie!

I love using quinoa in recipes like this because it acts very similarly to ground beef (at least texturally wise). You might have a hard time making quinoa actually taste like beef, but that's not what we're after. We're after the texture.

Just like in my Sweet Potato + Black Bean Quinoa Chili, the quinoa is there to give you that same “ground beef” feel, so even the meat eaters in your family will enjoy it.

How to make THE BEST Vegan Shepherd's Pie using Lentils + Quinoa!

So this is exactly the same strategy we're using with this vegan Shepherd's pie.  The lentils are giving us the protein and the quinoa is there to give us that ground beef feel.

To boost the flavor of the recipe even more, I cooked the lentils and quinoa in a vegetable broth with some fresh thyme and bay leaves. Honestly, you could just stop here it was so delicious. I'm definitely adding this lentil-quinoa mixture to my meal prep list for next week. I'm thinking it would be awesome on some greens with a garlic-tahini dressing!

But that's for another time. Let's focus on this Shepherd's pie…

How to make THE BEST Vegan Shepherd's Pie using Lentils + Quinoa!

To bulk the base up even more, we're also adding a blend of sauteed mushrooms, carrots, onions and celery.

Not only does this stretch the filling a bit more, but it's another great way to add flavor and texture. And you're also sneaking in more veggies, so that's another win.

Let's all be honest though, what we really love about Shepherd's pie is the taters on top!

How to make THE BEST Vegan Shepherd's Pie using Lentils + Quinoa!

Again, we're bucking tradition a little and making a whipped sweet potato topping instead of white potatoes. You could totally use white potatoes instead, but I am sweet potato-obsessed this time of year and I love the way it tastes.

Making the whipped sweet potato topping is super simple. You just boil your potatoes until they are fork tender, drain the water and use an electric mixer to whip them up. To make them nice and creamy, I add some non-dairy milk and vegan butter.

It's my go-to way of making mashed sweet potatoes and they are heavenly. (<– again, another great addition to your Thanksgiving Day table)

VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE with sweet potato, lentils & quinoa!

It might seem like we have a lot of steps going on in this recipe, but trust me it's easier than it looks.

Your lentils and quinoa will cook while the potatoes are boiling. You'll do your veggie sautee when both of those are done. Then you just gotta mix the filling together, whip the potatoes, layer it up in your dish and pop it in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes.

Start to finish I think it will take you less than an hour to make and again, it's one of those meals that keeps well in the fridge or freezer. You can either make it ahead OR you could use it as a meal prep option for your lunches/dinners throughout the week.

VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE with sweet potato, lentils & quinoa!

Either way, you won't go wrong making this vegan Shepherd's pie this winter. It's hearty, filling, warm comforting, nutrient-dense and everything your body wants on a cold winter night. Hope you enjoy it!

When you end up making the recipe, let me know in the comments or by sharing a photo with me on Instagram by tagging @simplyquinoa or #simplyquinoa. Can't wait to see!

How to make this Vegan Shepherd's Pie

VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE with sweet potato, lentils & quinoa!
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Vegan Shepherd's Pie

This vegan Shepherd's Pie is a hearty comfort meal perfect for the holidays. Serve this up for Thanksgiving as a delicious plant-based side dish or entree!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, British
Keyword shepherds pie, vegan pie, vegan shepherd's pie
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 255 kcal
Author Alyssa

Ingredients

for the sweet potatoes

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

for the filling

  • 3/4 cup green/brown lentils
  • 1/4 cup quinoa I used rainbow
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped button mushrooms about 1 container
  • 1 cup diced white onion about 1/2 a medium
  • 1 cup diced celery about 3 stalks
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot about 1 medium
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder optional

Instructions

  1. Add the sweet potatoes to a pot and top with water. Bring to a rolling boil then cover and let cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the lentils and quinoa to a small saucepan. Cover with 2 cups of broth, the fresh thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
  3. When the potatoes are done cooking, drain the water and add in non-dairy milk, butter, salt and pepper. With an electric mixer, whip potatoes until smooth and creamy. Cover and set aside.
  4. When the lentils are done, preheat the oven to 425ºF and heat the olive oil in a large skillet (or dutch oven) over medium heat.
  5. Add the mushrooms, onion, celery, carrot and garlic powder to the hot skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Add lentil-quinoa mixture and stir to combine. Stir in balsamic vinegar and 1 cup of broth.
  6. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup broth together with the arrowroot powder and in a separate dish. Once smooth, stir into the filling mixture.
  7. Transfer the lentil mixture to a baking dish (I used a 2 qt, but 9x13 will also work). Smooth with a spatula and top with whipped potatoes. Spread the potatoes out in an even layer and smooth over with a spatula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 15 - 20 minutes until potatoes have browned slightly.
  8. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes then serve!
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Sodium 560mg 23%
Potassium 778mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 8g
Protein 8g 16%
Vitamin A 358.2%
Vitamin C 9.5%
Calcium 8%
Iron 14.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

This VEGAN SHEPHERD'S PIE is a hearty comfort meal perfect for the holidays. Serve this up for Thanksgiving as a delicious plant-based side dish or entree!
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  1. Awesome recipe!!!! My husband and I are so glad we tried this recipe. We added chopped spinach as a layer as I use to make shepherds pie with sweets, spinach and ground meat before giving up meat…..we have missed this dish. Thanks for giving it back to us with an awesome recipe.

  2. Have you tried freezing this Shepard pie recipe? Would it be frozen unbaked and would it need to be thawed prior to baking it? It looks marvelous thanks!

  3. Yay you made it! I IG messaged you about possibly making a vegan version of shepherds pie when you asked for some ideas for fall foods. I cannot wait to make this! I think it’ll be especially great for packed lunches.

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