Here’s some lightened up comfort food for you. Whenever I’m craving something not so super healthy….I try and make it at least a little more wholesome. Well, this vegan shepherd’s pie was just the thing! It is so satisfying and delicious! Plus it’s loaded with veggies and legumes so it leaves me feeling free from guilt! 🙂 This delicious recipe is a perfect option for your meatless Mondays. You will not miss the meat in this amazingly scrumptious dish.
Now I won’t lie to you.
Yes, there’s a bit of prep work involved here. But oh is it ever worth it! The good news is you can prepare this dish ahead of time, saving you the prep work at dinner time. If you’re into meal prepping and planning like I am, you can have this completely assembled in your baking dish and refrigerated from the night before. Then when you’re ready to bake, just toss it in the oven!
To save you a little time, I’ve got four tips for you.
- Use canned lentils instead of cooked dry lentils. (Unless, like me, you often have them precooked in your fridge.)
- Use frozen carrots instead of fresh. (I prefer the flavour of fresh, but this will save precious time.)
- Use garlic powder instead of mincing garlic. (Again, fresh is best, but this will also save precious time on prep work.)
- Once cooked and drained, mash your potatoes in the same pot you boiled them in. Now you don’t have to wash an extra bowl.
Once you’ve mashed your potatoes, if you find yourself wanting a “creamier” texture, add a couple tablespoons of your favourite dairy free milk. I usually use soy milk or my homemade cashew milk. Additionally, you may want to add some plant based butter or margarine! In the interest of keeping this lighter in calories, I left out the butter. My food mentality is that every little bit helps!
Since I typically do a lot of meal prep early in the week, I usually have precooked lentils in my fridge. But again, if you don’t have the time to cook your lentils, you may sub for canned. Just toss them together with your sautéed veggies, and no one will ever know!
Once all the components are ready, you will transfer the veggie and lentil mixture into an ovenproof baking dish. Then layer them with your mashed potatoes. I like to season the potatoes with a sprinkle of paprika to add some colour, but this is completely optional. However, if you’d like to kick this up a notch, try seasoning with cayenne pepper. And there you have it, a beautiful, delicious, and comforting vegan shepherd’s pie.
If you do have the time, you may even want to make two of these vegan shepherd’s pie recipes. You can freeze one for later (before baking!), saving you tons of time for an easy and quick meal next time. If cooing from frozen, you will need to add at least 15 minutes to the covered cooking time. Otherwise, thaw the frozen pie first, and bake as usual.
Want more comforting wholesome dishes?
I urge you to try my Vegan Sloppy Joes which you may also eat as a soup for a low carb comfort meal. Or give these delicious Slow Cooker Baked Beans a try. I’ve been asked to make them again and again!