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Shepherd Pie – Vegan Version

mushroom shepherd pie
mushrooms on top of sheperd pie - bottom is turnips, middle is kasha and vegetables

It seems that a traditional shepherd’s pie is chopped meat, potatoes and vegetables piled in layers in a casserole dish. I re-found a delightful vegan version of this recipe in my Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites. I served this vegan version to my company on Chanukah; it was well-received. However, I didn’t care much for all the potatoes in the dish. So I re-wrote the recipe using mashed turnips instead of mashed potatoes, and here is the result. You can try it on your own with either turnips or potatoes, whichever you think you may prefer. My friend Klara suggested you could also substitute sweet potatoes.

Ingredients for Potatoes/Turnips Layer (bottom layer)

  • 4 large turnips, cooked and mashed with the garlic cloves (or 3 cups mashed potatoes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tsp. salt

Ingredients for Vegetables Layer (middle layer)

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (or other vegetable oil or coconut oil)
  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower (or cooked broccoli or cooked brussel sprouts, chopped into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced red or green peppers (optional)
  • 1/2 cup kasha, cooked
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine or sherry
  • 2 tsp. oregano or marjoram or thyme (and/or fresh parsley)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Mushrooms Layer (top layer)

  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch or potato starch (original recipe said corn; I always have potato starch available from Pesach, so I used that)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock (or stock from potatoes, if you used those instead of turnips)
  • ground black pepper to taste

Cooking and Assembling the Shepherd Pie

Bottom Layer: Cook the turnips covered in water. Add garlic cloves. Add salt toward the end. Mash the turnips at the end.

Middle Layer: While turnips are cooking, sauté the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes. Cook the kasha until tender. If vegetables (cauliflower, brussel sprouts and/or broccoli) are not yet cooked (I used leftover vegetables), steam until tender. Mix the onions with the kasha, cauliflower, carrots, and other ingredients for the middle layer.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread the turnips in a lightly oiled baking dish. Layer the vegetables with kasha on top. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes.

Top Layer: combine mushrooms, wine, soy sauce, herbs and stock in a saucepan and cook until mushrooms soften and release their juices, about ten minutes. Add the corn or potato starch and let it continue to cook, stirring until it thickens. Add pepper to taste.

Put mushroom layer on top of the baked bottom two layers. Garnish with scallions or parsley if desired. You can also cut the pie into pieces and put the mushroom “gravy” on top of each one, but I generally like my guests to take if they want, so it works better to have the whole dish in the middle of the table as a choice.

This shepherd pie can be a nice accompaniment to a meat or fish meal, or it can be a main dish alone if you have a guest who is vegan. Or maybe you just found out you are lactose intolerant and crave a casserole. As Ilana-Davita remarked that my last recipe on hummus might be more suitable to a summer post, here’s a tasty dish befitting a cold January evening.

shepherd pie layer - carrots, broccoli, onions, kasha
shepherd pie before the mushrooms are added on top: carrots, broccoli, onions, kasha
Carver says

That looks delicious. I'll have to try it some time.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Leora says

It's quite tasty! I think I will go finish the leftovers now.

Ilana-Davita says

I totally agree that this is the perfect dish for a cold January evening. I am sure that there are lots of variations on this dish, all equally nice.

Leora says

And maybe if I make the meat and potatoes version, my kids will eat it.

Michelle says

It's more healthy than the version I have a recipe for..I wondered if your children would eat it.. My daughter liked everything to be in a separate pile on her plate which she would then eat in order...Now she has eaten things as strange as calf fries when she was in OK....

Leora says

I just checked - unless it's bread, cake or cookies, my kids rarely eat what I post here. Oh, two of them did eat my homemade pickles, and my middle son likes my red fermented cabbage. Yay, fermentation.

Michelle says

Fermentation huh? LOL...but your kids will eat more things as they get older..I am the only adult I know still stuck in eating toddlerhood

Leora says

Nah, you are not the only one. One of my relatives only eats meat and potatoes. Maybe ketchup, too.

Chaya says

Yummy. I love the idea of no meat. We are cutting back dramatically and it is amazing how many recipes can circumvent the meat. This is certainly one of them.

toby says

That sounds delicious! I think I'm going to give it a try...

Leora says

If you do, I'd love to hear how it goes.

Batya says

This post appears in me-ander: Practicing Before Getting Back into the HH Saddle. Check out the others and share, thanks

Jewaicious says

It looks and sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing your tasty delight.

hihorosie says

Yum! I make a vegan shepherd's pie too and add lentils to the veggie mixture, that sometimes includes parsnips. :) Yours looks mighty tasty!

Smitha says

This sounds absolutely delicious! I will definitely be trying this recipe out.

Leora says

Would love to get feedback on how it goes. My kids wouldn't touch it, but I enjoyed it a lot. It is a bit of work to make, however.


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