Shepherd’s Pie is a classic British dish that is typically made with meat, but this vegan version uses lentils as a filling and mashed sweet potatoes as a topping. It’s a hearty and comforting meal that is perfect for cold winter nights. In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make vegan lentil shepherd’s pie with mashed sweet potatoes.
For the lentil filling:
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the mashed sweet potatoes:
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cook the lentils
- In a large saucepan, combine the lentils and vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
2. Cook the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until softened about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrots and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils, thyme, rosemary, tomato paste, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir to combine.
3. Make the mashed sweet potatoes
- In a large pot, cover the sweet potatoes with water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.
- Drain the sweet potatoes and return them to the pot.
- Add the vegan butter and non-dairy milk to the pot and mash until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Assemble the pie
- Transfer the lentil and vegetable mixture to a 9-inch (23cm) deep-dish pie pan.
- Spread the mashed sweet potatoes evenly over the top of the lentil mixture.
5. Bake the pie
- Bake the shepherd’s pie in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned.
- Allow the pie to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Tips for Making the Perfect Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Use brown lentils: Brown lentils hold their shape well and have a slightly nutty flavour that works perfectly in this dish. Avoid using red lentils, which will turn mushy and won’t provide the desired texture.
- Season well: Lentils can be quite bland on their own, so it’s important to season them well. The thyme and rosemary in this recipe provide a lovely depth of flavour, but don’t be afraid to adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Don’t overcook the lentils: Overcooking the lentils can make them mushy and less appetizing. Be sure to check them regularly and remove them from the heat as soon as they’re tender.
- Add some texture: The lentil and vegetable mixture can be quite soft, so adding some texture to the dish can make it more interesting to eat. Consider adding some chopped walnuts or breadcrumbs to the top of the pie before baking.
- Use a deep dish: This recipe makes quite a lot of filling, so be sure to use a deep-dish pie pan to accommodate all of the ingredients.
Health Benefits of Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
This vegan lentil shepherd’s pie is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fibre, which can help to keep you feeling full and satisfied. They’re also a good source of iron, which is important for maintaining healthy red blood cells.
Sweet potatoes are another nutrient-dense ingredient in this recipe. They’re a great source of vitamin A, which is important for eye health, as well as vitamin C, which supports immune function. Additionally, sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
Vegan lentil shepherd’s pie with mashed sweet potatoes is a comforting and hearty meal that’s perfect for cold winter nights. This recipe is easy to make and packed with nutritious ingredients that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. Give it a try and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal that everyone will love.