This hearty vegetarian shepherd’s pie features tempeh, mushrooms, and red wine. It’s as suitable for weeknight dinners as it is for festive gatherings. Serve with a crunchy green salad. (This post has been updated from its original October 2017 version).
Shepherd’s pie (also known as ‘cottage pie’ or hachis parmerntier in French) is a traditional European peasant dish designed to repurpose leftover meat – like ground beef or shredded duck – into a new meal. The meat is typically combined with peas, carrots, and broth to create a rich gravy. This mixture is then layered into a casserole dish, topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, and baked.
The result: a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs meal perfect after a day of strenuous shepherding in the windy mountains. Or just sitting at your desk and answering emails. Tomato, tomahto.
This vegan version of shepherd’s pie is made with meaty seared mushrooms and crumbled tempeh. These are simmered in plenty of aromatics, like mirepoix, garlic, dried herbs, and tomato paste.
For the gravy element, I take a nod from the French and spike the broth with red wine, which gives the pie a festive, warming quality. (It’s also a good way to use up a slightly past-its-prime opened bottle of wine that’s been lingering in the fridge for a week or two).
I like to use white or butter potatoes here because they are less starchy than Idaho. But if you can’t find them, Idaho will work just fine.
Instead of butter and milk, I fortify the mashed potato topping with olive oil and plant-based milk (I find that Oatly oat milk or unsweetened cashew milk work best). I also incorporate some of the starchy potato-cooking water into the mash, which makes it light and fluffy.
If you don’t eat soy (or just aren’t a fan of tempeh), use 1 1/2 cups looked green or black lentils in the filling instead of tempeh; you can add them in at the end of step 4.
For a lighter, lower-carb version, swap out half of the potatoes for cauliflower. If that case, puree the topping in a food processor/Vitamix instead of mashing it with a potato masher, to make sure the cauliflower gets broken down nicely.
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie features tempeh, mushrooms, and red wine. It’s as suitable for weeknight dinners as it is for festive gatherings. Serve with a crunchy green salad.
- 4 medium white or butter potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into half-inch chunks
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence (or another hardy dried herb, like thyme, rosemary, or oregano)
- One 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup mushroom or vegetable broth (low-sodium, if possible)
- 1 cup frozen shelled peas
- Place the potatoes in a medium pot, add a teaspoon of salt, and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar until the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the starchy potato-cooking water. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the milk, reserved water, and 2 tablespoons of the oil and mash again to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Cover and set aside.
- While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 400°F and make the filling.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet, along with the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, Herbes de Provence, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the tempeh and cook until it’s starting to brown, about 5 minutes more.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate.
- Add the mushrooms back in, along with the wine. Simmer for about 2 minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Then add the broth and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off, taste, and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Stir in the peas.
- Transfer the tempeh mixture to a baking dish. Dollop with the potatoes and spread them in an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top is lightly golden. Serve immediately.
- Serving Size: 1/8 of the recipe
- Calories: 280
- Fat: 12.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 30.2 g
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 10 g
Keywords: tempeh, mushrooms, potatoes, shepherd's pie, vegetarian shepherd's pie