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A bowl of shepherd's pie topped with some fresh sage.
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Vegan Mushroom and Pumpkin Shepherd's Pie

This vegan shepherd's pie is a modern, plant based version of the classic - a rich mushroom and lentil base, topped with creamy mashed potato and pumpkin. Total cold weather comfort food.
Course Mains
Cuisine British
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 319kcal

Ingredients

Mushroom and Lentil Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 250 grams button mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small sprig rosemary leaves finely minced
  • 2 sage leaves finely minced*
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
  • 60 ml dry red wine**
  • 625 ml vegetable broth
  • 150 grams brown lentils
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot*** powder + 2 tablespoons water

Pumpkin and Potato Topping

  • ½ large hokkaido pumpkin or another pumpkin variety
  • 500 grams 2 generous cups potatoes
  • 1 cup cooking water you'll probably need less, but best to reserve extra
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Mushroom and Lentil Filling

  • In a large, heavy bottomed pan, oven safe if possible, heat the oil over medium. Add the mushrooms and sear for 5 minutes. Avoid stirring.
  • Add the onions and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, sage, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper, and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the red wine and stir to release any spices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the vegetable broth and increase the heat to high to bring to a rolling boil. Add the lentils and reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered, or until the lentils are cooked. Make the topping in the meantime.
  • Taste and season if needed. Whisk the arrowroot powder into the 2 tablespoons of water and then stir it in to the filling. It should thicken immediately. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Pumpkin and Potato Topping

  • Peel the pumpkin if necessary and cut it into small chunks, about 4cm (1.5 in.). Wash and chop the potatoes to the same size.
  • Place both into a medium pot, cover with water, and add a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer, covered, until the vegetables can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  • Drain the water, reserving a cupful, and let the potatoes and pumpkin dry in the pot for a few minutes before mashing.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the vegetables before adding half of the reserved water, oil, salt, and pepper. Add more water as needed to get a smooth, spreadable consistency. If it's too thick it'll be difficult to spread over the mushroom filling.
  • To Bake the Pie
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). If you used an oven safe dish, simply spread the topping in an even layer over the mushroom base. If not, spoon the filling into a baking dish and top with the potato pumpkin mixture.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and the sauce has started to bubble up around the edges. Serve hot.
  • Leftovers can be frozen and keep well for 3-4 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Reheat in the oven if possible to keep the layers distinct.

Notes

• If you want to make this ahead of time, make both the filling and topping, then refrigerate for up to a couple of days before baking. Leftovers freeze well. 
* You can substitute a tablespoon of herbs du provence for the fresh herbs, or a teaspoon each of dried oregano and rosemary.
** If you prefer not to use wine, you can use a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar instead. If you ever have leftover red wine, freeze it in an ice cube tray and then store in a sealed container and add a cube to mushroom and tomato based dishes.
*** I've tested with tapioca here and it needs 3 tablespoons in that case. You may need a bit less if using cornstarch compared to arrowroot but I haven't tried.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1317mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g