This layered vegan shepherd's pie has a sweet and savory topping of mashed butternut squash and sweet potatoes: a delightful holiday meal.
Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Sheperd’s Pie
Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious vegan Thanksgiving entree with plant-based meat, cajun seasoning and a veggie-packed filling.
There are so many classic holiday recipes that involve meat. From turkey to roast beef, it’s hard to find a vegetarian-friendly entree that feels as decadent as a traditional holiday meal. That’s why I decided to develop this recipe for a fully vegan and gluten-free shepherd’s pie.
This pie is topped with a vitamin-packed mash of sweet potatoes and butternut squash for an ultra seasonal flavor. The filling gets protein from plant-based ground meat and so many veggies. Even non-vegetarians will be coming back for seconds!
Ingredients for Vegetarian Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie is loaded with tons of veggies for a nutrient-dense meal. Here’s what you need to make this recipe.
Butternut-Sweet Potato Topping
First, prepare the topping for your shepherd’s pie. You’ll need:
Butternut squash. A small squash should be perfect for this recipe.
Sweet potatoes. You can use yams or orange sweet potatoes.
Garlic powder. You could also use a minced garlic clove.
Dried parsley and oregano. Another savory herb like thyme will also work.
Shepherd’s Pie Filling
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie has a hint of spice from Cajun seasoning and tons of seasonal fall vegetables. Here’s what you ned:
Plant-based meat crumbles. Use any ground meat substitute you like, such as Beyond Meat. You can also use crumbled tempeh if you like.
Cajun seasoning. Use store-bought or make your own!
Vegetable stock. You can also make your own veggie broth or use low-sodium store-bought broth.
Frozen peas and corn. Fresh will also work, but if you’re making this in the winter or fall, frozen might be better.
You can store leftover sweet potato shepherd’s pie in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Reheat leftovers on the stove or in the microwave until hot.
Make-Ahead Shepherd’s Pie
If you’re planning ahead, you can prepare both the topping and the filling in advance. Keep them in airtight containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Then assemble and bake the pie just before serving.
Ingredients Swaps and Substitutions
If you don’t have all of the ingredients for this recipe, no worries. These swaps and substitutions work well:
Use sweet or yellow onion instead of red onion for the filling.
Substitute fresh garlic in the filling with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
If you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you can replace the plant-based meat with real ground beef or chicken.
Likewise, you can use chicken broth instead of veggie broth if you prefer.
Other frozen veggies, such as green beans or diced bell pepper, will also work.
1(10 oz.) bagplant-based meat crumbles, such as Beyond Meat
1mediumred onion, chopped
3mediumcarrots, peeled + chopped
2garlic cloves, minced
1TbspExtra virgin olive oil
1Tbspcajun seasoning(See Notes!)
3cupslow-sodium vegetable stock or broth
1/2cupfrozen corn kernels
ROAST THE VEGETABLES:
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel, seed, and dice 1 small butternut squash (about 4 cups). Peel and dice 3 medium sweet potatoes (4 to 5 cups). Place both in a large bowl.
Add the olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley, and dried oregano, and toss to coat. Transfer to the baking sheet and arrange in an even layer.
Bake until the squash and sweet potatoes are golden-brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.
MAKE THE FILLING:
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 10-inch oven-safe high-sided skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, Cajun seasoning, and salt, and stir to combine.
Add the plant-based meat crumble and cook, breaking it up into smaller pieces, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and 2 tablespoons tomato paste, and stir until combined and the tomato paste is dissolved. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the frozen corn and peas and stir until well incorporated. Simmer until the vegetables are slightly tender and the sauce is slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
ASSEMBLE + BAKE:
When the squash and sweet potatoes are ready, transfer them to a large bowl (or you can mash directly on the baking sheet). Mash with a fork or potato masher until completely broken up and smooth with a few chunks. Spread the mash over the filling until evenly covered, leaving a little bit of a border so you can still see the filling.
Place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake uncovered until the top is golden-brown and the edges are bubbling, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with more dried parsley, if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
MAKE AHEAD:The vegetable mash and filling can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated in separate containers. Assemble and bake as directed, adding 10 minutes or so to the bake time.