This Irish vegan shepherd’s pie recipe can be made ahead and is the perfect traditional St. Patrick’s day meal. It even makes for a wonderful vegan Thanksgiving dinner.
I love shepherd’s pie but don’t like the ground beef or lamb it is traditionally made with, thus the inspiration for this make-ahead vegan Shepherd’s pie recipe made of fluffy mashed potatoes, protein-packed lentils, and a savory sauce.
This traditional Irish recipe makes for a perfect St. Patrick’s day meal or it even makes for a wonderful vegan Thanksgiving dinner–at least in my world!
Lentils are the perfect ground beef substitute. You can use lentils as a substitute for almost any ground beef recipe because they are the same shape and size as ground beef. Cook them in vegetable broth and seasonings to flavor them, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
Lentils are packed with a high content of protein, folate and iron. Lentils contain more folate (vitamin B6) than any other unfortified plant food and offer a high dose of blood-fortifying iron.
They are a great source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin, and fiber. The fiber improves digestion and aids in leveling blood sugar, lower cholesterol and cut the risk of heart disease.
This make-ahead vegan shepherd’s pie is:
Low in saturated fat
High in dietary fiber
High in manganese
High in potassium
Very high in vitamin C
Looking for other St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Try Irish soda bread made without eggs or dairy:
- 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, thoroughly washed and diced
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegan butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 32 ounces vegetable stock (about 4 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained (about 10.5 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder + a little broth
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheight and prepare a 2-quart baking dish or 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.
- In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, add potatoes and just enough hot water to cover the potatoes; genorously salt potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil potatoes until fork tender (about 20 minutes). Transfer to a strainer and thoroughly drain water. Return potatoes to pot and beat potatoes with an electric mixer on high speed until potatoes are smooth and creamy. Stir in butter and desired amount of salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Cover and set aside.
- While potatoes are cooking, in a large saucepan on medium heat, warm olive oil, erduce heat to medium and add onions. Saute until onions are transparent and lightly caramelized (about 4 minutes). Add garlic, salt and pepper and continue cooking about 1 minute more.
- Add stock, lentils, and thyme to onions. Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cook until lentils are tender (about 35-40 minutes); stirring occasionally.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together a few tablespoons of starch into a little of the broth mixture until cornstarch is dissolved (this prevents the starch from clumping and helps it dissolve into the soup evenly). Stir into soup, add unthawed vegetables, and stir until well combined. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to prepared baking dish. By spoonsful, add potatoes across mixture and using the back of the spoon or fork, gently smooth out potatoes and, if desired, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a pinchful of time. Bake for 10-15minutes or until potatoes are a golden brown.
- Allow to cool about 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Store leftovers (if any) in the fridge up to 2-3 days and reheat in the microwave.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker