Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

January 25, 2012

in Main Meals

Typically, on the weekends I try to make something that will be easy to grab and re-heat for lunches during the week. Sometimes it’s a giant stockpot of soup, or filling for burritos. Other times, it’s simply making hummus that can be used on sandwiches, or if you’re like me, eaten straight out of the bowl with a spoon.


This past weekend, I spent my Sunday in New Hampshire visiting my grandparents, and knew I’d have to scramble Sunday night to throw something together. And after nearly four hours in the car, I was feeling slightly car sick and not at all in the mood to cook.


I walked into my apartment expecting to have several hours worth of to-dos to catch up on, but was pleasantly surprised to smell what can only be described as Thanksgiving. Roasted vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes, thyme…something about that spice is so, so comforting.


Aaron seriously stepped it up and decided to make his own version of shepherd’s pie, using sweet potatoes as the topping since he knows they’re my favorite. I braced myself walking into the kitchen, expecting to see dirty dishes everywhere (Aaron isn’t OCD the way I am and doesn’t clean as he cooks), but all of the dishes were done, the counters were clean, and even the dogs were playing quietly, having already been walked.


And if that weren’t amazing enough, I opened the fridge to find a Passionberry Bliss Kombucha. Some people may prefer wine or beer with dinner, I will always choose kombucha.


Oh, and the shepherd’s pie? Really, really good. Aaron used cubed tempeh to add some protein and covered the tempeh and vegetables in a light, flavorful gravy. Vegan comfort food at its finest.


Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • For the Mashed Potatoes:
  • 6 Medium Organic Sweet Potatoes (or any potato variety you like)
  • 1 Large Clove of Garlic
  • ⅓ C. Plain, Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • For the Veggie Filling:
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Carrots
  • 4 Celery Stalks
  • 13 White Button Mushrooms
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 2 Large Cloves of Garlic
  • 8 oz. Package of Tempeh, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1½ Tsp. Dried Thyme
  • Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
  • For the Gravy:
  • 1 C. Vegetable Broth
  • ¼ C. Red Wine
  • 2 Tbs. Braggs Liquid Aminos (or Tamari)
  • 1 Tbs. Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbs. Tomato Paste
  1. Begin by making the potato topping. Roughly chop one clove of garlic and the potatoes, leaving the skin on if you like. Add potatoes and garlic to a large pot, add cold water until the potatoes are completely covered, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiled, allow to simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Strain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the almond milk, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mash by hand or using a stand mixer and set aside.
  4. Prepare your filling by chopping the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and onion into bite-sized pieces. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, and once hot, add the chopped vegetables. Saute the vegetables in the olive oil for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
  5. While the vegetables are cooking, in a small bowl, prepare the gravy by combining the vegetable broth, red wine, Braggs liquid aminos, gluten-free flour, and tomato paste. Whisk until the flour is well-incorporated and no lumps remain.
  6. Once the vegetables are tender, add the tempeh and gravy and continue to saute on low heat for 2-3 minutes (to let the flavors mingle).
  7. Transfer the vegetable filling and gravy to a deep casserole dish. Drop spoonfuls of mashed potatoes over the top of the filling and spread them out with a spatula. Make some small peaks and valleys in the potatoes so they will brown a bit on the peaks.
  8. Broil the dish on low for 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes the peaks aren't brown, broil on high for 2-3 minutes, but watch carefully so you don't burn the potatoes.
  9. Remove and enjoy!
Feel free to use whatever vegetables you like for your shepherd's pie. Peas and corn would also be great, but whatever you have on hand will probably work.


Food always tastes better when someone else makes it.

ETA: Yes, Aaron took photos as he cooked. I need to bake that man some cookies.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau January 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Not only did he make you dinner and take photos but he also cleaned up after himself??? You are one lucky duckie! AND the shepherds pie looks delicious :)


Amanda January 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm

I know! He earned serious brownie points for doing the dishes.


Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Um, this looks AMAZING! I have never had any kind of Sheperd’s pie before, but I NEED to make this. I have a package of tempeh in my fridge that I was going to use for tacos, but I think I’ll have to do this instead. All I need are a few more sweet potatoes and some mushrooms.
You’re genius! :)
Oh- and just wondering- what type/brand of tempeh do you buy?


Amanda January 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thanks, Lauren! I will pass the positive feedback along to Aaron. :)

We usually get tempeh at TJ’s. I think it’s their own brand?


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 26, 2012 at 4:10 am

So your husband not only cooks, he takes pictures too while mine would either eat a salad or make Annie’s mac n cheese at best. Obviously, I settled too quickly!
I kid, I kid… but seriously, you lucked out!


katie @KatieDid January 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm

in love with that inside the oven picture with the flame. And those peaks and valleys browned so nicely! I had plans to make a mashed cauliflower shepard’s pie the other day with left overs but the cauliflower was so good there were no leftovers. I think I need to try it with sweet potatoes instead though this looks awesome.


Amanda January 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Mashed cauliflower shepherd’s pie is a great idea! I’m making a mental note to try that next time.


Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 29, 2012 at 12:23 am

So, I made this tonight and I am signing your hubby’s praises! It was SO DARN GOOD. My husband loved it too, and I am thrilled to have leftovers.
I think I’m going to make it for a dinner party I’m going to next weekend- we’re doing a beer pairing potluck, and I’m thinking it would pair with a stout, but I’ll have to do some research (and taste-testing).
I’ll have my version of your recipe on my blog either tomorrow or Monday and I’m sure it will involve A LOT of gushing. :)


Amanda January 29, 2012 at 1:18 pm

That’s great! I’m so happy it turned out! I’m looking forward to seeing your version of the recipe!


Kim January 30, 2012 at 3:59 am

holy yum. i’m sure i won’t be as lucky to have someone cook this for me, but it looks too good not to try myself :) i don’t think i’ve had shepherd’s pie since i was a meat eater in high school and it was a big bowl of grease and carbs.


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