A Dish You’ll All Love: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie just became a weeknight meal with this vegetarian version that uses a few key shortcuts. You're sure to love it...and so will your family!
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie - AvivaGoldfarb.com

Shepherd’s Pie just became a weeknight meal with this vegetarian version that uses a few key shortcuts. You’re sure to love it…and so will your family!

Prep Time (30 minutes) + Cook Time (20 minutes) = 50 Minutes

Makes 8 servings

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie - AvivaGoldfarb.com

I’ve never thought of Shepherd’s Pie as an ideal weeknight meal because you have to make the filling and the mashed potatoes to go on top, then bake it all together. But Six O’Clock Scramble subscriber Jennifer Larson sent me her wonderful meatless version that does take a couple of key shortcuts, especially using store-bought mashed potatoes.

I tried a couple of brands and they didn’t have any ingredients I didn’t recognize and tasted a lot like homemade (maybe a touch richer than the ones I usually make). Of course, if you want to make your own or if you have leftover mashed potatoes, use those instead. Serve it with an arugula, orange, and walnut salad.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mashed potatoes, such as Alexia or Bob Evans, or use homemade
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (no need to peel), or use zucchini
  • 2 – 3 portobello mushroom caps, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce [note: Worcestershire has anchovies so it is not actually vegetarian.  For a vegetarian alternative, use tamari, soy sauce or Dr. Bragg’s with a little dry mustard mixed in.]
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. flour (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables such as carrots and peas
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, or use 1 Tbsp. dried
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Instructions:

(Make the mashed potatoes, if necessary). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a round 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and onions, and sauté them for about 3 minutes to soften.

Add the eggplant, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and cook, partially covered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and cook for 8 – 10 more minutes until the eggplant is tender and dark.

Meanwhile, heat the mashed potatoes (unless you just made them) and set them aside.

Stir the flour into the vegetable mixture, then add the tomato paste and broth, and let it thicken for about 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the mixed vegetables and parsley and transfer them to the casserole dish.

Top the mixture evenly with the potatoes and cheese, and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

(Meanwhile, make the salad, if you are serving.) 

Serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions:  

Reduce the broth to 1/2 cup. In a small bowl, mix the oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, flour, tomato paste, and broth. Put the garlic, onions, eggplant, mushrooms, frozen vegetables and parsley in the slow cooker. Pour the sauce mixture over everything, and stir to combine.

Top it with the mashed potatoes, and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours. Sprinkle the cheese on top about 30 minutes before serving.  

Do Ahead or Delegate:  

Make the mashed potatoes if preparing your own, peel the garlic, chop the onion and the parsley, dice the eggplant and the mushrooms, shred the cheese if necessary and refrigerate, assemble or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.

Tip: 

Many stores now sell tomato paste in a tube.  It’s a great alternative to the canned variety as you can use what you need and store it in the fridge until next time.  

If you can’t find the tubes at your grocery store and don’t want unused canned tomato paste to go to waste, freeze it in tablespoon-sized portions (use an ice cube tray or put tablespoon-sized portions on a cookie sheet).  Once frozen, transfer these portions into a freezer-safe plastic bag for future use.

Scramble Flavor Booster: 

Double the garlic and/or grind lots of freshly ground black pepper over the finished dish.

Side Dish Suggestion: 

Combine the arugula, the orange (with any remaining juice), walnuts, cheese, oil and vinegar, and olives, if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. 

Nutritional Information per Serving (% based upon Daily Values):

Calories 285, Total Fat 13.5g, 21%, Saturated Fat 6.5g, 33.5%, Cholesterol 30.5mg, 10%, Sodium 807.5mg, 33.5%, Carbohydrate 33.5g, 11%, Dietary Fiber 6g, 23.5%, Sugar 6g, Protein 9g

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