This vegan shepherd’s pie combines traditional elements with plenty of healthy kale. It’s deliciously hearty and one of my family’s favorite meals!
Any time the temperatures begin to dip in Atlanta, my family requests a vegan shepherd’s pie for supper. And I’m happy to oblige. This recipe takes about an hour and change to make, but there isn’t a lot of active cooking time.
That means I can pour a glass of wine and clean while I cook at a nice, leisurely pace. Perfect for a weeknight, when I don’t want to work hard in the kitchen.
What’s a Shepherd’s Pie?
A traditional shepherd’s pie is “a meat pie with a mashed potato crust.” And I’ll confess something now: I’ve never had a shepherd’s pie with meat in it before.
My very first shepherd’s pie was vegan, and I ate it at Crank’s in London when I visited with my family in the 90s. It was a life-changer, y’all. My vegan shepherd’s pie recipe is based on my memory of that first mashed-potato-creamy, veggie-packed bite.
My Vegan Version
Instead of piling on the meat, this shepherd’s pie is loaded with kale and firm, crumbled tofu. It’s still full of the veggies you’d expect in a more conventional shepherd’s pie, like peas, corn, and carrots.
And, of course, it still has a dreamy, creamy mashed potato crust.
What I love most about this recipe is how easy is is to make. I even saved a dish by baking the pie in the same Dutch oven (or other oven-safe dish) that you use to saute the veggies.
To make the shepherd’s pie, saute the onions, carrots, and garlic. Then add the tofu and the rest of the veggies along with a broth cube and a little bit of water. Cover, and simmer.
The whole broth cube with half the water will cook down to make the gravy you associate with a traditional shepherd’s pie, but it’s faster, and you don’t need to add flour.
Once the veggies and tofu are cooked, pile on those rich, vegan mashed potatoes, and you’re ready to bake.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Kale
- 4 white or red potatoes – cooked (They should each be about the size of a tennis ball.)
- 3/4 cup soy or almond milk
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 additional tablespoons olive oil – to saute
- 1/2 of a sweet onion – chopped
- 1 cup carrots – chopped
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
- 1 bunch dinosaur kale – chopped
- 1/2 cup corn kernels – fresh – frozen, or canned is fine
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cube Not Chick’n Bouillon – (or your favorite veggie bouillon cubes)
- 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, mash up the potatoes with the soy milk, the 2-4 tablespoons olive oil, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set this aside.
- In a Dutch oven (or something else that can go stovetop to oven), heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, press your tofu in the EZ Tofu Press, and press using the method described above. When the tofu is compressed by 1/2″ – 1″, dice it up and add it to the pan.
- Cook for a few minutes, then add the remaining ingredients. Give everything a good stir, cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium low, and let the veggies stew in there for 5-7 minutes. You’re waiting for the kale to turn bright green and start to wilt. Different pans will take different amounts of time. How long the frozen veggies sat out before you added them can also impact the cooking time here.
- Turn off the heat, and use the back of your spoon to pat down the veggie/tofu mixture until it has a flat-ish top. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top of your veggies, and transfer the pot to the oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes start to brown on top. Let the shepherd’s pie sit for about 10 minutes before serving.