I love shepherd’s pie! It’s one of my favorite cold weather comfort food dishes, and I make it often during the winter months. I already have a few recipes for it here on my blog, and I have another that uses sweet potatoes that I haven’t shared yet.
As much as I love to make shepherd’s pie, I know it’s a little time consuming to prepare. Potatoes have to be cooked and mashed, the filling needs to be cooked, and then it all gets baked together in a casserole dish. The good thing about it, other than the delicious taste of course, is that most recipes for shepherd’s pie make a large amount of food, and there will enough to last a few days.
Recipes for shepherd’s pie vary greatly, but it’s traditionally a meat pie with a mashed potato crust. Customarily it was referred to as cottage pie when it contained beef and a shepherd’s pie when it contained lamb meat. The meat is usually cooked in gravy with vegetables, and the dish was a way for people to use up leftovers.
“Shepherdess pie” is the name that’s traditionally given to a vegan or vegetarian version of the recipe, but I don’t know too many people who call it that. As a vegan, I like to make my shepherd’s pies with lentils or mushrooms. They both have “meaty” textures, and they both make a great filling – either on their own or combined together.
I recently had a hankering for shepherd’s pie, and but I didn’t feel like cooking and mashing potatoes. What’s a girl with a craving to do? Improvise! Instead of boiling and mashing potatoes and baking everything together in a casserole dish, I baked potatoes and then loaded them up with a filing made with lentils and vegetables.
I baked the potatoes in my air fryer, which gives them a deliciously crisp crust, but, of course, they can be baked in an oven as well. I cooked the filling while they were baking. The meal took much less time to cook that a full shepherd’s pie would, but it was just as tasty.
These Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes are kind of a like an easy upside-down casserole. A baked potato takes the place of mashed potatoes, and a hearty lentil-based “filling” is piled on top.
Shepherd’s pie has become a favorite for St. Patrick’s Day, since the dish is usually associated with Ireland. These baked potatoes are the perfect meal to celebrate the holiday with, but they’re great for just about any day of the year, too!
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes
Loaded with lentils and vegetables, these vegan Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes are perfect comfort food! They’re a great meal to warm up with on chilly weeknights.
- 4 large russet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 5 ounces white button or crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped (about 8 mushrooms)
- 1¼ vegetable stock, divided
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worchestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup frozen peas thawed
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish, optional
If you’re cooking the potatoes in your oven, preheat it to 425°.
Wash and dry the potatoes, and prick them a few times with the tines of a fork.
Rub them each with about ½ teaspoon oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
If you’re cooking the potatoes in the oven, you can either place them directly on the oven rack or on a baking rack. Cook them for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and they are fork tender.
If you’re cooking the potatoes in your air fryer, cook them on 400° for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and they are fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, you can make the vegetables. Heat the remaining oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it begins to brown and turn translucent.
Add the garlic, mushrooms, carrots, and a pinch of salt, and continue cooking until the mushrooms have released their liquid.
Whisk together 1 cup of vegetable stock, Worchestershire sauce, tomato paste, and cornstarch.
Add the stock mixture to the pan along with the lentils and peas. Turn down the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cut open the baked potatoes and drizzle each with a tablespoon of stock. Fluff the insides with a fork
Divide the vegetable mixture among each potato and top with more parsley, if desired. Serve hot.
If you enjoyed these Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Baked Potatoes you might also like:
- Roasted Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Shepherd’s Pie
- Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower-Millet Mash
- Vegan Colcannon
- Greens Pie with Millet Amaranth Crust