Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Main Courses


2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 4–5 medium potatoes
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups dry brown lentils
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp ground oregano
3/4 cup green peas

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Begin by peeling the sweet potatoes and cutting them into 1-inch chunks. Take a large pot, fill with water, and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the sweet potatoes and let them cook for about 15–20 minutes, until they’re easily pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a spacious bowl, mashing them until they achieve a smooth consistency. Incorporate non-dairy milk, a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stirring well to blend the flavors. Leave the mixture aside.

In a generously sized oven-safe skillet, like cast iron, set over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion to the skillet and sauté for approximately 5–7 minutes until it take on a gentle golden hue. Add the garlic next, cooking it for 1–2 minutes until its aroma becomes evident. Toss in the carrots and mushrooms, continuing to cook for an additional 5–7 minutes until slightly tender.

To the skillet, add the lentils, followed by the broth or water, thyme, and oregano. Give everything a good stir and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the skillet, and let it cook for about 15–20 minutes until the lentils become tender. Add the green peas along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stirring to mix the flavors.

Using a wooden spoon, distribute the lentil mixture evenly in the skillet, flattening it out on top. Scoop spoonfuls of the sweet potato mixture onto the lentils and spread it into an even layer. Bake in the oven for approximately 35–45 minutes, until a delightful crispiness forms on the top.