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Need A Plant Based Thanksgiving Main? This Veggie Shepards Pie Fits The Bill


Lentil Filling:

2 tablespoons olive oil1 medium onion (7 oz/200g), diced1 medium green bell pepper (7 oz/200g), diced2 Tbsp tomato paste1 Tbsp minced garlic1 Tbsp cornstarch2 tsp fine sea salt2 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp red chile flakes1 cup/120g dried green or brown lentils4 cups/960ml low-sodium vegetable broth, divided2 cups/320g frozen green peas, defrosted

Cauli Mash:

1 1/2 lb/680g cauliflower or cauliflower rice2 oz/56g butter1 Tbsp. minced garlic1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper 1/2 tsp salt1 cup/112g grated Parmesan cheese


For the lentil filling, heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the olive oil and onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are light brown and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato paste, garlic, cornstarch, salt, oregano, and chile flakes, mix well, and cook for 1 minute.Add the lentils and 3 cups of broth, mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer, adding up to 1 cup of additional broth as needed, until the lentils are fully cooked, 20-25 minutes. Add the peas toward the end and cook until the mixture is very thick. Turn off the stove.While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350?F/180?C and grease an 8-x-8-x-11/2 in/20-x-20-x-4-cm pan.To make the cauliflower mash, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower until tender, 6-8 minutes. Drain. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Combine the cauliflower, butter-garlic mixture, and Parmesan in a food processor and puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.To assemble the pie, spoon the lentils into the prepared pan and tap lightly on the counter to settle. Add the cauliflower mash on top and smooth into an even layer with a spatula or butter knife.Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is browned in spots. You can also broil the pie for 1 minute to brown it faster, if desired. Serve hot.

If making ahead:

Prepare 1 day ahead and refrigerate; it becomes easier to slice and serve. Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost in the microwave, or leave out for 4-5 hours at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from THE VEGETARIAN RESET by Vasudha Viswanath, The Collective Book Studio, January 2023. Photo credit Alexandra Shytsman (2023) by Vasudha Viswanath


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