No Fuss Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie Recipe
A vegetarian shepherd's pie has way more flavor than the traditional meat variety, and is a lot cheaper to make too. This version is easy to make and is low in calories to boot!
Excluding meat doesn't mean you have to give up on flavor. Recipes that traditionally use minced or ground meat lend themselves perfectly to a vegetarian makeover. There are some great meat substitutes on the market, although many of these are lacking in taste, so giving them a tasty sauce to absorb like the one you'll find in this recipe does wonders.
This recipe uses Quorn as I believe it is the best meat substitute brand, but any meat substitute will suffice -- alternatively just add more vegetables or even lentils.
One of the best things about this recipe for busy cooks is that you can prepare it before you need it and keep it in the fridge until you are ready. So it's a great one to come home from work, pre-heat the oven and put the dish in the oven and then there's nothing else to do.
This recipe can also be frozen, although will need defrosting before you cook it to make sure everything is cooked through - frozen mashed potato is no one's idea of yummy!
Easy Quorn Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
A vegetarian shepherd's pie is a cheap dish to make as well as being filling. It's also a great way to get your kids eating more vegetables without even knowing it!
Prep time 30 min
- Total time 60 min
Ingredients for 4 servings
2 red onions • 2-3 carrots • 300g Quorn mince • 3 tbsp tomato puree • 1 tbsp flour • 750ml stock • Worcestershire or Brown Sauce • Handful of peas (optional) • For the Topping: • 750g potatoes • 1 tbsp of butter (approx) • 2-3 tbsps grated or cream cheese
Let's Get Going!
Begin by chopping your onions, and finely dicing or grating your carrots. Throw these in a large pan with some oil and cook until soft.
While they are cooking, peel your potatoes and cut them into chunks. These will then need to boil for around 15-20 until soft enough to mash. You can go about the other steps as the potatoes cook.
Making the Shepherd's Pie
Add your Quorn mince (or other meat substitute) to the carrot and onion and cook for a couple of minutes until they change color. Stir in the tomato puree so it pretty much coats what you have in the pan. Sprinkle the flour over your mixture evenly and stir it through - make sure you cook this out for a minute or so to get rid of any flour taste.
The mix is looking quite dry at this point, so now is the time for the Worcestershire sauce and stock. Stir everything through and allow to simmer.
Give it a stir every so often to make sure nothing sticks and cook until the sauce is reduced but still with excess liquid. If you wish to at this point you can add your peas (frozen work well with no need to defrost first). Once the sauce is nicely coating your mixture but not all absorbed you can transfer it to an oven proof dish.
Topping and Cooking
Drain your potatoes and mash them with the butter and cheese -- give it a good mix with a spoon to make sure there are no lumps and the mash is light. You can always add a splash of milk if it's looking too dry.
Spoon the mashed potato over the Quorn mixture and spread evenly. Make marks with the back of a fork so you have some nice crispy bits to the potato when it's cooked. As an alternative you can pipe the potato on using a large piping bag for a neater finish.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 180c/350F.
Serve with green vegetables and you will have happy diners!
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Tips to Help You Along the Way
This is a pretty straightforward dish to prepare, and although isn't one of the quickest to the table, is not very labor intensive at all. Here are a few hints and tips that can make the process even easier:
- Instead of using a conventional potato masher, I recommend using a potato ricer. It's much easier and is guaranteed to give you lump-free mashed potato every time.
- If you don't have any meat substitute to hand, or you just want to bulk out this meal to make it go further, then add a tin of beans to the mix.
- If you have time, allow the main mixture to cool a little in the dish before placing the mash on top; it moves around less when you are spooning the mash on.
- Try to cover every bit of the mixture with the potato, pretty much sealing it in, otherwise you get a lot of sauce spilling down the side of the dish or even over your potato -- a baking tray at the bottom of the oven is always a good idea to catch these spills just in case.
I hope you enjoy the recipe -- please let me know what you think, or what you like to add to your shepherd's pie.
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