Living in New England (a.k.a. The Land of the Six-Months-Long Winter), I think it’s fair to say that I’ve become strongly skilled at inventing healthy yet still hearty comfort food recipes.
And I’m ready to say that this vegetarian shepherd’s pie is one of my absolute favorites (and one of my husband’s too) in the healthy comfort food category.
It’s a vegetarian shepherd’s pie that’s so richly flavored, so addictingly scrumptious, it’s tough to resist seconds.
(And also healthy and nutritious enough to feel good about going back for seconds!)
So what makes this vegetarian shepherd’s pie so hearty and indulgent-tasting and flavorful?
It’s all about the combination of delicious fresh winter veggies – like carrots and parsnips – in the filling.
Combined with black beans for heartiness and a couple of secret ingredients for flavor (more on that later!).
Then this vegetarian shepherd’s pie is topped off with a yummy potato crust, lightened up with cauliflower for extra nutrition (no one will ever guess it’s in there!)
And some sharp cheddar cheese for lots of rich flavor.
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie is delicious, but also super nutritious, with (per serving):
- only 360 calories for a generous helping
- very low saturated fat (2.6g)
- tons of skin-smoothing potassium (36%),
- immune-boosting vitamin C (84%),
- detoxifying fiber (38%),
- and filling protein (14.9g)
Here are the key steps to creating this vegetarian shepherd’s pie:
Start by grabbing a large saucepan and boiling some white potatoes along with a few cloves of garlic for added savory deliciousness.
No need to spend time peeling the potatoes, by the way.
Tons of nutrition lies in the skin!
Then, for an added healthy boost for this vegetarian shepherd’s pie, toss in some thawed frozen cauliflower florets.
Grab a mixing bowl and use a potato masher to puree it all up with some shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Then try to resist “taste-testing” this addictive potato mixture while cooking up the filling!
Grab a deep sauté pan and cook up some tasty winter veggies: onions, carrots, and parsnips.
Add some mushrooms for extra “meaty” texture.
Then add a few secret ingredients for flavor: red wine and tomato paste for a hint of acidity.
And a pinch of cinnamon and organic frozen cut corn for a touch of sweetness.
You’ll be amazed at the rich flavor that is developed with these key ingredients!
Then bake it all up in a casserole dish until the potato crust is deliciously golden.
And enjoy a plate of tasty vegetarian shepherd’s pie, hot from the oven.
It’s the ultimate winter comfort food with a modern, clean eating, healthy twist!
Here’s the complete recipe for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie:
- Serving size: 6
- Calories: 357
- Fat: 11.8g
- Saturated fat: 2.6g
- Carbohydrates: 46.7g
- Sugar: 7.1g
- Sodium: 200mg
- Fiber: 9.6g
- Protein: 14.9g
- Cholesterol: 5mg
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 cloves garlic, whole cloves, plus 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium white potatoes, roughly chopped
- 8 ounces frozen cauliflower florets, thawed
- 2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⅓ cups organic shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 small carrots, diced
- 3 small parsnips, peeled and diced
- 1⅓ cups baby bella (crimini) mushrooms, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
- ⅔ cup dry red wine
- 15 ounces black beans, thoroughly drained and rinsed
- ½ cup organic frozen sweet corn kernels
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Add the potatoes and 2 whole cloves garlic to a large saucepan, and fill halfway with water. Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are nearly tender, about 12-15 minutes. Add cauliflower (be sure it is thawed so it doesn't bring down the temperature of the water). When potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, pour the vegetables into a large colander to drain. Transfer drained vegetables to a large mixing bowl, and mash to a puree using a potato masher. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup shredded cheddar, and season thoroughly with salt and pepper. Stir until mixture is well combined and cheese has completely melted. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, as potatoes are boiling, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 cloves minced garlic, onion, carrots, and parsnips, and cook until softened, about 7-9 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, cinnamon and tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add red wine and cook until liquid has reduced, about 2 minutes. Add black beans and corn, stir until well combined, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove black bean mixture from heat and transfer to a large casserole dish. Use a spoon to spread mixture smoothly and evenly across the bottom of the dish. Top with the potato mixture, again spreading smoothly and evenly across the dish. Top with remaining ⅓ cup shredded cheddar.
- Bake until crust begins to turn golden, about 10-15 minutes, Serve.
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