We’re now fast approaching the winter months, meaning many of us are seeking warming comfort food recipes to get us through the increasingly cold evenings we’re having. If you’re looking for new recipes to add to your weekly rotation, this vegan cottage pie could be just what you’re after.
Cottage pie (also known as shepherd’s pie) usually refers to a pie made from meat and potatoes. Traditional recipes use lamb or beef, but there is growing demand for meat-free recipes that use entirely plant-based ingredients.
There are a wide variety of recipes that use a range of meat alternatives, but this one – which comes from World of Vegan – uses lentils.
Lentils as a meat alternative
Lentils have long been used in place of meat. They refer to edible legumes that are part of the pulse family. They are widely available in supermarkets all over the world, and come in a variety of colours – including green, brown, red, yellow, and black.
Before the age of fake meats, lentils were one of the few ingredients available to use in place of mince in sauces, stews, and pies. They are popular in these dishes partly because of their nutrition. They are high in protein, meaning they are a good replacement for animal meat in this respect. They also contain iron, zinc, folate, and fiber.
When cooked in the right way, lentils can also have a similar texture to meat. When combined with their ability to absorb flavors, this makes them a popular vegan alternative to meat.
Lentils are a particularly popular choice in cottage pies, and this lentil cottage pie recipe is an ideal choice for any family dinner. Here’s how to make it.
Meat-free cottage pie recipe
- ⅓ cup mushrooms porcini if you can find them, otherwise any dried mushroom will do
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon
- 1¼ cups water
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 8-ounce can lentils drained
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil drained and chopped
- 6 tbsp tomato puree
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan optional
- Parsley or chives for garnish optional
- Place the diced peeled potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and roughly mash. Add plant-based milk, vegan butter, salt, and pepper, all to taste, and continue mashing until completely smooth. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the dried mushrooms, bouillon cube, and water. Let the mushrooms soak for 8 minutes, and mix to dissolve the vegetable stock.
- Preheat the oven at 430 degrees F.
- Heat a large frying pan with the olive oil on medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Stir and cook until lightly soft.
- Add the tomato puree to the frying pan and stir. Take your soaking mushrooms and pour the liquid into the frying pan, holding back the mushrooms. Roughly chop the mushrooms before adding them to the pan as well. Add the chopped sundried tomatoes and lentils, and simmer until thickened.
- Once the cottage pie mixture is ready, spread it evenly in a casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes and sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until the surface is golden. Garnish with parsley or chives and enjoy!
This recipe was republished with permission from World of Vegan. If you want to view the original recipe, you can do so here.