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Quick & Delicious: Your Go-To Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie Recipe

 

Let's dive into a simple and hearty recipe for Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie, a comforting dish that's perfect for those chilly nights. This version is packed with fresh vegetables and a creamy topping of mashed potatoes, all without the need for meat. It's a delicious way to enjoy a classic comfort food while staying true to your dietary preferences.

Ingredients for the Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup packed grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or vegetarian Parmesan, optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • ¾ cup French lentils
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 3½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms (button, cremini, shiitake)
  • 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation:

1. Potato Boiling: Start by bringing a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 15 to 20 minutes until they're soft.

2. Preparing the Filling: In a large skillet or oven-safe pot, combine the lentils, thyme, and 2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and let the lentils cook until tender, absorbing most of the liquid. Transfer the lentils to a bowl.

3. Topping Preparation: Melt 6 tablespoons of butter and milk together. Drain the potatoes well, then mash them with the butter mixture until smooth. Add the sour cream and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Finalizing the Filling: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In the same skillet, melt the butter and cook the mushrooms until golden brown. Add the leeks, carrots, and garlic, cooking until tender. Stir in the tomato paste, flour, and remaining broth. Cook until thickened, then add the lentils and peas. Season with lemon juice and thyme, if using.

5. Assembling the Pie: Spread the mashed potato topping over the vegetable mixture. Alternatively, you can transfer the lentil mixture to a casserole dish and top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake until the potatoes start to brown and bubble at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let it cool for 15 minutes before serving.

This Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie is a comforting and satisfying dish that's easy to prepare and sure to please. Whether you're looking for a hearty vegetarian option or just want to try a classic comfort food with a twist, this recipe is perfect for the occasion. Enjoy!

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