A vegan version of the British classic, this roasted root vegetable shepherd’s pie contains sweet and savory maple-herb roasted beets, butternut squash, carrots and parsnips. The roasted vegetables get tossed with sautéed tempeh and onions before being topped with the creamiest, vegan whipped potatoes you’ll ever try.
One of my absolute favorite meals is a plate of hearty, soul-comforting Shepherd’s Pie. While I will always have a soft spot in my heart for a traditional recipe made with ground beef, this year my husband and I have recommitted ourselves to incorporating more vegetarian and vegan meals in our weekly rotation. That’s where this super tasty Roasted Root Vegetable Vegan Shepherd’s Pie comes in.
This shepherd’s pie will certainly be on our dinner menu regularly this year. Not only is it healthy, but it’s also colorful and delicious. My favorite part about this vegan shepherd’s pie as all the great texture the root vegetables give this dish. Plus, the addition of sauteed tempeh adds some bulk and protein to the recipe.
Cooking with Tempeh
If you’re new to a vegan diet (or a part-time vegan, like me), tempeh is a great ingredient to start becoming familiar with. I love to use it in recipes that are traditionally made with ground beef or chicken because it can easily be crumbled to mimic the texture of meat.
Tempeh is a soy product, that is made from fermented soybeans. It’s typically compressed into 8oz blocks and you can usually find it by the tofu at your supermarket. Like tofu, tempeh is fairly bland in flavor so it’s great to use in recipes with lots of herbs, spices or other seasonings. In this recipe, we’re flavoring the tempeh with onions, sage and thyme.
Making Heart-shaped Beets
You’ll see in the photos that I’ve decorate this vegan shepherd’s pie with heart-shaped beets. Since we’re so close to Valentine’s Day, I thought this was the perfect way to garnish this dish. Don’t be intimidated, they’re super easy to make if you want to replicate the look.
To make the beet hearts, simply add one or two extra-large, peeled beets to the roasting pan along with the chopped root vegetables. After 20 minutes, the whole beets should have softened enough to slice with a knife of mandolin into 1/4-inch thick slices. Then, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the beets. Once cut out, set aside and then arrange on top of the whipped potatoes before baking.
Does anyone else wish more foods were the color of beets? While I hate that they stain my hands like crazy when I’m working with them, their purple-magenta color has always been one of my favorite colors. Should I share more recipes with beets on the blog? Let me know in the comments!
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Are you going out on the town or staying in for a homecooked meal? I think this Roasted Root Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie would make a great vegan-friendly Valentine’s Dinner. Serve it with a little red wine and some rustic bread for a cozy night in. Sounds pretty wonderful to me!
If you and your valentine try this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, please give the recipe a rating and leave me a comment with your thoughts below. Also, take a photo of your romantic vegan Valentine’s Day dinner on social media— it’s @frydaeblog and #frydaeblog absolutely everywhere! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.
Looking for another great, vegan dinner idea? Try these Vegan Cauliflower Enchiladas next.
Roasted Root Vegetable Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Vegan Whipped Potatoes
- 2 pounds red potatoes, cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, e.g. Earth Balance
- 4 teaspoons garlic, minced
Roasted Root Vegetable Filling
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced into half circles
- 1/2 cup parsnip, peeled and sliced into half circles
- 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 cups beets, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground sage, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- fresh thyme and sage, optional, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degreesPlace a large stockpot filled with water over medium heat. Add the cubed potatoes with 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup of vegan butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant then remove the garlic butter from the heat. Once the potatoes are fork-tender, drain in a colander and then return the potatoes to the heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook off any excess moisture. Pour in the melted garlic butter and whip using an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Set aside.Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the peeled and cubed carrots, parsnips, butternut squash and beets. Sprinkle with dried thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley and cinnamon and then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup and then toss to coat. Arrange mixture in a single layer on an extra-large sheet pan, lined with parchment paper. Transfer to the preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes.While the vegetable roast, sauté the onion in a large oven-safe skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When softened and translucent, add the crumbled tempeh, and remaining spices. Then sauté until golden and fragrant. Turn off the heat.When the vegetables are roasted, add them to the skillet with the sautéed onions and tempeh. Toss everything together and then top with the whipped potatoes. You can either spread the potatoes with a wooden spoon over the vegetables for a rustic look or pipe them using a pastry bag for a more elegant look. Return to a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes then remove. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve warm.
If you would like to garnish the shepherd’s pie with heart-shaped beets as shown in the photos, peel a large beet and add it whole to the sheet pan of chopped root vegetables. Roast with the other vegetables and remove after 20 minutes. Let cool and then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Then, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut hearts out of each beet slice. Place on top of the shepherd’s pie once you’ve spread the top with mashed potatoes and then bake as directed above.