Make This, Don’t Buy That – Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

When I was a kid my mother made shepherd’s pie for the family.  Being a Puerto Rican family this was far reaching for us, and when I saw it I immediately told my mother I am not eating THAT.  That upset her so and I wouldn’t blame her if she never cooked for me again from that point, but being the greatest mother in all the land she kept feeding me.

Fortunately for me, I got brave and ordered it at an Irish Pub one day and absolutely loved it.  I could not wait for a friend to ask about going out to eat and I would suggest a place like Piper’s Kilt or Thirsty Turtle or The Porter House so I could order Shepherd’s Pie.  It was at this point that the Irish side of me came out and I would order Bangers and Mash, Corned Beef and Cabbage and all other Irish items along with a pint of Guinness.

Since going down this path of healthy eating I have not had a shepherd’s pie at all since it is typically made with a fatty ground beef and topped with white mashed potatoes.  Then in December I became a vegetarian and that just about eliminated the idea of eating a shepherd’s pie ever again.  That was until one day I decided to give tempeh a try.  It was on that day that I fell in love with that ingredient.  I have made all sorts of items with tempeh from tacos to burgers to meat(less) balls.

Yesterday I decided I was going to finally make a shepherd’s pie and I will say that it didn’t taste exactly as I remember shepherd’s pie it certainly did come out tasty and is going to be in our rotation from this point forward.  I am putting the nutritional information in this post as well so that you can decide if you want to make it yourself and/or add different ingredients.  This recipe will make approximately 5-6 servings.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients: 8oz Tempeh crumbled, 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, 2 celery stalks (chopped), 2 medium carrots (chopped), 5oz baby portabello mushrooms (chopped), 1/2c white onion (chopped), 1c vegetable broth, 1/4c tahini, 3tbs worcestershire sauce, 2tbs tamarin paste, 4 garlic cloves (diced), 1tbs olive oil, 1tbs dried oregano, 2tbs agave nectar

Servings: 5-6

Nutritional Information (based on 5 servings): 294 calories, 13g Fat, 38g Carbs, 13g Fiber, 12g Protein

Nutritional Breakdown of Macronutrients: 48% Carbs, 37% Fat, 15% Protein <– 75% of fat from olive oil and tahini

Before Sweet Potato Topping Added

  1. Preheat broiler to 425*
  2. Crumble tempeh and soak for 15 minutes.  After soaking drain and pat dry.
  3. Microwave sweet potatoes for 8 minutes to get them soft or you can put them in oven if you wish.
  4. Heat up olive oil and when hot add in all the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes to get aroma into the air.
  5. After vegetables have cooked add in tempeh, vegetable stock, tahini, worcestershire sauce, tamarin paste and garlic.
  6. Bring to a boil and then cover and allow to simmer.
  7. All liquid should evaporate and that will take approximately 20 minutes.
  8. Pour mixture into a baking loaf and top with the scooped out flesh of the sweet potatoes.
  9. Pour agave nectar over the sweet potatoes and a little cooking spray.

    After First Serving Scooped Out

  10. Place into oven and after about 5 minutes the tops of the potatoes should be browned.

I served this by scooping it into a shallow bowl, but the restaurant way would be to make them in individual ramekins.

This came out extremely tasty and as you can see it is very healthy as well.  I cannot wait to have a serving for lunch today since there are leftovers and I bet the flavors will meld even more overnight in the fridge.





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  1. Yum! I made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie awhile back that was delicious! I can’t wait to try your version!

  2. misszippy1 says:

    I love shepherd’s pie, but never have it ’cause it’s so unhealthy. My son loves it too, so this could give me something to try!

    One week, my friend!

  3. I love that you used sweet potato as the topping, that’s what I did for mine the last time I made it and it was SO good:).

  4. tricia says:

    I’m not a shepherds pie fan usually (probably because I dont eat meat) but this sounds appealing. thanks!

  5. Chuck says:

    Looks good! And look, its only 11PM! I’m not a tahini fan, but I could see why you’d use it here. Also, when using sweet potatoes as the topping, adding some cheddar cheese to the top takes it to a whole nother level!

  6. lindsay says:

    shepherds pie is unhealthy?!? but it has corn and green beans! at least my version did growing up :)


  1. […] meat substitute and that is tempeh.  Tempeh can be made into almost anything as witnessed by my Shepherd’s Pie and BLT (where the B is bacon, tomato still exists.)  The preparation is the key and once you have […]

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