Super Bowl Sunday Shepherd’s Pie

I thought about calling this recipe Unemployed Shepherd’s Pie, but did not want to put a negative spin on the poor shepherds…it’s just that because it’s vegan, I think shepherds would have different jobs, like maybe seitan kneaders and bakers, or perhaps sheep’s rights activists.  Whatever I call it, this recipe is fantastic.  The tender vegetables and chewy seitan enveloped in smooth white sauce, then smothered in rich, creamy mashed potatoes are hearty and completely satisfying.  I have made one to take to my friends Eric and Charlene so we can have a yummy dinner together before they watch the game and we watch the commercials!

Super Bowl Sunday Shepherd’s Pie

Super Bowl Sunday Shepherd's Pie


4-5 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half

2 T vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance

1/3 c unsweetened almond, soy or hemp milk

1/3 c each vegan margarine and whole wheat pastry flour

2 c water

salt and pepper

1 c frozen peas

4-5  carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and diced

1-2 tsp olive oil

1 medium sized sweet onion, diced

1 1/2 c cooked seitan*


Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water .  Turn heat to high and bring potatoes and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking:

Saute the onion in 2 tsp olive oil in  a medium skillet over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the peas and seitan.

Steam the carrots in a pot on the stove top or in a covered bowl in the microwave for about 3 minutes until fork-tender.  Drain and add to the onion, pea and seitan.  Set aside.

Make the roux for the white sauce:

In another medium sized  non-stick skillet, melt the 1/3 c vegan margarine over medium heat.  Sprinkle with the 1/3 c flour and stir the flour into the margarine.  Keeping heat on medium, continue to cook the vegan margarine and the flour together until the mixture begins to turn a rich, golden color, about 7-8 minutes.

White sauce:  Turn heat under the roux pan to high.  Slowly add the 2 c  water as you continue to stir, incorporating the water into the roux until the sauce is smooth and begins to thicken.  A whisk is a great tool for this, but a wooden spoon also works well.  Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.  Allow the white sauce to cook for a few more minutes.  Taste and correct seasoning.  Remove from heat.  Pour into the onion, peas, carrots and seitan pan and stir well to coat everything with the white sauce.  Return pan to low heat and cook about 5 more minutes, until thickened.  If sauce seems too thick, stir in more water, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until the consistency pleases you.

Finish the potatoes:

Drain water from cooked potatoes.  Add the 2 T vegan margarine and the 1/3 c almond, soy, or hemp milk.  Mash with potato masher or whip with electric mixer until potatoes are well mashed/whipped.  Add salt and pepper to taste and stir.

Preheat oven to 350 ° F.

To assemble the pie:

Spoon the filling for the pie into a deep casserole or deep baking dish about 8 or 9 inches round.  Scoop the mashed potatoes on top, being careful not to mix them into the filling.  I use a spatula to gently smooth the mashed potatoes over the filling.

Drizzle the top with a little olive oil if you wish and bake at 350 °F  for 30-40 minutes, until sides are bubbling and center is hot.

Serves 5-6 hungry people.  I suggest a big, green salad as a side dish.  A couple of nice accompaniments are green tomato piccalilli  and cranberry chutney or cranberry sauce.

Enjoy the game!

*I make my own seitan.  The recipe link above is a quick and easy one.  I always double it, as seitan freezes well, and it’s a delicious, chewy source of vegan protein.  For this particular recipe, I did not use thyme in the seasoning.  I used 1 tsp each of dried marjoram and sage, 1/2 tsp each of onion and garlic powder.  I reduced the tamari by half, replacing that liquid with sodium-free vegetable broth.   I made the seitan a day ahead and stuck it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it today.

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One Comment on “Super Bowl Sunday Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. I’ve only had vegan shepherd’s pie with sausage style veggie protein, so next time we’ll try seitan. Thanks!

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