Shepherdless Shepherd's Pie
Recipe type: meat-free, easily made dairy-free and vegan
Serves: 8-12 servings
This lightened up, veggie-packed version of shepherd's pie is the perfect way to fill up, without getting weighed down. The cashew cream sauce makes this dish especially rich and filling, without the heaviness of traditional cream-based casseroles.
  • For the cashew cream sauce:
  • 1 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked
  • for 2 hours, then drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • For the mashed potatoes:
  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and
  • quartered
  • 1 cup milk or plant-based milk, mixed with 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For the filling:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces tempeh, sliced horizontally into ¼
  • inch slices
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 3 large carrots, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper
  1. To make the cashew cream sauce: Combine all cashews, water, garlic, and salt in a blender. Blend on high until emulsified, about 1½ minutes. Pour into a small bowl and stir in thyme and scallions. Set aside.
  2. To make the mashed potatoes: Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and fill with water about an inch above the potatoes. Bring water to a boil, reduce to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Mash with soured milk until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To make the filling: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Fry tempeh slices until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. If all of your tempeh does not fit in the pan at once, work in two batches using an additional tablespoon of oil, if needed. Transfer tempeh to a large plate lined with paper towel.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add carrots, onions, and mushrooms to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat. Add cashew cream sauce and frozen peas, and stir until all ingredients are combined. Arrange tempeh pieces in a single layer at the bottom of the casserole dish. Pour the cashew cream mixture over the tempeh. Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over top of the filling by dolloping small spoonfuls of potatoes over the entire filling. Using an offset spatula, gently spread the mashed potatoes into an even layer. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Turn on broiler, uncover pie, and broil until the mashed potatoes are lightly browned. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at