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Vegan Cottage Pie

The perfect autumn vegan cottage pie with seasonal pumpkin and spices.


A zesty filling of high-protein lentils and tender roasted pumpkin topped with a fluffy mash of potato and turnip. The sprinkle of vegan cheddar on top helps to turn that topping into a crispy golden shell that is so satisfying to break through. With hints of pumpkin spices, this vegan cottage pie makes the perfect autumn meal.


I love to give my vegan loved ones, dishes that sing with flavour and texture. This cottage pie has no shortage of either. Though there are a number of steps to bring this dish together, I've kept it relatively simple. If desired, all sorts of vegetables and legumes can be added to really pack the filling with rich flavour. Try adding some chickpeas, sweet green peas, corn, broccoli and more. Just remember to leave room for that fluffy topping.

 

Ingredients

(Makes 8 servings)


mashed potatoes:

  • 6 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 2 turnips, peeled and cubed

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons plant-based butter

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk (or oat milk, almond milk, or dairy milk)

  • 1 cup vegan white cheddar, shredded

pumpkin:

  • 2 cups pumpkin, cubed

  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

lentils:

  • 4 cups organic gluten-free vegetable broth

  • 2 cups dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

filling:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 sweet onion, finely minced

  • 2 stalks celery, finely minced

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • pinch ground nutmeg

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon tamari

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C and prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper or silicon liner. Set aside.


In a pot over medium-high heat, add the cubed potatoes, turnip, and salt then fill with water to cover. Bring to a light boil, partially cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potato and turnip are easily pierced with a sharp knife. While the potatoes boil, carry on with the rest of the recipe.


In a bowl add the cubed pumpkin and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Toss to coat well then spread out over the sheet pan in a single layer. Roast until the pumpkin is fork tender (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside. As the pumpkin roasts, continue with the recipe.


Once the pumpkin is out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 375°F / 190°C and set aside a large casserole dish.


In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vegetable broth. As it comes to a simmer, add the lentils, bay leaves and salt. Once at a simmer, continue cooking uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils start to become tender. Remove from heat, cover and set aside until needed.


In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the extra-virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the minced onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté for 7 or 8 minutes until the onion mixture softens. Add the minced garlic and sauté an additional minute before adding the thyme, parsley, ginger, cinnamon, sea salt, ground black pepper, and nutmeg. Combine well. Mix in the tomato paste, tamari, vinegar, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Add in the cornstarch and mix well.


Remove and discard the bay leaves from the lentils then add in about 1/2 cup of lentils with remaining broth to the sauté pan with the vegetable mixture. Combine well, then add an additional 1/2 cup. Again, mix well. As the broth in the pan heats up it will start to thicken. Continue stirring in a bit at a time until the lentils and broth are entirely incorporated. The sauce should be the consistency of a thick gravy. If it is too thin, whisk in a little more cornstarch and bring up to a simmer. Transfer the lentil mixture to the casserole dish and spread it out in an even layer. Spread the roasted pumpkin pieces across the lentil layer.