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    Vegetarian Sheppard’s Pie with Butternut Squash Crust Recipe

    (serves 4 - 6)

    Butternut Squash Crust:
    2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cubed
    2 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
    8 ea large garlic cloves
    ½ lb (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
    2 tsp ground nutmeg
    Kosher salt and pepper to taste

    Pie Filling:
    2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
    2 tsp cumin spice
    3 Tbl garlic, minced
    2 cups cauliflower florets (about half of a small head), cut into bite size pieces
    2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
    1 cup wheat germ
    1 cup zucchini, cut into bite size pieces
    1 cup yellow squash, cut into bite size pieces
    1 ½ cups shredded cabbage or slaw mix
    1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
    1 ½ cups vegetable broth
    2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
    1 Tbl rubbed sage
    Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    1 ½ cups lentils, cook per package direction with vegetable stock
    1 ½ cups barley, cooked per package directions with vegetable stock

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Bring 1 inch of water to boil in large pot. Set steamer rack in pot. Place potatoes, squash and garlic on rack. Cover pot and steam vegetables until tender, adding more water to pot if necessary, about 15-20 minutes.
    3. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
    4. Add the butter and mash vegetables, using a potato masher or hand blender until smooth. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside.
    5. Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet and add the cumin and garlic. Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables. Stir and cook about five minutes.
    6. Add the canned diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, sage, kosher salt, pepper, lentils and barley then stir to combine.
    7. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken. (If you need a little more liquid to cook the veggies, add a splash more of broth.)
    8. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
    9. Spoon the vegetables into a casserole dish then top with mounds of mashed butternut squash/ potato mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through. Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a side dish.

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