Tempeh Shepherdess Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I just got Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero over the holidays and I have been dying to try out one of the recipes.

I am not usually a huge recipe-follower. Usually, I am inspired by different recipes and give it my own spin. But this was my first time cooking with tempeh and I was a little weary. Luckily, it was mouthwateringly good and my minor changes were a big success.

Check this out:


Tempeh Shepherdess Pie with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves in 6 personal ramekins or 4 large servings from a casserole dish

8 oz. package Garden vegetable tempeh
1/6 c. Soy sauce
1 c. Water
Olive Oil
½ Red onion
2 Cloves of garlic
4 oz.  White mushrooms or 1 ½ c. sliced
½ c. Fresh corn or 1 cob
¼ c. Carrots
¼ c. Celery
1 c. Vegetable broth
1/8 c. Flour
½ tsp. Thyme
½ tsp. Coriander
1/8 c. Parsley
Loads of Black pepper

Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
1 large sweet potato
½ c. coconut milk
½ Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste


The Changes:

–          Instead of using frozen peas and frozen corn, I decided to use fresh corn, carrots and celery.
–          Instead of crimini mushrooms, I used white mushrooms.
–          The cookbook suggested trying out sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, but it was my idea to use coconut milk and a little bit of olive oil as opposed to soy milk and grapeseed oil.
–          I cut the recipe in half


For the filling:
First, you will need to cook the tempeh. Fill a large skillet (I used my wok) with small bite-size pieces of tempeh, the water, soy sauce and a dabble of olive oil. Cover this mixture and let it boil for around 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue to boil until most of the water is gone. Then drain the tempeh and place to the side.

Now add some more olive oil to the same skillet (no need to clean) and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions start to become translucent. Then stir in the tempeh and mushrooms and spices (except the parsley). The mushrooms will start to become a lot juicier and the tempeh will begin to brown.

Then add the remaining vegetables and possible a little more oil depending on how much liquid is in your mixture has become.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and broth to create a gravy. Add it to the mixture along with the parsley. The gravy will begin to thicken, but will thicken even more during the baking stage.


For the mashed sweet potatoes:

Peel and cut the sweet potato into small bite sized pieces. Place in a pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by about an inch. Put on high heat and cover.

Let the potatoes boil for about 20 minutes – or until the potatoes are easily pierced or cut with a fork.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Mash the potatoes into submission. Mix in the oil, coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste.


To finish:

Set the oven to 375° F.

Place the tempeh mixture at the bottom evenly of either a small casserole dish or the individual ramekin. Then spoon the mashed potatoes on top.

Bake the shepherdess pie for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes have become slightly browned at the top.

Garnished with some paprika and thyme.


This shepherdess pie was so flavorful and had a warm & hearty feel. It would make a great entrée at a holiday dinner or any dinner party!

Coming from the perspective of someone who is new to the vegetarian community, this shepherdess pie definitely didn’t have that real meaty flavor that most shepherd’s pies have, but it was an amazing replacement and felt just as filling. It didn’t feel lacking, it was just delicious. Many of my friends claimed it had a true taste of Thanksgiving!



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