Vegan Cottage Pie

I spent last week in snowy Kelowna with my family, and it was perfect! As per norm, it was full of snowboarding, games, wine, martinis and delicious, comforting vegan food (and a few bites of cheese 😉 ). One of my favourite parts about our Kelowna trips is spending time in the kitchen with Gord and making awesome vegan food with him (see, you got a shout out!).

Cottage pie is normally made with ground beef (as opposed to Shepherd’s Pie which is made with ground lamb), but this vegan version is lighter and equally as delicious! Even the carnivores at the table loved this!

I’ve seen a lot of recipes, and mostly they contain lentils, which is also delicious – but if you remember from my Vegan Chili (link here) I really love Trader Joe’s soy chorizo. You could also use vegan ground round – orrrr if you’re not into using a meat alternative at all you can just use more veggies…or even beans!

There are a few steps to making this. I don’t think I would call this a quick, last minute dinner…but it’s fun to make and it can definitely be made ahead! I made it in the early afternoon and then baked it right before dinner which is perfect because you can do all the dishes and get the kitchen clean before you eat dinner!

Another joy about this being make ahead is that the leftovers taste GREAT. No joke, I’m pretty sure my family liked it better the second day! Since it’s basically stew with potatoes on it, it freezes perfectly. You can freeze leftovers, or even make a whole one and freeze it for busy nights. This does make extra filling, more than you need – so freeze for use another time to make another one or to simply eat as a stew!

I love fresh herbs in cooking. I put fresh rosemary and thyme in mine, but feel free to go ahead and used dried herbs of your choice. Like I said, you can get creative with the filling and add beans, lentils, or any veggies of your choice! My favourite part of cottage pie is definitely the little crispy bits of mashed potato. Putting the potatoes in dollops as opposed flattening them out gives you a nice little bits of crunchy mashed potato bits, and trust me – you want those. The stew gets nice and thick and hearty. The red wine adds a cozy richness and the mushrooms and soy chorizo add amazing texture. Make sure you use red wine that you like drinking! This is honestly a perfect cozy winter dish for a crowd!

You need this dish this winter…this vegan cottage pie is:

  • Comforting, cozy and hearty – perfect for winter!;
  • Easy to swap out ingredients and get creative with the filling;
  • Make-ahead/meal prep friendly;
  • Easy to make;
  • Leftovers are fantastic;
  • Has crunchy bits of potatoes on top (yumm);
  • Full of veggies and a rich vegan gravy;
  • Delicious enough to feed even the most carnivorous people in your life;
  • Creamy and delicious!

Vegan Cottage Pie

Mashed Potato Topping

  • 5 pounds potatoes, peeled, rinsed and cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp. vegan yogurt
  • 1/4 cup nut milk
  • 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Filling

  • 4 cups onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced (or to taste)
  • 24 oz. vegan soy chorizo (can sub with beans, lentils or other meat alternative)
  • 2 cups bell pepper, diced
  • 5 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rosemary (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp thyme (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. flour (use more flour if you want it thicker!)
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes and garlic cloves until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Start mashing and mix in the remainder of the ingredients until your potatoes are smooth, creamy and are to your taste! Set aside.

To make the filling:

In a large dutch oven, sautée onions and garlic in olive oil until they are soft and translucent. Add in the soy chorizo (or other alternative), sliced mushrooms, diced peppers, rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper (to taste). Cook until the mushrooms are cooked down and begin to get soft and the herbs become fragrant.

Add in flour (see note in ingredients) and cook until brown. Stir in wine and deglaze the pan by using your wooden spoon to scrape all the goodies off the bottom of your pot.

Add in vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let the gravy thicken. Add more salt & pepper to your taste. Once the gravy has thickened, add in peas and carrots and stir until they are no longer frozen.

Pour the filling into a 9 x 13 pan until it reaches about 2/3 of the way up. (You will have extra filling – freeze for another day. You can always make another one or you can simply eat the filling as a stew!)

Top with dollops of the mashed potatoes until the top is covered. Gently smooth them out until the pan is covered in potatoes – but leave them with peaks so that they bake and get crunchy! Put the whole pie on a larger baking tray in case it spills over in the oven!

Bake in a 350 fht. oven for around 40-45 minutes until the top of the potatoes are golden brown and the filling is hot!

*Sub out any of the veggies for veggies of your choice*

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