I promised you easy vegan comfort food, and you can’t get much more comforting than this cosy Colcannon-topped Vegan Shepherds Pie. This would make a perfect Sunday lunch for all the family, served with green peas and tenderstem broccoli.
Or why not make a batch and freeze in individual foil trays, so you have some standby suppers for weeknights when you don’t have time to cook?
If you haven’t heard of Colcannon, it is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with either kale or cabbage, and onion. The brilliantly-named ‘Rumbledethumps‘ is a similar Scottish equivalent, as is the English ‘Bubble & Squeak‘.
Perhaps its no surprise that the same ingredients make up such traditional dishes in all three countries – the ingredients are cheap, plentiful and easy to grow, taste great and go together really well. What better way to top a vegan shepherds pie?!
I’m not sure I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like Shepherd’s Pie, so this is a great crowd-pleaser to serve up to non-vegan friends and family, and the colcannon topping makes it just that bit more special.
I used a piping bag with a wide nozzle to make the top look super-pretty, but if you’re in a hurry just spread the mash with a knife and use a fork to make a criss-cross or zig-zag pattern instead.
Freezing your Vegan Shepherds Pie
This freezes really well – I use foil trays, either large trays for a family meal, or individual trays to serve one or two. You can then either defrost before cooking for half an hour, or else cook from frozen for an hour, (cover with foil for the first 40 minutes so that the top doesn’t get too dried out).
- 1 large carrot
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion
- 400 g tin cannellini beans
- 400 g tin green or brown lentils
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder (check it is vegan)
- 2 tbsp gravy granules (check they are vegan)
- 600 g potatoes
- 60 g curly kale
- 3 spring onions
- 50 ml dairy-free milk (soya, oat or nut milk)
- 20 g dairy-free margarine
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Meanwhile, peel the carrot and sweet potato and cut them into dice. Boil for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan or casserole dish, then peel and chop the onion and add to the pan, frying over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and lentils and add them to the pan with the onions, followed by the tomatoes, stock powder and gravy granules. Refill the empty tomato tin with water to about two-thirds full, then add this to the pan.
When the carrot and sweet potato have just cooked through, remove them with a slotted spoon and add them to the pie filling, (don't drain the water away just yet!). Stir and cover, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if required. If the mixture gets too dry, just add more water - this should have the consistency of a thick gravy. (And if it seems too runny, just cook with the lid off for a few more minutes).
Keep the saucepan of water simmering whilst you peel the potatoes for the mash, cut them into dice, then add them to the saucepan and boil for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, chop the kale and spring onions as finely as possible, (I used a mini-chopper/food processor). When the potatoes are ready, drain them, return to the pan then add the kale, spring onions, milk and margarine and mash until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper if required.
Tip the pie filling into a large ovenproof dish, then top with the mashed potato. I used a piping bag to create a pretty topping, but you can just spread it with a knife and use a fork to create a pattern if you prefer).
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the topping is just turning golden brown, and the filling is bubbling.
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There are plenty of quick and easy vegan recipes in my new book, ‘Vegan in 15‘*. Hop over to Amazon for a look. Thanks for your support!
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