Indian Shepherd's Pie

Sarah Matheny, photograph by Andrew McCaul

Indian Shepherd's Pie

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Makes 4 servings

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch cubes

⅔ cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained

Olive oil cooking spray

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 vegetarian sausage links, cooked according to package directions and cut into bite-size chunks (optional)

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon curry powder

2 teaspoons coriander

½ teaspoon salt

Sugar, to taste (optional)

1 cup spinach, chopped

½ cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoon vegan margarine (or butter)

2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Shepherd’s pie doesn’t need meat—in fact, it doesn’t even need white potatoes! This hearty, vegan version gets protein from a winning combo of quinoa and chickpeas, while better-for-you sweet potatoes stand in for the usual white. Curry powder, cinnamon, and dried cranberries add an unexpected sweetness kids are sure to love.


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add sweet potatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a smaller pot, bring the water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. In a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray, sauté onion, carrots, and chickpeas until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and briefly sauté for 1 minute. Add sausage (if using), broth, curry, coriander, and salt, and allow to simmer until the next step.

4. When quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, add it to the pan with the vegetables and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and the grain to absorb some of the sauce.

5. Sweeten sauce to taste with sugar, if desired. Toss in spinach and cranberries and stir until combined.

6. When potatoes are fork tender, drain and add to a large bowl. Add margarine or butter, milk, and cinnamon, and whip until smooth and fluffy.

7. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray and add quinoa vegetable mixture to the dish. Top with the mashed squash and potatoes and spread to evenly cover the filling.

8. Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes.

Per Serving:

Calories: 375

Carbohydrates: 12 g

Fat: 11 g

Protein: 18 g

Fiber: 12 g

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour