This is the ultimate comfort food – rich, warm gravy with lots of veg topped with crispy mashed potatoes. Gardener’s Pie is what I call a vegan Shepherd’s Pie. I’ve also heard it called Shepherd-less pie before too. Delicious and animal free, my version utilizes mushrooms as a hearty substitute for the meat, and is so popular around my dinner table that it’s on the menu almost every other week during the winter months.
This definitely isn’t a quick meal, but only because of the time needed to bake; the prep work itself is quite easy, and you could definitely prepare this ahead of time and store it in the fridge for a day or so. If you do decide to make it ahead, pull the dish from the fridge while the oven preheats before popping it in; bringing it to room temperature will save you having to extend the cooking time.
This recipe is super simple, and can be adapted in all sorts of ways. Use whatever mixed veggies you have on hand, use sweet potato instead of regular mash or add garlic and parsley to your potatoes – use this dish as a starting point to create your own masterpiece. And if you post pictures, tag me! @veganinyyc across all social media.
For the Pie
- 4 cups mashed potatoes
- 1 and 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables I like a mix of peas, carrots, and corn
- 1 individual slice Earth Island vegan provolone cheese grated
- Mushroom Gravy (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 medium onion minced
- pinch salt
- 2 cups portobello mushrooms 1/4 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup white flour
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup Braggs Soy Seasoning
- 1 tbsp vegan Worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke can use smoked paprika instead
- 1 & 1/2 - 2 cups vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease an ovenproof dish and set it aside. If you do not have any prepared, start cooking your mashed potatoes and set aside once ready.
Add water and onion to a medium sized frying pan; saute over medium heat until tender.
Once the onions are tender, add a pinch of salt and the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until they release their liquid, then add red win, Braggs, Worchestershire, liquid smoke (or paprika). Cook until the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.
Add flour, and stir to coat the mushrooms and onions. Allow the flour to brown a little, then whisk in the vegetable broth 1/2 cup at a time, whisking away any lumps before adding more liquid until the gravy is smooth and bubbling. Remove from heat.
Assembling the Pie
Add hot Mushroom Gravy and frozen mixed vegetables to your prepared oven-proof dish, and mix well to combine. Add the Earth Island Provolone in a thin layer on top.
Cover with mashed potatoes, one spoonful at at time, leaving a hole in the middle for gravy to bubble through. If you like crispy bits on your potatoes, don't smooth them out and leave lots of ridges; you can also go over the potatoes with wrong side of the fork to produce more ridges.
Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the gravy bubbles at the sides and through the middle. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.