Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Plant-based comfort food dishes which serve as a meal-in-one, such as this hearty, vegan sweet potato shepherd’s pie, are wonderful any night of the week. One of my favorite vegan meals is a classic shepherd’s pie recipe—a traditional dish comprised of a stew covered with a mashed potato topping. I mixed it up by using rich sweet potatoes as the topping over a Southwestern-flavored plant-based filling of black beans, peas, corn, and carrots, with a Southwest spice profile in this vegan shepherd’s pie recipe. This Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is even better the next day, as the flavors start to meld! Rich in protein, fiber, slow-digesting carbs, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, this is a balanced meal your whole family will enjoy. Just pair it with a crisp green salad to round out your meal. It’s really good packed away for lunch the next day, as the leftovers are great. You can make it in individual bowls too.

The recipe is simple, calling upon pantry and freezer staples, such as canned beans and tomato paste, onions, dried spices, and frozen vegetables. I love to bring this recipe to potlucks and parties. The bright, cheery color of sweet potatoes really calls out! If you want to make this Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie gluten-free, just swap out cornstarch for the flour. You can also mix it up a little by swapping a different type of bean for the black beans, such as kidney beans or pinto beans, and different types of vegetables for the corn and peas, such as green beans, cauliflower, and zucchini. I promise this shepherd’s pie will become one of your classic, go-to recipes.


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This hearty, vegan Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate plant-based comfort food. It makes for great leftovers, too!

Sweet Potato Topping:

Black Bean Vegetable Filling:

Garnish (optional):

  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

To Make Sweet Potato Topping:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium pot and cover with water over medium heat. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain liquid from pot, add vegan margarine and 3 tablespoons plant-based milk. Mash with a potato masher (or whip with an electric mixer for best results) until smooth and creamy. Add additional plant-based milk if needed to achieve a smooth, spreadable texture. Season as desired with salt (optional) and pepper. Set aside.

To Make Black Bean Vegetable Filling:

  1. While sweet potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet.
  2. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and sauté for 8 minutes.
  3. Add paprika, cumin, chili powder, cilantro, beans, peas, and corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are just tender.
  4. Add flour to pan and stir well.
  5. Add broth, tomato paste and lemon juice and stir well, heating for an additional 2-3 minutes. Season with salt if desired (optional).
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  7. Pour the vegetable mixture into a medium casserole dish or baking dish (about 9 x 9-inches in diameter and 3-inches deep).
  8. Place in the oven uncovered on top rack and cook for 15-20 minutes, until top is slightly golden brown and mixture is bubbly.
  9. Remove from oven and garnish with sliced green onions and cilantro, if desired.
  10. Makes 6 servings.


To make this recipe gluten-free substitute cornstarch for flour.

You can also make this recipe into individual pies by dividing the filling into 6-8 oven-proof soup bowls (depending on size) and topping with mashed sweet potatoes and baking for the same length of time.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: shepherd’s pie, vegan shepherd’s pie, vegan entree

For other plant-based one-dish meals, try the following:

Vegan Jambalaya with Red Beans and Okra
Noodle Bowl with Thai Tofu and Vegetables
Easy Vegetable Fajitas
Easy Vegetable Tofu Bibimbap Skillet
BEST One-Pot Vegan Mac and Cheese

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