Veggie Cottage Pie topped with Sweet Potato Mash

Prep Time:50 mins, Cook Time: 30 mins, Total Time: 1 hr + 20 mins

January 16, 2015

Eat Your Veg | Veggie Cottage Pie

We do love a cottage pie around here, an invariably popular option with The Monsters. Like most families it’a a bit of a winter staple and the perfect huggy antidote to these cold and dank long days. Ordinarily I make mine with good quality beef mince and ‘veg it up’ with a whole host of finely chopped veggies, AKA a fridge clearing exercise. A great way to inject lots of good stuff into little tums and particularly with the veggies they’re less enamoured with, just make sure they’e unidentifiably tinily diced. Do check out my Seasonally Vegged-Up Cottage Pie recipe from a couple of years ago, it’s a goodie.

My recipe today’s gone one healthy step further and cut out the meat altogether. Replacing the protein with Quorn mince and lovely Puy lentils (though you could use ordinary green or brown ones). Of course there’s a barrage of veggies too, along with the usual suspect onions, carrots and celery I added nearly half a kilo of finely sliced green beans, diced butternut and celeriac and a few handfuls of miscellaneous finely shredded greens. And if that’s not enough veggies to fill your boots there’s a sweet potato mash top, subtly flavoured with a grating of nutmeg. Naturally vegetarian too it’s an uber-healthy family favourite of a dish, make that vegan if you use a dairy free soya spread in the mash as I do.

We’re on the whole diary-free again round here, omitting cows milk to try and cure Jacques nasty winter cough. The same flemmy hacking nighttime cough he’s had for the four winters since he was born, the cough he’s had countless trip to the doctors about over the years but as yet has remained undiagnosed. Not one has seemed terribly bothered about it. Admittedly it’s not exactly life threatening but the lack of sleep and inherent winter grumpiness this in turns brings to the whole family isn’t joyous. But on a very positive note I’ve discovered a temporary cure myself. Putting J on a rigid cows milk, yogurt and cheese-free diet definitely improves the cough, at least until the next winter cold anyway. Then we start the cycle again. And just as all the doc’s say I’m sure he’ll grow out of it one of these years, fingers crossed eh!.

Cottage Pie Challenge Logos

I’m entering a few challenges with my Cottage Pie, so here goes:

molecular-gastronomy-kit-spheres-main1) As Family Foodies (which I co-host with Vanesther aka Bangers & Mash) is going all healthy for the New Year, I’m entering my recipe to this month’s challenge. Obviously exempt myself, there’s a prize of a fab fun Moleculur Gastronomy set up for grabs for the winning recipe, so do join in with your healthy recipe posts.

2) To Utterly Scrummys and Fuss Free Flavours ‘Extra Veg’ event.

3) To Citrus Spice’s ‘In My Veg Box’ event which so happens to be Sweet Potatoes this month, hosted for January by Heidi Robert’s Kitchen Talk.

Eat Your Veg | Quorn, Lentil & Veggie Cottage Pie

The Good Stuff:

Rapeseed Oil, Onions, Garlic, Carrots, Celery, whatever Veggies you decide to throw in, Quorn, Lentils, Sweet Potato

Great For:

Winter Warming, Comforting, Making Ahead, Freezing, Family Dinners, Vegetarians, Vegans


Vary your veggies as to what’s seasonal or you have in, try to use a colourful mix of pumpkin, squash, celeriac, swede, parsnips, green beans, kale, cabbage, spring greens etc. It’s very forgiving, just go for it!

Special Equipment:

A large saucepan, an oven proof pie dish

Veggie Cottage Pie topped with Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients Prep Time:50 mins, Cook Time: 30 mins, Total Time: 1 hr + 20 mins

For the Cottage Pie filling:
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, well scrubbed and finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely sliced
400g Quorn mince
100g Puy, green or brown lentils
450g mixed vegetables, fairly finely diced or shredded
2 tablespoons plain flour
800ml vegetable stock (I use Marigold Reduced Salt)
250ml red wine
2 heaped teaspoons Marmite
1 tablespoon tomato puree
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
black pepper

For the Sweet Potato Mash:
650g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
350g potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
25g of butter or dairy-free soya spread
salt & pepper

1) Heat up the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish and sauté the onion, garlic, carrots and celery for 5 minutes.
2) Add the mince (from frozen is fine), lentils and other veggies, and stir around for 2 minutes, then add the flour for a further minute.
3) Pour in the stock and red wine, then stir through the Marmite, tomato puree, thyme and a generous pinch of black pepper. Cover.
4) Cook the sauce for 30 to 40 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are fully tender, stir from time to time to prevent any sticking to the bottom of the pan.
5) Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200ºc/180ºc fan/gas mark 6.
6) Prep the topping. Boil the sweet potatoes and potatoes for 15 minutes until tender.
7) Mash the potatoes until very smooth, stir through the butter or spread then season with a generous grating of nutmeg, plenty of black pepper and a little salt.
9) Pour the cottage pie base into a pie dish and top with the mash. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until golden on top.

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11 thoughts on “Veggie Cottage Pie topped with Sweet Potato Mash

  1. Bake

    Oh my!! My almost 3 year-old has had that same cough since October! Doctors not worried, antibiotics didn’t help, also not sleeping and with a 3m old too I’m (REALLY) struggling!! Going to try cutting dairy out, thanks so much for mentioning this!!! X ps food looks delicious too!

    1. Louisa Foti Post author

      Oh do try cutting out dairy, by which usually means just cow’s milk products – milk, yogurt, cheese!!. After four years of sleep deprived winters I’m pretty sure it’s the cow’s milk that makes it worse, and as soon as J gets a cold now I cut it dead for a few days or weeks. Then gradually re-introduce. Oh poor you trying to manage with a wee three month old too, hope there’s an improvement soon.

  2. Karen

    FAB recipe and I often use Quorn to cut back in calories! LOVE the look of this and is is a GREAT contender for Cooking with Herbs too, which is all about STORE CUPBOARD ingredients this month! 😉 Karen



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