IngredientsFor the mashed potatoes:
- 5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
- 3–4 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups uncooked lentils
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 carrot, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 6 mushrooms, cut into ¼-inch dice
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 3 pieces okra, cut into ¼-inch dice (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup vegan red wine
- ½ cup tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
- 1 sheet nori seaweed
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder (see note)
- 1–2 green onions, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Boil the potatoes: Combine several cups of water and the potatoes in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, until very tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the heat and drain.
- Boil the lentils: Combine the lentils and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat and drain the lentils.
- Make the pie filling: While the potatoes and lentils are boiling, heat 1 tablespoon of water in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic turns yellow. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time as needed, to keep it from sticking to the pan.
- Add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes more, until the onions begin to turn brown and translucent and the carrots become tender.
- Add the boiled lentils, tomatoes, and okra (if using), and mix well. Then add the flour, to achieve a gravy-like consistency. I added around 2 tablespoons, but you can add more if you like a thicker mixture.
- Add the vegetable broth, red wine, tomato puree, thyme, and rosemary. Mix well and simmer for a couple of minutes (your kitchen will smell wonderful!). Taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Make the mashed potatoes: Add salt to taste and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the plant milk to the drained potatoes, then mash them with a potato masher. Don’t add too much moisture, because you don’t want a runny Jabba!
- Form your Jabba (optional): Scoop out about 1 cup of the mashed potatoes onto a piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Pull up an online photo of Jabba to use as a guide for shaping his body. Have lots of fun with this, and don’t try to be perfect! (Skip this step if you're not making a Jabba the Hutt on top.)
- Moisten the mashed potatoes for topping: Add the plant milk and vegetable stock to the mashed potatoes remaining in the pot, and use your potato masher to incorporate. This will make the potatoes easier to spread on top of the pie.
- Assemble and bake your pie: First, preheat your oven to 400°F. Then pour the lentil mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top. Slowly lift your Jabba from the plastic wrap with a long spatula, and place him atop the mashed potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, until the Jabba turns a gorgeous golden color.
- Decorate your Jabba: If you made the Jabba top, cut a few very thin strips from your nori sheet. Moisten them with a little water (so they will stick), and use them to craft a face on your Jabba. For Jabba’s green parts, I used matcha powder. Dip the back of a wet spoon into the powder, then gently paint Jabba’s surface with it.
- Garnish and serve: Sprinkle with the chopped green onions and black pepper, and voila! You have made a vegan Jabba the Hutt shepherd’s pie!
NOTE: You can buy matcha (green tea) powder online.
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