Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan)

Sharon Palmer

Plant-based comfort food dishes which serve as a meal-in-one—such as this hearty, vegan Southwest Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie—are wonderful this time of year. In fact, I enjoy these classic recipes all year long. I love shepherd’s pie—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 Latin spice profile. This shepherd’s pie is even better the next day, too! 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.

Cook sweet potatoes until tender, then season and mash for the topping.
Cook the vegetable filling in a saucepan, and pour into a casserole dish before topping with mashed sweet potatoes.
Bake until golden brown and serve!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan)

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  • Author: The Plant-Powered Dietitian
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Sweet Potato Topping:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Black Bean Vegetable Filling:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 14.5-oz can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (optional)

Garnish (optional):

  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


To Make Sweet Potato Topping:

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain liquid from pot and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add dairy-free margarine and season as desired with salt and pepper.

To Make Black Bean Vegetable Filling:

  1. While 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 pan. Top with mashed sweet potatoes, spreading evenly over vegetable mixture.
  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 8 small servings.


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 163
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 261
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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

Red Bean and Okra Jambalaya
Thai Tofu Veggie Noodle Bowl
Vegetable Fajitas

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