Disclaimer: I am participating in The Soyfoods Council’s #SoyInspired Thanksgiving as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time.
Thanksgiving shouldn’t just be about the turkey. For the next few days, a bunch of my favorite bloggers are celebrating Thanksgiving early with #SoyInspired recipes that you are going to drool over (check out the list, and those #soyinspired pumpkin pie milkshakes!).
I immediately knew that I wanted my favorite extra firm tofu in the mix, and dreamed up this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Tofu and a Cauliflower Crust.
If you’re having some veggie friends over for the holidays, or just looking for a new favorite comfort food, try this Shepherd’s Pie out! It is vegetarian, easily made vegan, and gluten free.
More importantly, the flavor is spot on for Thanksgiving with its notes of thyme, vegetable broth, squash, and mushrooms- and the tofu gets to soak up all those wonderful cozy flavors. Swapping the traditional potato crust out for cauliflower mash is a lower carbohydrate and lower calorie alternative that isn’t even noticeable for those traditionalists.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large carrots
- 1 white onion
- 16 ounces extra firm tofu
- ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
- ½ small butternut squash
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- ¼ cup water, divided
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat a large pot on medium heat with olive oil. Dice carrots, onion, and drained tofu into small cubes and add to the pot along with the ground thyme. Sautee for 5-7 minutes.
- In the meantime, dice the ½ of a butternut squash into slightly larger cubes (about 3 cups total). Add the diced squash to the pot with the vegetable broth and mushrooms and let it simmer together for 10-12 minutes, avoiding a hard boil but allowing some liquid to evaporate. Turn off the heat when the butternut squash can be pierced with a fork.
- While the butternut squash is cooking, add the cauliflower florets and 2 tablespoons of water into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 6 minutes. Stir and microwave for another 6 minutes until soft.
- Puree the cauliflower in a food processor until creamy (it may feel a bit grainy), adding the grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast for flavor. Set aside.
- Stir the cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of cold water until smooth, and add to the main pot of filling. Stir for a few minutes until thickened and taste, adding salt and pepper as desired.
- Ladle the filling mixture into a 2-quart baking dish. Carefully spread the pureed cauliflower mixture on top of the filling along with salt and pepper.
- Bake the shepherd's pie for 30 minutes, until bubbling (slide a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any spills). Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve the dish in bowls, alongside your favorite green salad or green beans for a tasty winter meal. This dish reheats beautifully for leftovers as well!
Don’t miss it: The Soyfoods Council is celebrating a #SoyInspired Thanksgiving with a giveaway certain to make holiday entertaining easier- a $200 Williams Sonoma gift card! Hop on over here to enter.
Are you planning on cooking a turkey for the holiday? I love surprising my vegetarian friends with a main dish option so they don’t have to just fill up on sides!