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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Shepherd’s Pie

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Shepherd’s Pie

A meat-free alternative to a delicious dish.


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes scrubbed well
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 15- ounce cans no salt-added chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth divided
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup regular or low-fat sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

To bake the potatoes:

  • Prick each sweet potato a few times with a fork or skewer. Place on the foil-lined sheet and bake until the potatoes are completely soft when squeezed and juices are running out of the pierced holes; the amount of time will vary depending on the size of the sweet potatoes. Small ones will be done in about 45 minutes; large ones may take up to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a platter; keep the oven at 350˚F.

Meanwhile, prepare the chickpea filling:

  • Heat oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion; season with salt to taste. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened, then add the butter and 3 tablespoons curry powder. Season with pepper to taste, stirring to combine.
  • Stir in chickpeas, 1 1/4 cups vegetable broth and brown sugar. Once the mixture has begun to bubble at edges, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding some or all of the remaining 1 tablespoon curry powder.
  • Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup vegetable broth with cornstarch in a measuring cup, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch. Add to the chickpea filling. Increase heat to medium-high so the broth comes to a boil. When the liquid has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Transfer to 8-by-11-inch baking dish.

To assemble pie:

  • Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise. Scoop the potato flesh from the skin and transfer to a large bowl; discard the skins. Add sour cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Use a masher or fork to smash the potatoes until the other elements are fully incorporated.
  • Drop dollops of sweet potato mixture on top of chickpea filling, spreading them with a small spatula to cover the filling completely. Bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling around the sides of the dish.

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