This hearty vegan Cottage Pie, made with high-protein textured pea crumbles and topped with creamy smashed Yukon Gold potatoes, is the classic comfort food, and a definite crowd pleaser!
What is Textured Pea Protein?
Textured pea protein (TPP) crumbles are made from peas. The protein is separated from the peas, formed into crumbles and dehydrated. To use it in recipes, simply rehydrate and use as you would use mince meat, such as in Bolognese sauce or in tacos.
Since it’s made from peas, textured pea protein is naturally gluten and soy free. It’s also a source of high quality protein, is low in fat, high in fiber and contains lots of vitamins and minerals.
which potatoes are best for mashing
Russets are high in starch and low in moisture, so they easily absorb liquids and will not hold their shape at all when cooked. Russet potatoes will completely break down resulting in and light and fluffy mashed potatoes.
Yukon Golds are a great medium starch, all-purpose potato. They will produce mashed potatoes that are more dense and very creamy. Yukon Golds are very thin skinned, so I prefer to leave the skin on.
Avoid using waxy potatoes, like red potatoes or fingerlings, for mashed potatoes. Waxy potatoes do not absorb liquids very well, and don’t break down easily, so they will turn gummy or gluey when mashed.
How to avoid gummy mashed potatoes
The best tool for mashing potatoes is a masher, which will produce chunkier, more rustic, “smashed” potatoes.
A ricer is also a great tool, which will shred the potatoes relatively fine, and will result in finer mashed potatoes.
A food processor, or mixer, is never recommended for mashing. Both of these methods will overwork the potatoes, releasing too much of the starch in the potato, and will produce gluey and gummy results.
We often like to add some cauliflower to mashed potatoes. It adds nutrients and lightens the mash and nobody can guess it’s in there. Adding a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast is also optional, but adds even more vitamins, protein and great cheesy and nutty flavor.
Vegan Cottage Pie
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 celery stick chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon marmite
- 1½ cups vegetable, vegan chicken, or vegan beef broth
- cups textured pea protein crumbles
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 cup green peas frozen
For the potatoes:
- 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes chopped
- ¼ head cauliflower chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup plain plant-based milk
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional
- freshly grated nutmeg
- salt & pepper to taste
- vegan parmesan for topping the potatoes optional
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft and golden.Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomato paste, add cook for a couple of minutes. Add the marmite and the broth. Bring to a boil, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Once the broth has come to a boil, add the pea crumbles., thyme, and the frozen peas. Turn off the heat, toss to mix, and cover with a lid. Set aside while the crumbles to soak up the broth.
For the mashed potatoes:
- Place the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by a couple of inches and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until tender.
- Drain the water, and with a potato masher or fork, smash the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic clove.Add the plant-based milk, butter, a few grinds of fresh nutmeg, nutritional yeast, (if using), and salt & pepper to taste.
To assemble the cottage pie:
- Turn the broiler on high.
- Spoon the mince layer in an over proof dish (or four individual heat proof ramekins). Top with the mashed potato layer. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan, if using.
- Broil the cottage pies for about five minutes, until golden brown on top.