March 21, 2012

Tamale Shepherd’s Pie

by IsaChandra

Serves 8
Time: 1 hour || Active time: 30 minutes

Tamale Shepherds Pie

Who among us doesn’t love mashed potatoes? Add something spicy, savory and stewy bubbling underneath and it pretty much takes that love over the top and into creepy obsession territory.

Since I’m about to make my first ever foray into the Lone Star State at next weekend’s Texas VegFest in Austin, I was feeling kinda’ Tex-Mex this week. Enter tamale pie! Well, almost. I realized that I was too low on my masa harina to execute a real tamale pie, but what I lacked in corn flour I made up for in potatoes. And thus the Tamale Shepherd’s Pie was born!

A creamy layer of lime-kissed mashed red potatoes over a succulent and spicy stew of black beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, poblano peppers and corn, with a few of the usual southwestern flavors thrown in. To give it true tamale flavor, a few handfuls of crumbled up tortilla chips tossed into the stew do the trick. It’s the perfect meal for these rainy months at the beginning of Spring. I love how the red potatoes look on top, adding flecks of pretty blush. It makes a ton, too, and leftovers taste just as good.

Recipe notes:
To get this done quickly, boil the potatoes first. Then begin the stew. Both components should come together within half an hour and then you just bake and wait. You can adjust the spice level to your liking by (obviously) adjusting the hot sauce and red pepper flakes. As is, I’d say it’s a low-medium spicy. Don’t forget to preheat the oven right about when you add the tomatoes and corn to the stew, that way everything is ready to go.

OK everyone, enjoy and I’ll see you in Texas!

For the mashed potato layer:
2 1/2 lbs unpeeled red potatoes, cut into big chunks (1 1/2 inches or so)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 scant teaspoon grated lime zest
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

For the stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra)
1 onion, diced medium
1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced medium
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, cut in half and sliced 1/4 inch thick or so
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped
1 1/4 lbs plum tomatoes (about 6), chopped
1/2 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 ounces tortilla chips (about 4 good-sized handfuls)
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons Frank’s red hot hot sauce (plus extra for serving)
3 cups cooked black beans (2 15 oz cans rinsed and drained)

I garnished with: Hot red chilis, fresh cilantro and lime slices

Tamale Shepherds Pie

Place potatoes in a pot and submerge in salted water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Drain potatoes and immediately transfer them back into the pot. It’s important to do this while everything is still hot. Give them a quick preliminary mash, then add the milk, olive oil, lime zest and salt. Mash until creamy, taste for salt, then cover and set aside. (Note: I usually add black pepper, but decided not to here so that the lime really shines through. If you feel naked without it, though, go ahead and add some.)

To prepare the stew:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and pepper in olive oil and a pinch of salt, until peppers are softened, about 10 minutes. In the meantime prep all your other ingredients.

Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Add mushrooms and cilantro and cook until the mushrooms have released a lot of moisture, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, wine, salt, cumin and red pepper flakes. Turn heat up and cover the pan, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes. The tomatoes should break down and become saucy (if corn was frozen it may take a bit longer.)

Now take the tortilla chips and crush them into fine crumbs with your hands. It’s ok if there are a few bigger pieces, but aim for crumbs. Add them to the stew and mix well. Since tortillas can be salty, wait until they’re added to taste for salt. Mix in the lime juice and hot sauce, then fold in the black beans and heat through. Now taste for salt and seasonings.

To assemble:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a deep 11×13 casserole (cooking spray works just fine). Transfer the stew to the casserole and even it out with a spatula. Add the potatoes in dollops, and spread it into an even layer.

Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned. Stick under the broiler for a minute or two just in case the browning isn’t happening. Serve hot garnished with cilantro, chili peppers and lime.

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm: Kristen

    YAY! I like how you’re getting in the spirit! I’m so excited to see your demo at Texas VegFest!

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm: missbear

    Speechless :) x

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm: Karen

    I always love a new way to use black beans and tomatos. I can get them organic, in bulk cans so they are showcased in atleast one meal a week at my house. My husband loves mashed potatoes, so I think this will be a hit!

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm: Jessica

    Can’t wait to see you at Texas VegFest!

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm: Adam

    ooh, this would be great to bring to a party or potluck.. seems it would go over really well with the omni’s

    • March 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm: IsaChandra

      Yeah, I think so. There’s nothing obviously vegan about it.

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:48 pm: mollyjade

    I’m so excited to see you at Texas VegFest!

    • March 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm: IsaChandra

      Yay, thanks!

  • March 21, 2012 at 8:57 pm: Sherry

    I really can’t waith to meet you and see your demo at Texas Veg Fest:) and the Tamale shepherd pie looks wonderful…. too bad I am juice fasting right now.

  • March 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm: Ryann @ MyWholeDeal

    Definitely making this tomorrow! I love lime in everything—can’t believe I haven’t tried it in potatoes yet!

  • March 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm: lazysmurf

    MY GOD!

  • March 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm: Luminousvegans

    Great twist on a classic! How do you come up with this awesome stuff?

    • March 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm: IsaChandra

      Vegan powers.

  • March 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm: Nina

    So glad i found you! Dinner tomorrow.

  • March 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm: Janet

    I was JUST thinking I wanted Shepherd’s Pie! Perfect timing!

  • March 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm: Angela

    First time in the Loan Star State? wow! Can’t wait to see you at Texas VegFest!

  • March 21, 2012 at 11:30 pm: Full-Flavored Life

    Yum! I’ve been craving mashed potatoes

  • March 22, 2012 at 12:11 am: Kathy Leslie

    Wow! I just love how you can always take regular ingredients and think outside the box with them!

  • March 22, 2012 at 12:50 am: Olivia B.

    I’m making this tomorrow for my husband’s homecoming! Thank you! :)

  • March 22, 2012 at 3:35 am: Joy

    I am very excited to make this. I just made your strawberry rhubarb crumble pie from VPITS last night and it came out wonderfully (as your recipes always do)–thanks!!

  • March 22, 2012 at 6:26 am: Sarah H.

    Made this recipe tonight it was fantastic! The flavor explosion on my tongue was so wonderfully satisfying. Thank you Isa.

  • March 22, 2012 at 3:30 pm: Austin

    I might get to be your wrangler at Texas VegFest!!

  • March 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm: Vee

    i’ve made something like this before, but with a cornbread “crust” underneath instead of potatoes on top!

  • March 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm: Damo

    Running to the store (literally) to buy some cilantro….then this will be mine. Muah ha ha!!!

  • March 22, 2012 at 10:10 pm: candace

    Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it’s your first time in TX! I hope you’ll love Austin :) Can’t wait to see you at the Veg Fest!
    Also, this recipe looks like the best ever.

  • March 23, 2012 at 2:44 am: VeganCouchPotato

    Hmmmmmmm…. Methinks want to make it :) cornbread?
    It looks great!!!

  • March 25, 2012 at 1:01 am: LeaVee

    Yummers! The fam and I loved it!

  • March 25, 2012 at 2:47 am: Robin

    Made it tonight. Took me a full hour and 15, but it was worth it. Wonderfu! Even my omnivore husband enjoyed!!

  • March 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm: Meg

    I have a bunch of leftover black bean soup I made from the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe. Do you think this could be adapted to use those beans? Maybe layering cooked corn, tomatoes, and cilantro on top of the beans?

  • March 26, 2012 at 10:30 am: Jennifer

    I made this yesterday with yellow and green bell peppers for the poblano and tobasco sauce (2 teaspoons) instead of Frank’s Red Hot, since where I live, I don’t have access to those ingredients. It’s easy to put together, not complicated all, and really quite DELICIOUS. Leftovers for lunch today – extreme comfort food!

  • March 26, 2012 at 1:33 pm: Liz

    This is very exciting. Let´s say somebody did have masa harina on hand, lots of it. What would you have done to make that crust?
    Thank you for all your deliciousness

  • March 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm: Mike

    This was so delicious. My roommates and I added sweet potato to the mashed potato mixture and topped everything off with fresh-made guacamole. Wonderful!

  • March 27, 2012 at 2:52 am: Alli

    SOO GOOD! I made mine with caulipots to make it a bit healthier.

  • March 27, 2012 at 3:26 am: JJ

    WOW! Soooooo good! A marvelous, healthy, delicious, wholesome, rich, tasty, fulfilling, glorious meal! We love it and will be making it again very very soon! This is the kind of deliciousness that one could make again the next night! It’s so hearty and with so much flavor. The next Thanksgiving dinner I make, I am making this! Thank you Isa for this marvelous creation!

  • March 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm: Jenn

    +1 to Mike, the first thing I thought of was that sweet potatoes would be good on top. They just seem to go nicely with Tex-Mex flavors for me.

    Side note: I want to go to Austin. So. Very. Badly.

  • March 28, 2012 at 3:33 am: jillianbrynn

    made this tonight. the only issue was my casserole dish was a little deeper more so than it was wide or long. it also made A LOT. also, because my dish was shaped funny, i layered it (stew, potatoes, stew, potatoes. i think though, that the proportion of potatoes to stew, for me, was still a bit off. would have preferred less potatoes. but still, quite yummy and hearty and will be sharing this with friends at potlucks to come! thnx!

  • March 28, 2012 at 10:23 am: Sarah

    This looks so yummy, going to have to give it a go!

  • March 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm: Miranda

    This looks divine! I love the addition of wine in the stew. Really deepens the flavors.

  • March 28, 2012 at 11:39 pm: Brittany

    making this tonight and cant wait for this weekend!!

  • March 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm: Sam (the Quantum Vegan)

    I LOOOOOVE shepherd’s pie. And, not gonna lie, I used to eat the little Amy’s tamale pies. So there’s absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t make this as soon as I can get my hands on some poblanos & fresh cilantro! <3

  • March 29, 2012 at 8:16 pm: fashion food fight

    Ah I never liked Shepherd’s Pie but this I need to try! Love your blog!

    You may want to check out my blog if you’re into healthy foods, photography and fashion :)

    Have a wonderful day today, XO

  • March 30, 2012 at 3:57 am: Charlie

    I’m a new vegan, and I’m so lost right now. I’ve been living off of rice cakes and salad, but I need to embrace the abundance of food available to us and this recipe just got my mojo groovin’!! It looks amazing!! Thankyou so much for this inspiration!

  • April 1, 2012 at 10:41 am: Maree

    Made the stew tonight in anticipation of making the pie tomorrow. It is so delicious- I can’t wait to tuck in! Thanks for the recipe!

  • April 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm: Michelle

    This was delicious! And thanks to the Martha Stewart chopper/dicer thing my sister go me and I never thought I would use, it was a breeze! Anything with Frank’s Hot Sauce is going to be good anyway, but lime mashed potatoes put this dish in another orbit all together.

  • April 2, 2012 at 2:13 am: Courtney

    My in-laws and husband loved this (which I’m relieved, I went gaga after 1 bite)! It was comforting, refreshing, and warming all at once. I topped the stew with mashed sweet potatoes, since that’s all I had available. It was great though :)

  • April 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm: Shanna

    I made this delicious creation over the weekend – it was Ah-mazing! Yes, it was that good, amazing needs 2 syllables… Thank you so much for this! 100% the tastiest dish ever! I’m so looking forward to the leftovers :)

  • April 2, 2012 at 9:56 pm: Inês

    Amazing! I have cooked it today and it is absolutely delicious! Thank you for this!

  • April 3, 2012 at 2:03 pm: noodle restaurant Brisbane

    Wow nice! I tried it today and it’s tasty :)

  • April 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm: Kiki

    Isa, you are so inspiring! I am a mostly-vegetarian with an omni husband/ family and I LOOOOVE your site. I am very much leaning back toward full vegetarianism, so I am grateful for your site with nourishing recipes to satisfy my whole family! Thank you!

  • April 4, 2012 at 2:51 am: Will

    I just ate this and it tastes great!

  • April 4, 2012 at 2:54 am: Will

    I mean….. it tasted great….. when I ate it…. just a few minutes ago… and it will probably taste great when I eat it later.

  • April 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm: Sandra

    Im pretty new to cooking and not much experience cooking with wine. Ill be making this tonight but what’s a good dry red wine to use with this…On hand I do have White Zinfandel, Zinfandel, and Rose. OUt of all these I think Zinfandel is the only dry. Any better recommendations to go with this spicy veggie stew? I also like to double up on spices alot on recipes alot.

  • April 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm: Lynn

    Isa, I have to say, hands down, this is a winner. We had a veg meet up group in Albuquerque last night and I was perusing the PPK website and this was the lead page, and I thought, “self, that’s very southwest sounding” so I purchased what I didn’t have at home and proceeded to put it all together. I just made slight variations. Instead of tortillas chips, I actually used corn tortillas, probably about six of them (didn’t actually count) cut them into strips and then cut the strips into small pieces. Along with the lime in the potatoes I add a smidge of garlic powder and some habenero seasoning. AMAZING. I am thinking the next time, I may add some homiony instead of corn, posole is such a southwest flavor. Well, needless to say, we set the dish down on the serving table and it was gone in 15 minutes! Not a crumb left in the pan. Thank you so much my vegan idol!!

  • April 8, 2012 at 3:48 pm: Lynn

    @ Sandra, I usually have my husband pick the wine, so he found “Casillero del Diablo” a Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s from Chile, and we found it Albertson’s so I am sure most places that sell wine may carry this. It was definitely a good choice.

    PS Isa, I hope something happens in Albuquerque and soon. Would love to meet you whether at event or one of the eateries around here! Have fun in Texas!

  • April 10, 2012 at 2:20 am: Alex

    “Who among us doesn’t love mashed potatoes?”
    That would be me. After ~20 years of having mashed potatoes with dinner very nearly every night, I do not like mashed potatoes anymore. I am fine with just about any other potato-y goodness and potatoes in general but not mashed.

  • April 10, 2012 at 10:56 pm: mfd

    I have this in the oven right now! Making it anticipation of my bf coming home from being gone for 2 months. It smells delicious and I cannot wait to eat it. I was drooling over the recipe for the past few days! Thanks again for the amazing recipes, don’t know what I would do without your cookbooks!

  • April 11, 2012 at 2:32 am: Michelle

    This was awesome! Made subs…sweet potatoes, pinto beans, jalepenos….and zucchini for mushrooms … good

  • April 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm: lynn

    Ooooh Michelle, I am going to have to try some of your subs!!! Sounds yummy also!!

  • April 13, 2012 at 1:43 am: FullFlavoredLife

    Such a comforting and delicious meal! Thanks for sharing!

  • April 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm: Benji

    @ Alex – try caulipots then. I was never that big a fan of mashed potatoes, but I find caulipots genuinely exciting. (wait, I find two mashed vegetables exciting? Soon I’ll be playing Bingo…)

    Anyway, I’m making this tomorrow, really looking forward to it. I made a Tamale Pie a few months ago using one of Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipes, and it was fantastic – this looks like it’ll be even better.

  • April 14, 2012 at 12:31 am: Britny W

    I made this and it tasted wonderful! Only complaint is that my potatoes were a bit dry. I guess I needed to add more milk?

  • April 18, 2012 at 3:22 am: Phil Connors


  • April 19, 2012 at 5:44 am: Water Park Maintenance

    Thank god there is a good frozen meal brand for times like this! Amy comes to the rescue!

  • April 21, 2012 at 8:47 pm: A.D.

    This. Is bad@ss delicious. You’re an inspriation in the kitchen.

  • April 22, 2012 at 1:46 am: Tanya

    I made this tonight. Absolutely delicious!

  • April 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm: Liz

    I made this two nights ago. It was really fantastic. The lime in the potatoes-GREAT. I substituted two jalapenos (deseeded and deveined) for the poblano since our lame local supermarket didn’t carry the latter, and used only 1/4 tsp of the red pepper flakes as my kids yell if anything’s got more than mild heat. Came out great!!!!

  • April 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm: jaime

    this was SO YUMMYY!!! :) thank you for your delicious recipes !

  • April 25, 2012 at 5:32 am: Paige

    Just made this. Sometimes I have trouble with the recipes but this one turned out perfect. Substituted an anaheim for the poblano and canned tomatoes for fresh. ALso added some cherry tomatoes. The lime didn’t come through as well as I’d hoped, though.

  • April 26, 2012 at 12:39 pm: Chris M

    Just made this, was awesome. if you’re looking to save on clean up a bit, just start the stew in a dutch oven, drop the mashed potatoes on top before throwing in the oven. 1 less pot to clean, plus it’s cast iron, so it makes it real texy-mexy-sexy.

  • May 3, 2012 at 10:12 pm: Sharon V

    I loved this dish…except for the potatoes. The flavors were exactly what I remember tamale pie to taste like (haven’t had it in years). So delicious, just the right amount of spicy-ness. The potatoes, while delicious (with the hint of lime flavor), distracted me from the hearty stew beneath. Next time I make this (and I definitely will), I will use a corn meal topping instead.

  • May 5, 2012 at 6:23 am: KelleeMove

    We had this for dinner tonight and it was great, although a bit dry. I noticed that it wasn’t as moist as I thought it should be before putting it in the oven and should’ve corrected it then. But dinner was late, and I was rushing to get it on the table before the kids threw fits, so I didn’t adjust. Still, it was tasty. As a bonus, I cooked up the whole thing (except for boiling/mashing the potatoes) in my cast iron skillet – stovetop to oven and saved dirtying a dish. I love it when I can do that! (It’s the small things…)

  • May 6, 2012 at 2:32 am: Jessie Pettit

    This was a big hit–I served it as a stew with cilantro lime quinoa on the side and your charbroiled butternut rounds. Super yum!

  • May 8, 2012 at 9:34 pm: Vanessa

    amazing! I used fire roasted organic canned tomatoes

  • May 9, 2012 at 10:57 pm: Leilani

    This was brilliant!!!!! We (5 kids, me and hubby, brother) all loved it! The lime potatoes were genius!! Hello!!! Thank you a bajillion!!! I trippled the recipe!!!! Bwahahaha! Leftovers!

  • May 13, 2012 at 3:28 am: Jazza

    Alex, I’m sure you could cook the potatoes so they still hold shape, then slice them and place them in rows all over the stew, drizzle with wee bit of veg oil and they should crust up and brown for anew type topping! OR use sweet potato which is yummy mashed for a topping of a cottage pie.

  • May 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm: Steve

    This was excellent. Thank you!

  • May 16, 2012 at 7:27 am: Margaret

    Looks excellent!! I also wanted to lick the screen as I’m on day 22 of my 30-40 juice cleanse. Always looking for inspiration for meals to fix my family. Thank you!!

  • May 16, 2012 at 1:28 pm: Jon

    I tried this recipe with minor modification. I live in Texas and like spicy. I added jalapenos to the poblano dice, doubled the comino, and used Valentina hot sauce (valentina sauce is hotter than franks and has an ancho chili / chili powder flavor). I must say this is an outstanding dish, and the lime potatoes are out of this world, they will have a life of their own in my kitchen. Kudos to IsaChandra for another ‘out of the park’ dish. 9 months vegan, 13 months vegetarian and loving it. (My first veggie cookbook was “Appetite for Reduction”.)
    with sincere thanks,

  • May 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm: Eliza

    This look SO delicious! The other night I veganed up lasagne (spicy cauliflower puree for the cheese) and you know what? It was actually really good. Can’t wait to try this one :)

  • May 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm: Sherri

    I made this last night and it was FANTASTIC!!! I will certainly be making this in the future, thank you so much for the recipe!

  • May 23, 2012 at 9:32 am: Naomi

    Tastes even better the day after! Thanks so much Isa :) xxxx

  • May 31, 2012 at 7:29 am: VK3CFI

    Another winner! I added some Mexican chili powder also.

  • June 2, 2012 at 1:11 am: Tay

    Yum Yum Yum! I think I’m going to make this with my mashed yucca recipe on top — I just add caramelized onions and lime to steamed yucca that’s been through a potato ricer, and mash it up until it’s almost kind of… stretchy? Can’t wait, but it’s going to have to, because I already have a meal plan from ppk through the next week and a half!

  • June 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm: Colleen in MA

    I made this and my carnivore husband and I loved it. Only adjustments I made were no hot sauce or red wine and the recipe still yielded a very flavorful dish. The leftovers that were stuck in the fridge are yummy too. Doing the potatoes the same time as the base is definitely a time-saver. And the kitchen smelled amazing!

  • June 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm: Susan

    So delicious!

  • June 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm: Becky

    Made this for dinner last week and it was a HUGE hit! Shared it with several non-vegan friends and answered the, “What do you eat if you’re vegan?” question. They couldn’t believe how much they liked “vegan” food, and I loved the layers of flavor. Definitely something I’ll make again and again! Thanks!

  • June 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm: natalie

    Can’t wait to try this! Looks delicious. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

  • June 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm: Jessica

    This was absolutely amazing!! I added fresh (with seeds) serrano peppers, avocado and tons of lime juice for garnish. Truly amazing! Delicious and so healthy.

  • June 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm: Stephanie

    This was my first time making a vegan meal. It. Was. *Amazing!!!* I am so happy I found this site -I can’t wait to make vegan meals a part of my everyday routine. Thanks!!!

  • June 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm: JJ

    I made this in Germany without cilantro (couldn’t find it anywhere this time of year) and with 2 mystery peppers instead of the poblano: came out marvelous as always!!! Thank you Isa!

  • June 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm: rachel

    YOU ARE DA BEST. much luv.

  • June 20, 2012 at 1:47 am: Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy

    oh my goodness that looks so delicious! i love how its studded with limes! yum!

  • June 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm: susie_slaughter

    this was DELICIOUS!!!!

  • June 26, 2012 at 2:17 am: Tika

    This was really really good. I didn’t have any corn and substituted some diced zucchini and fresh mango. The best surprise was the lime potatoes. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I LOVE traditional style mashed potatoes but this really made it special!

  • June 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm: Madison

    Yummy! This would be soooo delicious. I shall try it :)

  • July 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm: Sam

    Goodness. I think I just love this. Good you make more Ireland-related things, please?

  • July 2, 2012 at 10:18 am: TikvaNZ

    I would LOVE to try this Recipe, but here in New Zealand I have not been able to find Poblano Pepper’s (even Jalapenos are hard to come by!) or Frank’s red hot hot sauce. Can anyone offer any substitutions for those ingredients? Many thanks!

  • July 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm: JJ

    TikvaNZ, use any pepper, I am in Germany and used random Italian peppers I found, but I think you could also use a bell pepper just fine. Also for hot sauce, use any tabasco sort of sauce or other hot sauce you find, try looking in the “ethnic” section of a grocery store. I have tried all kinds of substitutions with this recipe, and it comes out great!

  • July 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm: lee watson

    I love this thing! The site and the pie! Happy days, lee

  • July 11, 2012 at 4:04 am: Jade

    Finally, another recipe my close minded, anti vegan brother enjoyed. Thank you! =D Photo on instagram: _savetheworld_

  • July 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm: Mary

    This sounds so delicious! I am new to a vegetarian/vegan way of eating and have been struggling with giving up many foods that I’ve been used to eating for years and years. I have really enjoyed looking through your site! Thanks much for sharing such amazing and healthful recipes!

  • July 19, 2012 at 1:43 pm: lee watson

    Hey Guys, We love what you do and felt you deserve an award (you probably have a few already!!!) The ‘Thought Provoking’ blog award ( We hope it brings many new good folk to your lovely blog. Pass it on if you like. Happy days, lee and janex

  • July 20, 2012 at 3:13 am: sarah

    I made this and my whole carnivorous family loved it. I ate it every day until it was gone. Delicious!! I didn’t change a thing and the recipe was amazing!!

  • August 1, 2012 at 5:42 am: Graeme H

    This is absolutely delicious…..2 weeks into Vegan eating and Im lovin it…..GREAT website

  • August 6, 2012 at 1:14 am: Kristen

    Finally got around to making this…. It is absolutely amazing. A new staple around here, one of my favorite vegan dishes! I love that it’s southwest but doesn’t need cheese. I’m not entirely vegan, I have a cheese addiction, and this is just delightful without cheese. Thank you so much!

  • August 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm: Sara

    Delicious! How on earth did you come up with the idea to put tortilla chips in this?! Lovely stuff :)

  • August 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm: JM

    Hmmm, I wasn’t so keen on this one. The hot sauce was a bit overwhelming, and yet there was also something a bit bland about this. I think it would be better with spices instead of hot sauce, and possibly ditching the tortilla chip element too – overly salty.

  • August 23, 2012 at 5:22 pm: Shanan

    I made this last night to take to a friend’s house who is Vegan (I am not) and I put some aside for my family to try. My only request was that they try it Vegan then and only then if they wanted to add dairy they could. Nobody added anything it was absolutely perfect the way it was. So yummy. I will add more spice next time but that’s my personal taste. Excellent I will be trying more recipes from this site soon.

    • September 3, 2012 at 4:06 am: IsaChandra

      Great to hear! xo

  • September 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm: Rae

    My kids loved this and I did too! I’m making this again.

  • October 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm: Valerie

    I love shepherd’s pie and I love tamales! What I also love is hominy which I hardly ever have an excuse to buy, so I find myself sadly walking past it in the store, not this week! I think I’ll put it in this recipe instead of the regular corn and tortilla chips. Mmmm this is going to be stupid good!

  • October 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm: Julie

    I made this and loved it so much while I was eating it that I was thinking of making a second one so I wouldn’t run out!

  • November 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm: Julia

    This is hands down my families favorite vegan dish I have prepared, they are not sold on being vegan, but they sure love this shepard’s pie!

  • December 19, 2012 at 5:24 pm: Carolina

    My family and I loved this! I had to substitute sweet potatoes for the potatoes and it turned out great. I love recipes that you can make easily and for company!

  • December 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm: rachel

    made this for a big family gathering of meat-eaters who are super skeptical of vegan food/vegetables in general and more than half of it got eaten, which feels like a victory. thank you!

  • December 31, 2012 at 4:56 am: Kristen

    YUUUUUMMMM! I just made this and it is SO good. I kind of forgot my husband hates cilantro, but he loved it and he is extremely picky. I can’t wait to make this for other people!

  • January 31, 2013 at 6:30 am: Chelsea

    Just made this for dinner for the first time…I didn’t have all of the listed ingredients so I had to improvise (used some chipotle peppers instead of the poblano peppers and a few other small things)…It turned out absolutely amazing!! So very good! Definitely going to become a staple in our house!

  • February 19, 2013 at 10:49 pm: Amie brandt

    Can I use navy beans instead of black beans? I already have them soaking :-/

  • March 18, 2013 at 1:41 am: Kristen

    Just made this and it was delicious!! Very hearty and my omnivore family loved it. Isa, you are my hero! Your recipes never disappoint.

    • March 18, 2013 at 2:34 am: IsaChandra

      Awww, thank you!

  • May 29, 2013 at 12:02 am: Elizabeth B.

    I await my succulent first bite of this juicy, moist culinary jubilee. I giggle with glee and anticipation as I pulse my utensils through the peaks and valleys of gently smashed potatoes…the beans peaking through, making their juicy, protein-filled presence known. Thank the lord above for this gift to my gullet.

  • July 10, 2013 at 10:37 am: Elle

    YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!! Such a good simple recipe, tastes amazing!! Love from across the pond, sunny sunny England x

  • September 3, 2013 at 2:26 am: Michelle

    I made this for a Labor Day family gathering (of which I am the only vegan). It went over quite famously.
    I added a small can of green chillies and some caned diced tomatoes (to stretch it).
    Thank you!

  • February 11, 2014 at 12:49 am: Sarah


  • July 2, 2014 at 7:26 pm: Emma

    This is fabulous! I made it for friends celebrating a birthday, and even with lots of appetizers and a pie to look forward to, we got through half of this sucker because it was so dang good. Next time I make it, though, I think I’ll increase the lime zest, because who doesn’t love the bright, zingy taste of lime zest?

  • December 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm: Kim Mineer

    Hey Isa,
    We love this in our house, and your Cook book
    Isa does it! Every recipe we have made has been excellent.
    Try some sweet potatoes up on top, I even put the lime in them
    So Delicious !

  • March 10, 2015 at 7:32 pm: kristle

    isa, i made this last weekend from the book, and it blew my mind ggggrrrrraaaaapppeeesss!! i really didn’t know what to expect, i’ve only made one kind of lentil shepherds pie… but this was just so amazeballz. i luff luff luff yew!

  • April 7, 2015 at 12:40 am: Cormac

    Any idea if this would work with polenta instead of potatoes? We’ve used polenta in place of crust for pot pies, but the filling in those was much starchier.

  • February 15, 2016 at 4:07 pm: Shirley

    Yum! Can’t wait to try it!

  • February 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm: Janet H.

    I made this last night for my co-op of 12, and the recipe doubles quite nicely and lends itself to delicious modifications. I supplemented with sweet potatoes, added yellow squash and carrots tossed in with the mushrooms and a chipotle sauce, since I didn’t have corn or poblano. It was like the best vegan tamale (from Austin to San Antonio, I’ve had a few) wrapped in a fluffy sweet potato hug! This was a hit, thank you vegan goddess!!