Shepherd’s Pie with Pumpkin Filling

Shepherd’s Pumpkin Pie combines the traditional shepherd’s pie with a touch of pumpkin and cinnamon to give it some international flair. It’s now our new family favorite!

Shepherd's Pumpkin Pie with sage and cinnamon is a great gluten-free and vegan dish.

Small changes can make big differences. Think of the word “bellow.” Simply changing the first letter can change that wail into a cool, calm, and collected, “mellow.” Or think about quarters and silver dollars. They’reabout the same size and color, but there’s a big difference in value. See what I mean? Small change. Big Difference.

The same thing could be said about food. Changing one simple ingredient can create an entirely new recipe. That’s definitely true for today’s recipe. I started out wanting to make a Shepherd’s Pie. It’s one of my daughter’s favorite dishes and with the changing seasons it definitely sounded like a good idea. When reaching for a can of tomatoes to add to the cooking vegetables, I accidentally grabbed a can of pumpkin instead. Happy accident. That’s what I call that!

I thought to myself – why not add pumpkin to this recipe? It could add some color, flavor and a little beta carotene while we’re at it. Besides, a recent Huffington Post article referred to pumpkin as one of the 7 Fall Superfoods. Who doesn’t want a little “superfood” in their fall menu? And while I was adding pumpkin I decided to add just a pinch of cinnamon to give it a Greek moussaka flavor.

Pumpkin and cinnamon. That’s all it took to transform this already-delicious dish into something out of this world.

Pine nuts adorn this vegan dish, Shepherd's Pumpkin Pie.

The trick was getting the right photograph. Casseroles are not terribly attractive photography subjects.

Lucky for me I was headed to a food photography workshop with Helene Dujardin. When you have a question about food photography, Helene is definitely one of the best!

Helene Dujardin offers photography tips in a recent food photography workship in Kansas City.
A food photography expert at work: Helene Dujardin shows us how it’s done.

I learned a lot in this workshop, but now comes the fun…putting it to practice. Hopefully that part about small changes adding up to big differences will apply here as well!

A perfect fall meal - Shepherd's Pumpkin Pie with french bread.

Shepherd's Pumpkin Pie with sage and cinnamon is a great gluten-free and vegan dish.

Shepherd’s Pie with Pumpkin

Enjoy this Shepherd's Pie with Pumpkin Filling for the delicious flavors and for the healthy benefits of adding beta carotene provided by the pumpkin.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Shepherd’s Pie with Pumpkin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 348kcal
Author: Namely Marly


For the Pumpkin Filling:

  • 14 oz . can Chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz . can Pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg
  • ¼ cup pine nuts

For the Mashed Potato Crust:

  • 5 large red potatoes chopped
  • Vegetable broth non-dairy milk, milk or cream, as needed
  • Vegan buttery spread such as Smart Balance with Flax Oil or olive oil, to taste
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • ½ Pumpkin Filling

For the Vegetable Base:

  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin or curry spice
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups cauliflower florets about half a smallish head, cut to bite size
  • 3 medium-large carrots peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 heaping cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
  • 1 14 oz . can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Amino
  • 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ½ Pumpkin Filling
  • 14 oz . can chickpeas drained and set aside
  • Optional: Veggie crumbles or for a gluten-free option fried tofu can be added


  • Heat your oven to 350 F and have a 9 X 13 baking pan at the ready.
  • For the Pumpkin Filling: Place all the pumpkin filling ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside.
  • For the Mashed Potato Crust: Place chopped potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water. Bring this to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. Place the potatoes in a drainer to drain water and then into a medium bowl. Use a potato masher to mash. Mix in margarine, garlic and pumpkin filling. Mash until the desired texture is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • For the Vegetable Base: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the curry and onion and cook over medium heat until the onion is tender. Add the garlic. Stir for about one minute and then add the chopped vegetables. Stir and cook a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften a bit. Add the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, Bragg, sage, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Once the vegetables have reached your desired level of tenderness, remove from heat, and add the pumpkin filling. Stir until well combined. Add the drained can of chickpeas.
  • Assembling the Pie: Pour the vegetable base ingredients in the bottom of a 9 X 12 baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika if you’d like.
  • Place in the heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow the Shepherd’s Pumpkin Pie to cool for a few minutes after you remove from the oven. Garnish with fresh sage leaves and pine nuts and serve with a salad and warmed bread.
Nutrition Facts
Shepherd’s Pie with Pumpkin
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 482mg20%
Potassium 835mg24%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 13g52%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 11820IU236%
Vitamin C 52.8mg64%
Calcium 141mg14%
Iron 5.1mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.


12 Responses to Shepherd’s Pie with Pumpkin Filling

  1. Hi Marley! This is such a great twist on the classic Shepherds Pie. Love that you grabbed the pumpkin by accident. A happy thing indeed.

    • I love these kinds of accidents. It’s much better than the time I used salt instead of sugar in a recipe. I could go on, but I’ll spare you the details!

  2. Your recipe sounds amazing, and your pictures look beautiful! I want to take a photography workshop soon. Thank you for sharing, dear friend. I’m so glad that I’m able to type again. Your blog makes me hungry (and of course, it makes me smile!). Much love and warm wishes from Austin.

  3. I rememeber how my Mom prepared Shepherd’s pie when I was much younger. Normally, we would have this pie when my father’s office friends and colleagues would come over during the holidays. Now that my mom is much older and isn’t very active in the kitchen anymore, it’s an honor for me to create an extra special Shepherd’s pie (using your recipe) with a different twist. I think now is the best time since I still have a lot of pumpkin to use for this dish. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m more than honored to have you use that photo, Helene. It was wonderful meeting you in KC. Your accent is forever burned in my memory. I just hope I can somehow retain some of the incredible knowledge you shared that day as well!


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