Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe - from the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen • Jewish Food Hero

Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe – from the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Today I am sharing a Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe from the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen. This recipe features in the Jewish Food Hero community cookbook project, Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves cookbook.

Vegan shepherd's pie

About Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping 

This plant-based Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe is healthy take on a shepherd’s or cottage pie.  This hearty and nourishing pie is filled with a bounty of vegetables. Even carnivores will be happy to eat this dish because it is full of bold flavour and plant-based protein. Better yet, it takes just 15 minutes to prepare the ingredients.

About traditional Shepherd’s/Cottage Pie

Traditionally, dishes like this are made with meat and potatoes. The meat might be leftover from a roast and minced at home, or made from store bought minced beef of lamb. The pie filling is usually cooked with diced onions or leeks and garlic, small-diced carrots and mushrooms. The meat is usually flavoured with animal-based stock for added flavour. The topping is made with mashed potatoes with milk or cream and butter. 

About this Plant-Based Recipe

This Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe is as satiating and warming as traditional versions, and significantly more healthy. It is extremely low fat, with only a minimal amount of olive oil used to saute the filling and create the rich, smooth topping. The mix of vegetables, mushrooms, walnuts and lentils gives a vibrant flavour to the filling. It is seasoned with soy and miso, giving a palette pleasing deep umami flavour. The butternut squash topping gives a vibrant orange contrast to the deep brown interior. 

This Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe is Kosher Pareve. To make it Kosher for Passover, replace the miso paste with 1 Tbsp of no sugar added kosher almond butter and use kosher-for-Passover lower soy sauce. Also, use almond milk/rice milk instead of oat milk. If you do not eat beans during Passover, you could try to use jackfruit to replace the lentils or shitake mushrooms.

Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Spotlight on Ingredients 

The special ingredients called for in this recipe include:

Miso paste:
This delicious kosher miso paste is perfect for this Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping Recipe. Miso a Japanese ingredient used for seasoning. It is made from fermented soy beans, salt and koji, along with a variety of other ingredients. It can be fermented for months or even years. 

Soy sauce:
This kosher soy sauce is top of the line. If you want to replace the soy, you can use this soy-free coconut aminos sauce.

Choose from red split lentils for a smoother, lighter flavour, or brown puy lentils for a more earthy flavour. 

Butternut squash:
Substitute for any seasonal squash or pumpkin – the most important thing is it must be baked, not steamed or boiled or it will absorb too much water. You could mix the squash with your choice of potato, or go traditional and use all white potato for a crunchy topping.  

Unsweetened oat milk:
Use store bought or make your own, it’s simple! Add 1 part oats to 4 parts water to a blender and blitz for 1 minute (no longer or it will go slimy). Strain through a nut milk bag, a cheesecloth or a clean t-shirt. There is a simple recipe here which would be a great place to start. 

Cookbook cover for "Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves"

Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves Cookbook

This recipe for Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping is featured in Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves, a Jewish female community cookbook. If you like this recipe, you will find many many more in the book to enjoy.

Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves cookbook features the short, compelling narratives of 20 female biblical heroines from the Hebrew bible, each paired with two healthy plant-based kosher pareve recipes inspired by the character’s experience.

This is a community cookbook by Jewish Food Hero and is the co-creation of 40 Jewish women. The twenty biblical narratives are contributed by Rabbis, Rabbinical students, Jewish teachers and emerging thought leaders. The forty-one plant-based recipes were developed by professional chefs and home cooks who are elementary school students, and great-grandmothers.

My inspiration for Feeding Women of the Bible, Feeding Ourselves was to draw female engagement with plant-based food beyond the normal physical focus. This cookbook allows the reader to be inspired by new plant-based recipes coupled with intellectual and spiritual stimulation. The reader can go at their own pace, working through the book learning about the female biblical characters and all the while enjoying the plant-based recipes that might have nourished them. I know that we are all hungry for more than just food right now. 

Food Collage

More simple plant-based recipes

Leah’s Triple-Almond Biscochos are sweet and naturally gluten-free, oil-free and vegan.  Her recipe calls for chia seeds and instead of normal flour, Leah uses almond flour and almond paste. Her recipe includes just enough (but not too much) sugar and spices. 

This plant-based honey cake also makes a good Shabbat dessert especially during the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. This recipe is oil-free and lighter than traditional Jewish honey cakes. This recipe can also be used to make cute honey muffins. Add fresh lemon juice to the recipe to add an extra zing.

If you are looking to make a vegan Kugel, Laura’s recipe is a crowd pleaser.

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Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Mushroom and Walnut Gardener’s Pie with Butternut Squash Topping

  • Author: Jewish Food Hero Kitchen


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Serves: 6-8


Good knife

Large frying pan
Measuring cups and spoons
Baking sheet
Parchment paper
Medium mixing bowl
Potato masher
Large casserole pan


  • 1 small butternut squash, sliced lengthwise and deseeded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium leeks, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 lb. (450 g) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white miso paste (or 1 tablespoon of almond butter)
  • 3 cups (225 g) cooked lentils
  • ½ cup (125 ml) vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 oz. (90 g) walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup (125 ml) unsweetened oat milk (or almond or rice milk), warmed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C) degrees.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper and lay the two butternut squash halves, cut-side-down, onto the baking sheet. Place the squash into the oven to roast until fork tender, around 30-40 minutes.

  3. While the butternut squash is roasting, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and carrots; season with a fat pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables become slightly soft, around 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add in the mushrooms and season with another small pinch of salt to draw out the water from the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water from the mushrooms cooks down, around 5-7 minutes.

  5. Add in the chili pepper, garlic, and thyme; cook for another minute or until the garlic becomes really fragrant. 

  6. Add in the miso, lentils, broth, soy sauce and and walnuts; season with another pinch of salt and pepper. Let the mixture bubble away until everything is nicely warmed through and slightly thickened, around 6-8 minutes.

  7. Once the butternut squash is fork-tender, discard the peel and transfer the warm flesh into a medium mixing bowl. Add in the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and the warm oat milk; mash with a potato masher until a smooth puree forms.

  8. Transfer the mushroom and lentil mixture into a large casserole pan and top with the butternut squash puree. Place in the oven to bake until the pie becomes bubbly around the edges and the puree topping turns lightly golden-brown around the edges, around 10-15 minutes. 

  9. Leave to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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