Sweet Potato and Chickpea Shepherd’s Pie 6.000

Matt McClain for The Washington Post

Jan 4, 2012

This rich-tasting vegetarian dish can satisfy everyone at your table.

Vegetarians and non-vegetarians: Serve with a green salad.

There are some very good vegetable broths out there; I like Wegmans Culinary Vegetable Stock.

Make Ahead: The sweet potatoes and the chickpea filling can be prepared and refrigerated up to 12 hours in advance. Bring both to room temperature before assembling the dish.

Servings: 6
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (a generous 1 cup)
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked, no-salt-added chickpeas (homemade or from two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (see headnote)
  • 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 the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

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 45 minutes; large ones might take up to 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a platter; keep the oven at 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare the chickpea filling: Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion; season with salt to taste. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened, then add the butter and 3 teaspoons of the curry powder; season with pepper to taste, stirring to combine.

Stir in the chickpeas, 1 1/4 cups of the vegetable broth and the brown sugar; once the mixture has begun to bubble at the edges, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed, adding some or all of the remaining teaspoon of curry powder.

Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth with the cornstarch in a measuring cup, stirring to dissolve the cornstarch. Add to the chickpea filling: increase the heat to medium-high so the broth comes to a boil. When the liquid has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Transfer to an 8-by-11-inch or similar-size baking dish.

Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise. Scoop the potato flesh from the skin and transfer to a large bowl; discard the skins. Add the sour cream and season with salt and pepper to taste; use a masher or large fork to smash the potatoes until the other elements are thoroughly incorporated.

Drop dollops of the sweet potato mixture on top of the chickpea filling, spreading them with a small spatula to cover the filling completely. Bake (at 350 degrees) for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling up around the sides of the dish.

Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

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