Sneak extra veggies into your family’s diet with this Veggie Loaded Easy Cottage Pie. It’s simple to prepare and even tastes great as leftovers the next day.
The dropping temperatures are definitely calling for comfort foods, and what better to warm up with during the dark fall and winter evenings than classic comfort food?
I love casseroles, because they’re easy to make and I have time to clean up the kitchen while they’re baking in the oven.
I’m especially a fan of saucy fillings covered with a thick pillow of carbs, much like my Cheesy Cornbread Chicken Tamale Pie Casserole.
This recipe for cottage pie is one of my favorites to make during the colder months, as it is both comforting and healthy.
Many a cottage pie recipe can be heavy, especially when the ratio of buttery mashed potatoes and filling is way off. Here some of the potato is swapped for cauliflower, which is then mashed with low fat milk and a little butter.
The filling is studded with bite-sized veggies and coated in a thick sauce that couldn’t be more simple to prepare.
Covered up leftovers keep well in the fridge for a day, but the filling will definitely thicken. Reheating is easy in a microwave, but it also works in the oven.
For best results cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake until piping hot all the way through.
For the Filling
- 1 large onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large parsnip
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef, 450g
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock, 125ml
- 1 can 15oz chopped tomatoes, 425g
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or alternatively soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 cup frozen peas, 150g
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Topping
- 1.5 pounds starchy potatoes, 680g
- 1 pound cauliflower florets, 450g
- 1/4 cup low fat milk, 60ml
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Make the filling by chopping the onions, carrots and parsnips into bite-sized cubes. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet and cook the vegetables on medium-high heat until starting to soften. Add the beef and continue cooking until the meat is browned and the vegetables are cooked, about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato puree, allowing it to roast for a minute before pouring the chicken stock into the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get the browned bits off. Allow the liquid to come to a boil before adding the canned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Simmer on medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is starting to thicken. Transfer to a 9x13 inch casserole dish and allow to cool completely.
- In the meantime, make the topping: Peel and dice the potatoes and cut the cauliflower into florets. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and mash with the milk and one tablespoon butter.
- Preheat the oven to 420°F (215°C). Spoon the cauliflower topping over the cooled filling, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Chop up the remaining tablespoon of butter and dot it evenly over the topping. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.