Shepherd's Pie, but with a few vegan-plus-bugs tweaks!
Cricket powder adds protein and a toasty-earthy-meaty flavor to this otherwise vegan shepherd's pie. It also helps thicken the lentil pie filling to achieve a consistency similar to a traditional meat-based Shepherd's Pie.
Depending on how you make your mashed potatoes, the non-insect parts of this dish might be vegetarian instead of vegan. That's great too! My goal is to introduce insect protein as a sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to replace some consumption of meat. Let's start small! (i.e., cricket-sized)
This recipe is gluten-free, but double check your mashed potatoes and Worcestershire sauce to be sure.
- 1 onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 zucchini
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1⁄3 cup cricket powder
- 4 cups mushroom broth (or vegetable broth)
- 11⁄2 cups brown lentils
- fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (or lima beans)
- salt and pepper
- warm mashed potatoes (from scratch, from a box, or store-bought)
- (optional) whole roasted crickets
Prepare the ingredients:
- Make or heat the mashed potatoes
- Mince the garlic
- Chop the onions
- Chop the carrots, celery, and zucchini
Make the pie filling:
- Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil in a stock pot on medium heat, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the carrots, celery, and zucchini and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and cricket powder. Stir to coat the vegetables.
- Add the broth, lentils, and thyme.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.
- Add the frozen peas and cook until heated through.
Put it all together:
- Heat the oven to 425° F.
- Transfer the pie filling to a lightly-greased, oven-safe baking dish.
- Spread the warmed mashed potatoes on top of the filling.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the mashed potatoes are slightly crispy and browned on top.
- Optionally sprinkle with whole roasted crickets for the last 5 minutes of baking.
- Take out of the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. This will let the filling thicken before serving.
- Enjoy! 🦗
Not sure where to buy your edible insects? Kiminy recommends a company called Cricket Flours, based in Portland, Oregon. If you're interested in supporting both the entomophagy movement and Kiminy's Crickets too, please consider purchasing through our affiliate link: cricketflours.com
And for the adventurous types... consider sprinkling some roasted Cricket Bites on top! I used the original flavor on my mini-pie for one, but I'd bet the Hickory Smoked Bacon or Spicy Cayenne would be super tasty too!