“Tartas Pastores”: Mexican Shepherd’s Pies with Smoky Sweet Potato Crust


Tartas Pastores – Mexican Shepherds Pies – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Comfort Food, Spicy Casserole Dinner Recipe

Medium |  Servings: 4  |  Ready In: 60 minutes |  Yield: 4 individual pans (or one 8-inch full-sized pan)

The traditional Shepherds Pie gets a Mexican twist with this spicy vegan recipe. An oil-free filling of black beans and corn is topped with a smoky plant-based sweet potato crust for a comfort food dinner your family will love.  Enjoy with 5-Minute Guacamole, Watermelon Salsa, Jicama Salad, and Mexican Chocolate Sauce for Dessert.


For the Smoky Sweet Potato Crust:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili
  • Salt, to taste

For the Mexican Black Bean Corn Filling:

  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

How it’s Done

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

To make the Smoky Sweet Potato Crust: Place the sweet potatoes in a small pot. Cover with water. Place a lid on the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are tender.
When the sweet potatoes are tender, drain them well, shaking off any excess water. Return the potatoes to the small pot. Add the ground chipotle and use a potato masher to mash. Add enough almond milk to reach a creamy constancy. You want something a little thicker than mashed potatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Set aside until ready to assemble pies.

To make the Mexican Black Bean Corn Filling: While the sweet potatoes are boiling, make the filling for your Tartas Pastores. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion. Sauté until they start to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and coriander. Sauté 1 minute, until aromatic. Add the tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes, just until the tomato paste darkens to a brick red color. Add the water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the black beans and corn. Stir well to combine. Taste to adjust seasoning.

To assemble and bake your Tartas Pastores: Evenly divide the Mexican Black Bean Corn Filling among 4 individual pie tins. Top each pie with ¼ of the Smoky Sweet Potato Crust topping. You don’t want to overfill your pies, so you may have extras of the filling and/or crust. Place the pie tins on a baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 individual pans (or one 8-inch full-sized pan)

Tartas Pastores – Mexican Shepherds Pies – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Comfort Food, Spicy Casserole Dinner Recipe

Chef Katie’s Tips: 

No Oil:  Check out the calorie count on these.  I’m on a mission to get rid of empty calories, and that includes oil.  This oil-free version gives you all of the Mexican flavor, tons of satisfaction, and none of the extra fat.

Save on Spices: If you want to save cabinet space, you can substitute a store-bought Mexican or taco spice mix. Look for a salt-free or no-sodium blend. Use 2 1/2 teaspoons, in place of the paprika, cumin, and coriander.

Kid-Friendly Spice Control: Dried chipotle is made from smoking poblano peppers. It usually comes either in flakes or ground, and you can use either in this recipe. It has a spicy kick. If you want less spice substitute with chili powder or smoked paprika.

Deconstructed Version: You can turn these pies inside-out with a faster version. Instead of assembling the filling and crust, simply serve the Mexican Black Bean mixture over the Smoky Sweet Potatoes. For a bowl version, serve on top baby spinach and top with Tomatillo Guacamole.

Tartas Pastores – Mexican Shepherds Pies – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Comfort Food, Spicy Casserole Dinner Recipe

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 195
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g 3 %
Saturated Fat 0 g 0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 247 mg 10 %
Potassium 899 mg 26 %
Total Carbohydrate 47 g 16 %
Dietary Fiber 12 g 48 %
Sugars 9 g
Protein 10 g 19 %
Vitamin A 290 %
Vitamin C 119 %
Calcium 10 %
Iron 23 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Shopping and Gear List

  • Artisan Spanish smoked paprika, Pimenton from La Vera region. Hot and Sweet. Set of 2 tins.
  • Frontier Ground Bottle, Chipotle, 2.15 Ounce
  • The Spice Way – Mexican Seasoning Spice Blend. No Salt, Non GMO, No preservatives. 2oz
  • Simply Organic, Cumin, 2.31 oz


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