Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

November 20, 2020

Entree

By: Chris Petrellese 

This vegan shepherd’s pie recipe is the perfect comfort food for the holidays. A savory mix of lentils, mushrooms, herbs, and veggies topped with a thick and fluffy layer of creamy mashed potatoes. Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?

overhead image of vegan shepherd's pie on dish

We had such a fun time testing this recipe. All of the taste tests were SO good, but the trick was getting the filling to topping ratio right. After a few attempts, we nailed it! There are so many savory and delicious flavors going on in this shepherd’s pie.

overhead image of ingredients for vegan shepherd's pie

The filling is actually a riff on the filling from our Vegetable Wellington recipe, made with a hearty blend of mushrooms, lentils, and veggies with fresh hebs. As for the mashed potato topping, it’s an adaptation of our mashed potato recipe using a secret special ingredient.

macro image of shepherd's pie slice lifted on spatula

For the Filling You’ll Need:

  • Lentils: For the sake of simplicity, we are using canned lentils for this recipe. If you’d like to use fresh lentils, make sure they’re cooled completely after cooking them before adding them to the recipe. Brown or green lentils both work well.
  • Mushrooms: To chop the mushrooms as finely as needed, we recommend using a food processor!
  • Veggies: To keep things simple, we use a frozen bag of mixed carrots, corn, peas, and green beans for this vegan shepherd’s pie.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This will add a deep and rich flavor to your filling to help achieve the “meatiness” we’re looking for. It’s important to note that not all Worcestershire sauce is vegan, so read labels when purchasing! We recommend Annie’s or Edward & Son’s.
  • Tomato Paste: Adds a nice depth of savory flavor to the filling. If you’re like us and struggle getting through a can of tomato paste, opt for tomato paste in a resealable tube.
  • Herbs: Add a burst of freshness and brighten up all of the flavors in this dish! Fresh is best when it comes to the herbs in this recipe. If you’d like to use dry herbs, use Ia teaspoon for every tablespoon of fresh herbs.
  • Garlic, Onions, Celery: simple yet essential aromatic flavor base to start this dish off right.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This will help thicken up the filling to give us the desired texture. If you’d like to make this recipe gluten-free, you can swap this out for a GF flour option.
  • Broth: To help bring the rich and savory flavor to life in this filling, we recommend using a vegan beef broth. If you can’t find vegan beef broth near you, you can also just use your favorite vegetable broth.
overhead image of vegan shepherds pie in baking dish

Now Let’s Talk About The Mashed Potato Topping:

  • Potatoes: Our go-to potato variety for this recipe is Yukon Gold, but russets would also work well. If using Russet’s, we recommend baking until soft, rather than boiling.
  • Vegan Cream Cheese: This is our secret ingredient for perfect mashed potatoes. It adds the perfect extra-creamy element and turns the flavor to eleven—a total game-changer. We like to use Kite Hill cream cheese for this recipe.
  • Vegan Butter: While vegan butter isn’t in our original mashed potato recipe, it adds an extra sense of fluffiness and flavor to the shepherd’s pie. We like using the Country Crock plant butter.
  • Garlic: Add as much or as little as you like. We prefer 2-3 large cloves. Pro Tip: roast the garlic first to bring the flavor to the next level.
  • Plant Milk: We like to use unsweetened oat milk for this recipe, but any unsweetened plant-based milk will work!
lifestyle image holding shepherds pie baking dish with piece taken out of it

Looking For More Holiday Recipes?

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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three quarter photo of vegan shepherd's pie on a plate with herbs

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie


  • Author: Chris @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan shepherd’s pie recipe is the perfect comfort food for the holidays. A savory mix of lentils, mushrooms, herbs, and veggies topped with a thick and fluffy layer of creamy mashed potatoes. Sounds pretty dreamy, doesn’t it?


Ingredients

Topping

  • 1.5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 4 oz vegan cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup almond milk*
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Filling

  • 1 tablespoon oil, for cooking
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 (15 oz.) can of cooked brown lentils
  • 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme*
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 10 oz frozen veggie mix (peas, carrots green beans, corn)
  • 3/4 cup vegan beef broth (or vegetable broth)

Equipment

  • 9x9 Baking Dish
  • Potato Ricer or Masher
  • Large Pan
  • Large Pot

Instructions

The Topping:

  1. Wash and quarter the potatoes and add them to a large pot. Fill with water about an inch above the potatoes, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes through a strainer and set aside for now.
  2. Place the pot back on the stove and set it over medium-low heat. Using a potato ricer or masher, process the potatoes until fluffy. 
  3.  Add in the vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, almond milk, and garlic, and mix together until fully combined.
  4. Season with salt and pepper as needed and set aside.

The Filling

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 
  2. In a large pan over medium-high heat, add in oil. Once heated, add in the onions, garlic, and celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and garlic fragrant. 
  3. Add in lentils, mushrooms, herbs, and spices. Stir through and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes. 
  4. Next add in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Mix through until fully combined and cook for 1 minute.   Evenly sprinkle over the all-purpose flour and mix through for a minute more.
  5. Lastly, mix in the frozen veggies and broth and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has cooked off. Keep in mind that it should still be moist, just not dripping!
  6. Transfer filling to a 9×9 baking dish, using a spatula to evenly spread it out and to level of the top.
  7. Evenly layer on all of the mashed potatoes, and then using the spatula or a spoon, gently spread it over the filling. We like to use the back of a spoon to add some texture to the top of the potatoes (as seen in the photos above). You could also add texture using a fork like this
  8. Place into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. If need be, you can broil it for 1-2 minutes on high to crisp up the topping and add a bit more color. 
  9. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Notes

  • Any unsweetened plant-based milk can be substituted
  • If using dry herbs, replace them with a teaspoon for every tablespoon. 
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Oven

Keywords: thanksgiving, holiday, shepherds, pie, entree, dinner, irish, st patricks day, easter

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. Kristen says:

    This was delicious and so easy! Great for a holiday dinner. We were surprised with how easily it all came together. Thank you for this recipe! (Just a note: on the list of ingredients for the filling, you list “3 cloves” rather than “3 cloves garlic”. Just a heads-up!)

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