Light Vegan Shepherd's Pie | FoodByMaria

Main Dishes

Light Vegan Shepherd’s Pie That’s Great For Summer

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15 minutes


1 hour 45 minutes



This yummy Vegan Shepherd's Pie has a creamy sweet potato mash on top, and is made with ingredients that make it light, and perfect for a summer meal!

When you hear the words “Shepherd’s Pie” you don’t normally think of summer. Usually, this comforting pie is perfect for winter or fall when the weather starts getting cold and you need something that’ll warm you from the inside out. That’s why this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe is so fun. It’s great for summer because it’s incredibly light, it’s made from plant-based ingredients, and although it’s filling with the help of the lentils and potatoes, it doesn’t feel heavy.

A slice of Vegan Shepherd's Pie sitting on white plate with gold fork.

Why you’ll love this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie:

  • It’ll fill you up without the bloat
  • It’s light and healthy – perfect for summer
  • It is a crowd-pleaser, the whole family will love it
  • It tastes great leftover too, so meal prep it for lunches or dinners

A casserole dish filled with Shepherd's Pie with a slice taken out of it.

What are the benefits of prunes? 

In this recipe, I used an ingredient you wouldn’t normally find in a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, or any Shepherd’s Pie… prunes! Prunes are so damn good for you but we don’t eat them enough. They can: 

  • Deliver positive benefits to both bone & gut health
  • Are awesome to enhance sweet OR savoury dishes 
  • A nutritious alternative to artificial ingredients
  • Can be eaten on their own too as a healthy snack 
  • They’re a superfood with vitamin B2, potassium, magnesium & boron

Prunes seriously are so good for you. I love them to help with digestion, and they’re a perfect addition to this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Even the pickiest eaters won’t even know you snuck them in there because it’ll taste so good!

I especially love California Prunes. The quality is fantastic & they’re super flavourful

A close-up of a casserole dish with Vegan Shepherd's Pie with a slice removed.


What else can you make with prunes?

Aside from this delicious Shepherd’s Pie recipe, you can also make so many other things with prunes. One of my favs is these easy No-Bake California Prune Power Balls. This recipe is perfect for an easy snack for you or your whole family. A healthy alternative when you’re looking for something to reach for in your kitchen, and they taste awesome!

Here’s what you need to make them:

  •  30 pitted California Prunes (about 1 cup packed)
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, desiccated coconut

Now, the steps to pull these little bundles of yummy together:

  1. Pulse prunes with almond butter and honey in a food processor until finely chopped
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in rice crisps and sunflower seeds by hand until well mixed 
  3. Scoop level tablespoons of prune mixture and form it into balls
  4. Roll in coconut to coat 
  5. Repeat the above steps until all the mixture is used 
  6. Transfer to an airtight container and put in the fridge for 1 hour to set. These should last for up to 1 week in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 1 month in the freezer.

Tip: Add a sprinkle of hemp hearts, flax, or chia seeds for added nutrition. Or for those with a sweet tooth, add mini chocolate chips 

Now let’s get back to the Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, after all, that’s what you came for right? See the recipe and video below to make the most delicious pie with sweet potato mash, lentils, mushrooms, and so much goodness. Enjoy!

Other recipes you’ll love:

Light Vegan Shepherd's Pie That's Great For Summer

4.72 from 7 votes
This yummy Vegan Shepherd's Pie has a creamy sweet potato mash on top, and is made with ingredients that make it light, and perfect for a summer meal!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 10


For the "meat sauce":

  • 2 tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 large red bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms chopped (we used crimini)
  • 5 large garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups cooked lentils or from a can, unsalted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. thyme
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup ground walnuts
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 16 California Prunes cut and pressed into a paste
  • 700 mL Passata
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups rainbow chard finely chopped

For the Sweet Potato Layer:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp. flax meal
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • juice of half an orange


  • Into a large pot add vegan butter and heat for 30 seconds on medium-high heat.  Add your red bell peppers and mushrooms and cook for around 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Add in your garlic and lentils and cook for 5-7 minutes or until your peppers are soft. To the pot, add the salt, black pepper, oregano, thyme, and sherry vinegar.  Stir until the peppers, mushrooms and lentils are well coated and turn heat to low to cook and marry for around 3 minutes.  Stir often to avoid burning.
  • Into the pot add your ground walnuts, ground pecans. Stir the ingredients till combined and cook for 5 minutes.
  • To the pot, now add the California Prunes, passata and water.  Stir, stir, stir, bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes until thick and luscious like a traditional meat sauce. Just before removing from heat add in your rainbow chard and cook down just till wilted and soft.  Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • While your “meat” sauce is simmering prepare your mashed sweet potatoes by boiling water in a large stockpot.  Season your water and cook your potatoes till very tender, could take 15 minutes or so.  Strain your potatoes but absolutely do not rinse and return to pot.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and mash till extremely rich and creamy!  Remember, when adding your liquid that you must have a more solid mash to add on top of the first layer! Set aside.
  • Into a 13″L x 7.75″W x 2.25″H baking dish transfer your “meat mixture” and lay it flat using a spatula. Begin dolloping your mashed potato onto the mixture and using a flat tool flatten it all out.  I like using a fork to carve marks vertically and horizontally across the pie.  This adds fun texture and when it cooks gets nice and golden brown! Before cooking spray the mashed potatoes with an oil of your choice for that added golden colour (you will thank me later if you do this).
  • Cook for 25 minutes before setting the oven to broil for 5 minutes.  Watch closely so nothing burns but this is an amazing adding touch to the recipe!


YouTube video


If you don't have pecan, then just use 2 cups total of ground walnuts
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!

5 stars
The whole family loved this

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love, Elisa!!!


5 stars
This was great, Maria.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks so much for the love, Nikita!

Alexa Fortstand

5 stars

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks so much, Alexa!

Emilia Townsend

Another great recipe, Maria! I didn’t have any lentils so I just double up on mushrooms and walnuts like in your meat sauce recipe!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks Emilia!

Samatha Billard

5 stars
Thanks heaps for this brilliant recipe, Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

You’re so welcome, Samantha!

Trevor McCanne

5 stars
This was amazing!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks, Trevor! So glad you enjoyed this!


5 stars
Yum! Looks so good!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks so much, Lauren!

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