The Best Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe | FoodByMaria Recipes

Vegan Comfort Food

The Best Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Last Updated:
Ingredients for vegan shepherds pie on a counter

Prep

20 minutes

Cook

50 minutes

Yield

8

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd’s pie. A traditional British shepherd’s pie is usually the complete opposite of what you’d think a vegan or plant-based dish should be, good thing I like a challenge! This hearty version of a vegan shepherd’s pie is super easy to whip up any night of the week and is packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor.

I am always cooking and recipe testing at home and luckily for my boyfriend, he is my number one test subject! Andrew is my biggest fan and best critic because he will always tell me exactly what he thinks. If you’ve seen Andrew on my stories you already know he’s British and has probably enjoyed more authentic shepherd’s pies than you or I could imagine.

So when I decided to tackle a vegan shepherd’s pie, I knew he would really let me have it. I actually tested this recipe twice so we’ve been eating a lot of it and I’m happy to report Andrew has given this vegan shepherd’s pie two thumbs up!  He’s been having it for lunch and dinner, as this recipe makes a large casserole and I love leftovers as a lunch option. It’s Andrew approved so I know your whole family will love this hearty, warm, and not so traditional shepherd’s pie.

Why you’ll love this vegan shepherd’s pie:

  • Short Prep Time: Prep this up in 20-minutes then let your oven do the rest of the work
  • Comforting: I don’t know if it gets any more comforting than this
  • Family-Friendly: This recipe can feed a crowd and your whole family will love it
  • Great for Meal Prep: This pie leftover is still amazing. Make it ahead and eat it up on busy nights when you’re on-the-go

Cutting into a vegan shepherd's pie

Ingredients:

For this vegan shepherd’s pie you’ll need the following ingredients:

Ingredients for vegan shepherds pie on a counter

Ingredient Notes:

Lentils: I have some serious love for lentils! They come in red, brown, and green, and are such a great addition to casseroles, soups, or anything you want to add some texture to. For this recipe, I used red lentils from Bob’s Red Mill, my go-to brand for pantry staples, but you can use whatever color them you have on hand.

A lentil is a legume from the bean family and is a fiber powerhouse. Because of this, I recommend soaking them for at least 4 hours to remove the outer covering of anti-nutrients. It’s these compounds that have given beans a bad reputation of causing gas and bloating. By soaking them you are mimicking their natural germination process and not only removing the hard-to-digest compounds but activating the good compounds and increasing the nutritional value. Soaking will also cut down on cook time, but it is totally optional. If you’ve got a belly full of lentils and a gut full of gas don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Potatoes: I used white potatoes for this recipe but don’t be afraid to try different potatoes. Even sweet potatoes can add a unique and delicious flavor.

Yve’s Ground Round: For added protein and delicious addition to this recipe, I like to use Yve’s Ground Round in this pie. It’s one of my go-to’s as a vegan.

How to make vegan shepherd’s pie:

Pot with olive oil in it

1. Into a large pot add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds on medium-high heat.  Add your onions and cook for around 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Add in your garlic, basil, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir until onion is well coated and turn heat to low to cook and marry for around 3 minutes.  Stir often to avoid burning.

Vegan shepherds pie ingredients in a pot cooking

Ingredients being added to pot for shepherd's pie

2. Into the pot add your tomato puree, tomato paste, and vegetable stock paste.  Give this all a good stir and then increase heat to high before adding your lentils and Yves Ground Round.  Let them sautéed in the pan for two minutes before adding your water.  Stir, stir, stir, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes until thick and luscious like a traditional meat sauce. Set aside once done.

3. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cutting potatoes on a cutting board

Potatoes in boiling water

Mashing potatoes in pot

4. While your “meat” sauce is simmering prepare your mashed 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.

Vegan shepherds pie in a pan with mashed potatoes being put over top

5. 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 color (you will thank me later if you do this).

Close-up of vegan shepherd's pie

6. 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!

Slice of vegan shepherds pie

FAQ & Expert Tips:

Storage: This dish will last up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

Freezing: This recipe is freezer friendly, lasts up to 2-3 months. Make sure it’s tightly covered and completely cooled before freezing.

Vegetable Stock: If you don’t have vegetable stock paste then use 2-3 cups of your own vegetable stock! Just make sure it’s strong, good quality stuff!

Other easy weekday recipes to make:

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Looking for a twist on the classic Shepherd’s Pie? Try my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with a Parsnip Mash instead.

Cutting into a vegan shepherd's pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

4.91 from 32 votes
We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Mains
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 8
Calories 452 kcal

Ingredients
  

  •  
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet white onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • season to taste - this may be best to do at the end!
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 heaped tsp. tomato paste
  • 1-2 tbsp. vegetable stock paste - use as much as you like depending on your preference and tolerance to salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils - I used Bob's Red Mill
  • 1 packet Yves Ground Round
  • 2-3 cups hot water
  • season to taste
  • 5 large white potatoes peeled and cubed
  • season to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • garnish with 2 tbsp. fresh thyme

Instructions
 

  • Into a large pot add olive oil and heat for 30 seconds on medium-high heat.  Add your onions and cook for around 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Add in your garlic, basil, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Stir until onion is 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 tomato puree, tomato paste and vegetable stock paste.  Give this all a good stir and then increase heat to high before adding your lentils and Yves Ground Round.  Let them sautéed in the pan for two minutes before adding your water.  Stir, stir, stir, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes until thick and luscious like a traditional meat sauce. Set aside once done.
  • Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • While your "meat" sauce is simmering prepare your mashed 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.
  • Transfer your "meat mixture" into a 13"L x 7.75"W x 2.25"H baking dish 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!
  • Enjoy with fresh thyme garnish and your choice of steamed greens or veg!

Video

YouTube video

Notes

It will last up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.
This recipe is freezer friendly, lasts up to 2-3 months.
If you don't have vegetable stock paste then use 2-3 cups of your own vegetable stock! Just make sure it's strong, good quality stuff!

Nutrition

Serving: 8 | Calories: 452kcal | Carbohydrates: 83.2g | Protein: 17.9g | Fat: 7.7g | Saturated Fat: 1.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5g | Sodium: 254.5mg | Fiber: 13.6g | Sugar: 13.8g
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bobs Red Mill

Kayla Belcher

This was so so easy and delicious. My husband, who is not veg, had multiple servings, so I deem this recipe a success. 10/10 will make again. 🙂

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSSS! thank you so much Kayla! this is great, so glad your hubby loved and that youll be making it again!

Kasia Taekema

5 stars
This recipe is amazing – and perfect for the plant-based food scared hah! The flavours are fantastic and the textures are bang on. This will easily be a staple in our household. Also, it’s heavily toddler approved. So many wins.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes!! Kasia, this is amazing! So glad even your little ones loved this!!! BIG FOODBYMARIA WIN!

Meaghan

5 stars
This was my first time ever making a shepherds pie and it was worth the wait!! The spices in this recipe really make it so delicious! I did happen to overlook that I was supposed to add cooked lentils so that added a few extra minutes in the middle of preparation but it ended up turning out amazing!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Meaghan!! Thanks so much for the love!!!!!! So glad you loved this!

Anonymous

5 stars
Delicious dinner. One of my new soulfood recipes. Wanted to safe the leftover for tomorrow but it’s nothing left 😂

Maria Koutsogiannis

hahahahah I am so sorry there were no leftovers! haha but I feel like that’s a good thing so I won’t complain! xx

Raluca Ganceanu

5 stars
First time making a Shepherd’s pie and was delicious! Easy to make and the lentil sauce had a great flavour. Gonna repeat it for sure!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love on this! So glad you loved it!

Dana Rah-Khem

5 stars
Made this for dinner and it was a huge hit, literally vanished so fast. Very flavorful and fragrant. You have so many wonderful recipes!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much beauty! I love cooking food with amazing flavour. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste like shit should really be my motto haha.

Nafeesa

This was so delicious! The recipe was easy to follow and I loved the addition of lentils. Was lovely to have the leftovers for lunch, tasted just as good the next time. Also approved by my husband! Thanks so much for the recipe, excited to try your moussaka next!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey beauty! Thanks so much for the love! I love this recipe as well, I quite like how simple it is too! The moussaka is amazing! Please let me know what you think of the recipe!!!

larlie21

Thankyou so much Maria! You have made plant based meals with so much flavour and ease. I have made this for my family and not being funny we should have had some left over for lunch, there was nothing left!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSSS! Honestly I couldnt be more flattered. I see that your email says UK so I AM SO PUMPED that someone from the UK is saying this about my VEGAN Shepherds Pie!! Thanks so much for your support!!

shaleigh

5 stars
THANK YOU THANK YOU for easy, hubby approved recipes. This casserole was easy and delicious. We somehow managed not to eat it all in one sitting, and to have some leftovers for easy lunches. Woo hoo!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Ok, wow this makes me sooo happy! Thanks so much love!

Catarina Cardoso

So so good. In Portugal I couldn’t find the equivalent to Yves ground round but it was divine, even without it. Real confort Food.

Maria Koutsogiannis

this is amazing!! Thank you for sharing!!!

mary groothuis

Where do you find Yves ground round. Is it in the Bean department.

Maria Koutsogiannis

I usually find it with the salad dressings, prepped veg and other vegan ingredients! Where do you normally shop hun?

Jennifer Bruce

5 stars
So, I made this last week, and was so pleasantly surprised. It WAS luscious! Honestly, just so dang good, the flavors pair so well together. I changed nothing, and it was perfection. Making it again tonight!! Thank you!! ❤️

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Jennifer! This makes me so happy!

Jana F.

5 stars
Making this recipe again and again – I LOVE IT – it is always a winner!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH JANA!

Casey Jolly

Recipe was incredible!
The meat sauce is savory, hearty & very simple.
And the thyme mashed potatoes are so flavorful & not too rich. All of the flavors compliment each other. It’s a hearty home style dish the whole family (meat eaters too) will love!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Casey!!! Thanks so much!!!!!

Mikayla

5 stars
yummy I altered the recipe quite a bit like using more beans instead of the fake meat but it still turned out delicious, the flavours were great. Will definitely make again

Maria Koutsogiannis

that’s amazing!! glad you enjoyed it!!!

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