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

Lindsey W.

5 stars
Absolutely loved this! Since making the diet change over to plant based I’ve been missing a few of my faves and this recipe didn’t dissapoint.

I used the crumbles by Beyond Meat since that’s what I had on hand. The meat sauce was so thick and hearty! Not to mention- this recipe was even boyfriend approved! I call that a win!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Lindsey!! This is amazing, so glad you enjoyed this and that it was boyfriend approved. I call this a win too!

Patty Miller

This looks so good, but have you seen the ingredients in the Yves Ground Round you are suggesting? Will look at amping up flavours in another way, but will definitely give this a try.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes, I have! And I am a believer in balance! I am not here to food-shame, instil fear or make others feel like what they are eating is lesser or better than what I eat. This dish can be made with an extra 1 1/2 cups of lentils instead of the Ground Round (if you prefer to not eat that). Please let us know how it goes by leaving a star review when you’re done Patty! Good luck xx

Bjarney Ingibjörg Gunnlaugsdóttir

4 stars
Delicious!! I made it for a big family dinner and everyone loved it. Even the people who ignore every food that does not include meet😍

Maria Koutsogiannis

WOW!! This makes me so happy, thanks so much for the love hun!

Allie Beal

5 stars
THIS IS SO FLIPPING GOOD!!!! Maria is a genius!!! My niece & nephew are extremely picky eaters. I’m switching them to a Vegan lifestyle & I want wholesome foods for them. They couldn’t believe how good this tasted. They LOVED this Shepherds Pie!!!! Even my sister loved it & she’s pickier than the kids! Everyone went back for seconds♥️♥️♥️♥️ Thank you so much Maria!!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSS, ALLIE! You hero, this is amazing. Thanks so much for the love. Please let us know what you make next!!

Hayley Brown

5 stars
I thought my base was a little runny but after baking it didn’t matter.
This recipe is seriously so delicious and after snowboarding all day it was warm and hearty all the way down! Thanks Maria x

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey Hayley! That is totally normal, cooking anything will always remove moisture, so glad you liked it! Thanks for the love xxx

Jana F.

5 stars
Delicious! My Boyfriend didn’t even recognize it is vegan – 👌🤤😍

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSS Jana! This is great!

Mahala rae

Cannot wait for winter in Australia so I can eat this every week. Such a great vegan recipe alternative.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much love, it’s one of our favourites!

Amber

This recipe was the cat’s Pajamas — So hearty and delicious!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YES AMBER! This makes me so happy, thanks so much for the love!

Adrienne Lem

5 stars
I’ve always been hesitant to try “fake” meat…but this shepherd’s pie was so tasty, savoury, serious comfort food, I’ve made it twice in the last two weeks. I guess it’s all about how you transform the “meat” and this recipe definitely elevated the Yves Ground Round. A bonus, it keeps very well in the fridge and is perfect for dinner meal preps. This shepherd’s pie will stay in our winter round-up.

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSS!! Thanks for the love Adrienne, this is seriously one of my favourites ever.

Ellie James

5 stars
SO delicious! My mom and I made this together tonight and we both loved it. Can’t wait to make it again for my hubby when he’s back in town and probably again for our thanksgiving meal! We didn’t have the ground round so we just increased the lentils and added a handful of chopped carrots as well. SO good. Realized I’ve followed you for a long time and had yet to make a single recipe (shame I know!!) – just usually drooled over gorgeous photos on insta – but tonight changed all that and I can’t wait to make so much more of your stuff!! Easy but DELISH – thanks!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Yes, Ellie! This is amazing, I am so glad you enjoyed this recipe. It’s so easy and adaptable, right?! Well done on your first FoodByMaria recipe, please let us know what you make next!

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