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

Chloe Favre

5 stars
To make it more “earthy” I added mushroom. I diced them in small pieces, then cooked and reduced them after adding the spices. I also added bay leaves for more flavour and borlotti beans for chunkier texture.
Delicious thanks for recipe, loved it!

Maria Koutsogiannis

That is lovely, Chloe! Thank you so much!

Jessie

Am I working my was slowly through every one of Maria’s recipes? Yes. Yes I am. This was omg next first time I used ground round and it was pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out. I think and unsuspecting diner would have no idea that this is a vegan recipe. I loved this dish, my husband and I finished the whole thing in two sittings and next time I think I’ll make a double batch.

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSS!! This is amazing, Jessie! You need to try my Mushroom pot pies too!

Mark Woynarowich

5 stars
Ok so don’t go any farther. Make this right now. Simple to make and so delicious. it takes me back to a when we were kids. Great vegan take on a traditional recipe!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much for the love, Mark!

Niki

5 stars
So delicious! Made this as meal prep and got 9 lunches out of this and it’s so good and so comforting. Cant wait to make again! SO simple! Will probably make mashed potatoes like this forever now. Thank you!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSS!!!! This means so much to me!

Julie Kapuscinski

5 stars
This Shepard’s pie is to die for! I used Beyond Meat and a can of chickpeas (crush by hand) because I have a lentil allergy, and it turned out perfect. The spices are on-point and make the whole house smell amazing. We almost ate the whole thing but I managed to leave a bit for lunch the next day.
Thank you for the best Shepard’s pie ever, I’ll definitely be making this again and again!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you hunnie!!!!

Julie Kapuscinski

This Shepard’s pie is to die for! I used Beyond Meat and a can of chickpeas (crush by hand) because I have a lentil allergy, and it turned out perfect. The spices are on-point and make the whole house smell amazing. We almost ate the whole thing but I managed to leave a bit for lunch the next day.
Thank you for the best Shepard’s pie ever, I’ll definitely be making this again and again!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YOur’e so welcome, thanks for the love, Julie!

Andrea

5 stars
This Shepherds Pie is sooo incredibly delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe, Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thanks for the love, Andrea!

Cris Monahan Bremer

5 stars
We have a tradition in our home of making Cincinnati Chili for large family gatherings, mostly in the fall for Halloween. I served this new dish last night for our intimate Easter dinner and my meat eating husband loved it! The ingredients and spices are similar to the famous Cincinnati dish that is normally served over a plate of pasta and other “layers” of food. We have a new meat free tradition now in place! Thank you Maria!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YOU ARE SO WELCOME, CRIS!! This makes me soo happy!

Angela

Hey Maria! Can fresh tomatoes or no tomatoes work here?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Either will be fine!

Alberta T.

This was a great no hassle recipe. Perfect comfort food on a cold winter day, and something that can be made with pantry staples. We had lentils on hand, and of course potatoes, onions and garlic from our summer garden, but no veggie ground round. I added extra lentils and some TVP. Pro-tip, soak the lentils as Maria recommends…..Oh, and this recipe really does make 8 servings, had this all week for lunch.

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESSSS!! right, isn’t it so awesome to have food for the whole week?!

Alysa Baker

5 stars
We have been trying to implement more plant based meals and this super delicious comfort food will be on the rotation! Not only was it delicious but easy to make and Hubby approved! ❤️

Maria Koutsogiannis

This makes me so happy, Alysa! Thanks so so much for the love!

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