This vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe is so cozy and comforting! Savory mushrooms, root vegetables, and white beans are bathed a flavorful gravy, and topped with creamy, pillowy mashed potatoes, and baked until golden. Vegan-adaptable. Video.
This healthy delicious recipe for Shepherd’s Pie involves no shepherd or sheep! The rich and flavorful vegan stew is made with savory mushrooms, white beans and root vegetables.
It’s rich and deep enough for a full-bodied glass of red wine, and, depending on how you make it, can be rustic, or refined. It can also be adapted to include lamb if you have meat-eaters in the house or want to make some vegan and some with lamb for a holiday gathering. Very adaptable!
Or, for a more formal dinner like Thanksgiving or Christmas, try elevating the shepherd’s pie, by serving individual baking dishes, adding a little truffle oil to the mashed potatoes as we did in our catering days. THE BEST!
Why You’ll Love This!
- Very versatile! If you are having guests over, you can fully customize these, making some vegan, and if you prefer, some with chicken, lamb or beef because you can bake them in individual baking ramekins or dishes.
- Also perfect after the holidays. You can use up leftover mashed potatoes, yams, stray vegetables, turkey or roast or whatever you have in your fridge. The beauty of Shepherds Pie, is its ability to transform leftover ingredients into something new. Think of it as “re-purposing”! You get the idea.
- Cozy, winter comfort food! This dish isn’t just for the holidays. This warming, nurturing shepherd’s pie can be made as a vegan main for dinner any night of the week.
Vegetarian Shepherds Pie Ingredients
Mashed Potato Topping:
- Yukon gold potatoes: Provides a creamy and fluffy texture to the topping. I prefer these to russet potatoes in this recipe.
- Olive oil or vegan butter: Adds richness and a savory flavor to the mashed potatoes.
- Vegan sour cream: Enhances the creaminess and tanginess of the mashed potatoes.
- Truffle oil (optional but amazing): Offers a luxurious and aromatic element to the dish.
- Granulated garlic powder: Adds a savory and garlicky flavor to the mashed potatoes.
- Nutritional yeast (optional): Provides a cheesy and umami flavor to the mashed potatoes.
- Olive oil or vegan butter: Provides a rich and flavorful base for sautéing the vegetables.
- Onion: Adds sweetness and depth to the filling.
- Sliced mushrooms: Brings a meaty and earthy flavor to the filling.
- Celery: Adds a fresh and crunchy texture to the filling.
- Carrots: Provides a sweet and vibrant element to the filling.
- Parsnips: Contributes a slightly sweet and nutty taste to the filling.
- Frozen peas: Adds pops of color and sweetness to the filling.
- White beans: Offers a creamy and protein-rich component to the filling. You can also use cooked lentils or any vegan substitute for ground beef, like crumbled seitan.
- Garlic cloves: Introduces a bold and pungent flavor to the filling.
- Fresh thyme leaves: Infuses an aromatic and herby flavor to the filling. Can sub 1 teaspoon dried.
- Dry white wine: Provides acidity and depth of flavor to the filling. Can sub water plus 1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider vinegar.
- Flour (or use GF flour): Creates a roux to thicken the filling.
- Veggie stock: Use a rich veggie stock or vegetable broth that is warmed and mixed with 2 teaspoons miso paste. Forms a savory and umami broth for the filling.
- Dijon mustard: Adds a tangy and slight tanginess to the filling.
- Fresh Italian Parsley: Adds freshness and a vibrant herbal note to the filling.
How to make Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
Make the Mashed Potato Topping:
Quarter the potatoes and cover with salted water, bring to a simmer, and boil until tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain, saving 1 cup of the potato water.
Mash the potatoes.
Add salt, pepper, vegan butter (or olive oil) and vegan sour cream.
Whip until creamy!
While the potatoes are simmering…
Make the Shepherds Pie Filling:
Prep all the veggies: Dice the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, onions, parsnips, optional sunchokes and mushrooms.
Roughly chop the garlic.
Sauté the mushrooms and onions over medium heat.
Add the chopped veggies and continue stirring until just tender- al dente.
Add beans (or see notes for other options) and peas.
Add a teaspoon of mustard and fresh parsley.
Assemble the Shepherds Pie
Fill a greased 9 x13 inch baking or casserole dish, a large dutch oven, or use individual ramekins or large cast iron skillet, or whatever oven-proof dish you want to serve this in, with the filling.
You can also divide it into individual portions—like mini casseroles! At this point, you can add cooked chicken, lamb or beef to some or part if you like, while keeping others vegan.
Place dollops of mashed potatoes over the filling.
Then spread the mashed potatoes out to the edges.
You can also use a piping bag and pipe the potatoes for a fun look!
Bake the Shepherds Pie
Place the Shepherds Pie on a sheet pan (to catch any overflow) and place in a 375 F oven until golden and bubbling, 20-35 minutes.
Serve them warm right out of the oven.
Shepherds pie is hearty enough to be served on its own, or serve with rolls and a light leafy green salad.
If serving this as a side dish, instead of the main course, you could try something like this.
No matter how you serve the vegetarian Shepherds Pie, in the end, you will have a rich, deep, flavorful stew.
This plant-based shepherd’s pie is made with a filling of rich and robust sauteed vegetables. We add white beans in lieu of meat for a delicious protein. The mashed potato topping uses vegan butter and vegan sour cream.
Yes, you can make this ahead. Bring to room temp before baking. Or make the Shepherds Pie in stages, making the stew ahead (store it in the fridge) and potatoes on the day of, heating the filling up before filling the baking dishes.
Adding nutritional yeast to the mashed potato topping gives it a cheesy, umami flavor. For the filling, onions add aromatic flavor, while fresh herbs, white wine, and dijon mustard add complexity, depth, and fragrance.
You can store shepherds pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze this recipe for 2-3 months.
Hope you enjoy this tasty recipe for Vegetarian Shepherds Pie. Please let us know what you think in the comments below!
More recipes you may like:
Vegan Shepherds Pie Video
This Vegetarian Shepherds Pie recipe is made with a savory mushroom and root vegetable filling, topped with creamy, pillowy mashed potatoes. Vegan-adaptable.
Mashed Potato Topping:
- 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled (or russets, peeled), quartered or diced.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, butter or or vegan butter
- 1/2 cup vegan sour cream ( like Kite Hill Sour cream) or regular sour cream
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil (optional but amazing)
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2–1 teaspoon nutritional yeast– optional!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
- 1 large onion, diced (or sub 2 cups leeks)
- 1 lb sliced mushrooms (cremini, button, shiitake, portobello, chanterelles or a mix)
- 1 1/2 cups celery, diced (or sub part or all fennel bulb)
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled, diced in small 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups parsnips, peeled, diced in small 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or sub cubes of roasted sunchokes, cannellini beans, lentils, browned vegan “ground meat”, or seitan, etc.
- 6 cloves garlic- rough chopped
- 1 tsp salt, more to taste
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves ( or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or sub water plus 1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider vinegar)
- 4 tablespoons flour ( or use GF flour)
- 3 cups rich veggie stock, (see notes) warmed, mixed with 2 teaspoon miso paste
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375
- Start with the mashed potatoes. Cut yukon gold potatoes, into halves or quarters. Make sure the pieces are similar in size. Place in a large pot, cover with an inch of water with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and simmer until knife tender about 20-25 minutes. Drain, saving 1 cup of potato water.
- Make the stew: In a very large heavy bottom pot, heat oil over med heat. Saute onions and mushrooms for 7-8 minutes (see notes), until fragrant, then add parsnips, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper stirring for 1o mins until carrots are al dente and mushrooms give off their liquid. Cook off the liquid.
- Deglaze with 1/2 cup wine, scraping up any brown bits. Let simmer on med-low until carrots/parsnips are perfectly tender and wine has cooked off. Add the peas and white beans.
- Sprinkle the veggies with 4 tablespoons flour ( or use GF flour) and stir it for about 2 minutes letting the flour cook a bit.
- Add 1 cup warm veggie broth to the pot, stirring until the stew thickens, then stir in the remaining broth a cup at a time, simmering, and letting it thicken.
- Add the mustard. Turn off heat.
- Taste for salt, and add more to taste, and more cracked pepper if you like too. Add a few drops of apple cider vinegar to brighten, tasting as you add. Stir in the fresh parsley.
- Finish the Potatoes: Place the drained potatoes back into the potato pot. Mash with a potato masher and add olive oil, vegan sour cream, granulated roasted garlic, salt, pepper and optional truffle oil and nutritional yeast. Add a 1/4 cup- 1/2 cup of the hot potato water to loosen them ( easier to spread).Whip them up until creamy with the masher! Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
- Assemble: Scoop the filling into a greased, large 9×13 inch baking dish, or a large oven-proof cast iron skillet or dutch oven, or smaller individual-sized baking dishes, or ramekins. ***At this point you could divide your stew mixture – adding cooked chicken, lamb or beef to part of it for meat-eaters. (For example, I like my shepherd’s pie, without meat. My husband likes his with meat, so I divide it, adding cooked lamb to his portion. When having guests over, you could do half and half if you like.)
- Spoon the creamy mashed potatoes over the stew, or use a piping bag and pipe out the potatoes over the stew. If potatoes seem too dry to pipe, whip in a little more hot potato water to them and they will loosen up nicely. Drizzle the top with a little truffle oil.
- Bake: Place baking dish or individual pies on a sheet-pan to catch the drippings, in a preheated 375F oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 20-30 minutes.
- Garnish with Fresh parsley or a sprig of thyme.
The filling can be made ahead and refrigerated (let it come to room temp before baking) and then assemble the shepherd pie before baking. I find making the potatoes the same day makes for lighter fluffier potatoes, but if in a pinch, assemble the whole thing ahead and refrigerate. Let come to room temp before baking.
Mushrooms: To elevate this dish, pan-sear the mushrooms in olive oil FIRST, season lightly with salt and pepper, cooking until they release all their liquid and let them caramelize a bit. Set them aside while you saute the onions and veggies, then add them back in with the wine.
The original recipe call for sunchokes– which add great flavor here, but can be hard to find. ( So I subbed white beans) If using sunchokes, wash well, no need to peel, cut into a medium dice and roast with a little olive oil salt and pepper in a 400F oven until a little crispy, first for the BEST flavor. Then add to the stew with the peas.
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