Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mushrooms
The perfect plant-based meal to make for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, then again for New Year’s, Easter and Sunday’s family dinner. Might just be the best thing to whip up with all those Thanksgiving gravy and potatoes leftovers.
The Mashed Potatoes
I love adding olive oil to my mashed potatoes and a splash of creamy homemade cashew milk. You don’t know fluffy and creamy until you do this and ’Tis the Season to indulge a little. Go for Yukon Gold Potatoes here, they are buttery and creamy + there’s no need to peel them. Russets are fine but not great, and in my honest opinion just extra work and too much waste as they do have to peeled.
Recipe Tips + FAQs
- How to prevent the mashed potatoes from sinking into the filling? – Allow the mushroom filling to completely cool off first. Also make sure you cook down that sauce until extra thick.
- Substitutions – sub the mashed potato topping with mashed cauliflower, roasted butternut squash or a sweet potato mash. Alternatively you could mix in some parsnips or parsley root with mashed potatoes. The mushrooms can also be swapped for 2 cups of cooked French lentils or simply make this vegan Bolognese sauce instead and top with the mashed potatoes. Technically any plant based “ground meat” and even tofu can be used here.
- Can I omit the red wine? – The red wine is an important ingredient of the gravy, however you can substitute it with veggie broth and maybe add a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or vegan Worcestershire sauce to make up for the depth of flavor of the red wine.
- Prep in advance – Feel free to make your cottage / shepherd’s pie a day or two ahead and refrigerate it overnight. It reheats well and you can warm it through in the oven at 350”F for 25 minutes. If you are after perfection make sure to also finish it under the broiler for a couple of minutes just enough to get those golden crispy edges on the potatoes. There’s really no need to bake the pie at all when prepped fresh and broiled for a few minutes. Any leftovers can be frozen in freezer safe containers for up to 4 months.
- crispy roasted broccoli
- balsamic Brussels sprouts
- vegan creamed spinach
- vegan Caesar salad
- vegan turkey roast
- the family classic cucumber tomato salad
- Thanksgiving dinner rolls or crusty bread to mop up the last drop of that luscious gravy.
How to Make Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Best Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
- 1 large sweet onion - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 lb brown mushrooms - sliced
- 1 cup frozen green peas - rinsed under warm water
- 1 large carrot - diced or sliced into rounds
- 2-3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour (or cornstarch for gluten-free)
- 2 cups vegetable stock - low sodium
- 1/2 cup red wine - vegan
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 red chili pepper - diced & Optional
- 5 sprigs thyme - leaves only
- 1 pinch sea salt + more to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil or a splash of water
- 1/4 cup micro greens or chives for garnish (optional)
- Scrub and rinse the potatoes well and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Transfer them to a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 bay leaves and 4 cloves of the minced garlic and bring to a simmer. Season well with sea salt and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and allow them to dry well in their own steam. Discard the bay leaves.Transfer back into the pot, drizzle with the olive oil, plant milk and nutritional yeast and mash until creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings with more sea salt. Add more plant milk and olive oil if a creamier consistency is desired. Set aside to cool until needed.4 cloves garlic, 2 leaves bay, 3 lb Yukon gold potatoes, 4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup cashew milk, sea salt + black pepper, 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Preheat your broiler. If you'd rather just bake this then preheat the oven to 350"F.
Make the Gravy Filling
- Preheat a cast iron medium pot over medium flame. Add half of the diced onion and a drizzle of olive oil or a splash of water and sauté with a pinch of sea salt for about 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in the carrots and cook another 5 to 10 minutes until they begin to soften.1 large sweet onion, 1 large carrot, 2 tsp olive oil or a splash of water
- Add 2 bay leaves, thyme leaves, whole cloves, chili pepper and garlic. Give everything a good stir then add the paprika, onion powder and flour (or corn starch for gluten-free). Stir again then whisk in the red wine and vegetable stock. Keep whisking until everything is smooth.2-3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 cup red wine, 3 whole cloves, 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 red chili pepper, 5 sprigs thyme, 4 cloves garlic, 2 leaves bay, 2 cups vegetable stock
- Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the green peas and warm through. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste with sea salt.1 cup frozen green peas
Cook the Mushrooms
- Heat up a large skillet over medium low heat and add the remaining 1/2 onion. Cook 5 minutes then stir in the mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté until wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to the pot with the gravy, stir and taste again. Allow the filling to cool off.1 large sweet onion, 1 lb brown mushrooms, 1 pinch sea salt
Assemble the Shepherd's Pie
- Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the mushroom gravy and level them with the back of a spoon. Take a fork and create little tracks over the surface.
- Transfer the Shepherd’s pie to the preheated broiler and broil for a few minutes until golden brown on top. Alternatively bake it in a preheated oven at 350"F for 25 minutes.Serve hot garnished with micro greens, chives or your favorite fresh herbs.1/4 cup micro greens or chives for garnish
- Substitutions - sub the mashed potato topping with mashed cauliflower, roasted butternut squash or sweet potato mash. Alternatively you could mix in some parsnips or parsley root with your olive oil mashed potatoes. The mushrooms can also be swapped for 2 cups of cooked French lentils or simply make this vegan Bolognese sauce instead and top with the mashed potatoes.
- Prep in advance - Feel free to make your shepherds pie a day ahead and refrigerate it. It reheats well and you can warm it through in the oven at 350”F for 25 minutes. If you are after perfection make sure to also finish it under the broiler for a couple of minutes just enough to get those golden edges on the mashed potatoes. Any leftovers can be frozen in freezer safe containers for up to 4 months.
- How to prevent the mashed potatoes from sinking into the filling? - Allow the filling to completely cool off first. Also make sure you cook down that sauce until extra thick.
- WFPB and Plantricious - To make the recipe compliant make sure to omit the olive oil from the mashed potatoes and saute the onion and mushroom is splash of broth or water.