Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
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The very best Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe with lots of mushrooms and veggies in a silky red wine gravy and pillowy olive oil mashed potatoes topping. An English classic from scratch, cozy comfort food that is actually good for you!
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.
Traditional shepherd’s pie or cottage pie is an English casserole made with ground beef or lamb but it doesn’t have to be! I clearly left that out of my vegan recipe because there is absolutely zero need for any of that sadness on our plate. Baby lambs are simply meant to be loved! Instead I doubled up on nutritious wholesome veggies, lots of meaty mushrooms and green peas in a thick, savory and luscious gravy topped with golden pillows of fluffy mashed potatoes. Heaven!
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
A traditional style Vegan Shepherd’s Pie recipe with lots of mushrooms in a silky red wine gravy and olive oil mashed potatoes topping. Simply the Best!Print 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)
- 3 lb Yukon gold potatoes diced
- 4-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (omit for WFPB & Plantricious diets)
- 1/2 cup cashew milk - plain unsweetened
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast +more to your liking
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 leaves bay
- sea salt + black pepper to taste
- 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.
Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 2223mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4110IU | Vitamin C: 68.6mg | Calcium: 209mg | Iron: 13.6mg
Servings: 4 people
This was amazing, the sauce and everything was simply perfect. I doubled the recipe and had some leftover mashed potatoes that I assure you did not go to waste. Bookmarked and will definitely make Shepherd’s Pie a weekly affair from now on. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.
Agree – best shepherds pie. Much prefer this over the lentil varieties. Perfect coolish day as we roll into fall. It is saved in our fav recipes file. FYI – made it exactly as recipe indicates and would not change a thing. Thanks Florentina!!
So happy you loved it Ed. Enjoy!
Recipe was fantastic!! Only thing is that the prep time you list is WAY off. Took me over an hour to prepare this recipe. I also doubled the thyme and used 2 tablespoons of jarred vegetable bouillon to give it extra flavor. I used mostly white mushrooms and only about a fourth of the more expensive brown mushrooms. I used a good red cab for the wine and the entire recipe came out fantastic. Oh. I also had to add more flour to thicken the gravy in the end so the mashed potatoes wouldnt sink down. I made a side dish of extra mashed potatoes too. Thanks for the recipe!!
Hey Lynn, using a food processor to help with the slicing and dicing definitely cuts back the prep time. I’ll make sure to update that info. Xo’s ~ Florentina
Why cook the mushrooms separate from the onions?
You don’t actually have to cook them separately, if you watch the video I actually cooked them together in that one but It is a little faster If I have two pans going. Anyway you prefer 🙂
I’m out of red wine but really want to make this today….any suggestions?
Just use veggie stock or even white wine if you have it!
Sounds yummy and perfect just from looking at the ingredients
I noticed the video shows adding nutritional yeast to the potatoes but the ingredient list has none listed. How much do you normally add to your potatoes? I like the yeast and want to add it too. I am anxious to try this pie! Thanks
Sorry Luanne, I updated the recipe to include the nutritional yeast. Usually I add about 2-3 tablespoons but you can add more if you prefer. Taste as you, hope you love the recipe 🙂
Excellent! Didn’t have mushrooms but added corn and a yellow pepper. Also did not put under broiler but in 350 oven for 30 minutes – need hot foods to be really hot 😀
Whoops – also added oregano, rosemary and 1T siracha ketchup to offset a bitter taste.
Thanks for sharing this recipe. When you say “whole cloves,” do you mean actual cloves or cloves of garlic?
Actual clove spice 🙂
Do you have to remove them at some point? Wouldn’t they hurt to bite down on? I’ve never eaten cloves….I’ve had them floating in cider for flavor and I’ve baked with ground cloves but I’ve never had whole cloves in a recipe before.
Yes you can discard them at the end of cooking, however I wouldn’t worry as they soften up during cooking. If you prefer you can use a tiny pinch of ground cloves instead.
Thanks, again. I used a pinch of cloves and about a 1/4 of the paprika and it turned out great. No leftovers 🙁
Just finished eating this for dinner and it was so good!! We were super pleased with it. The recipe is a little tedious but it is so worth it in the end! Super yummy and satisfying with the thick gravy! I added just a smidge of ketchup to off set a little bitterness. I’m thinking I’ll make this for thanksgiving! Thanks for a great recipe!!
So happy you loved it Brittney 🙂
Have not tasted yet, but sampled before going into the oven. I used a jalapeño instead of chile pepper and added fresh corn and fennel in the pie. I used “Better than Bouillion” vegetable broth because I didn’t have any on hand. Looks amazing! Can’t wait to taste.
This was an excellent recipe, thank you for sharing! I will definitely make it again…
tested this recipe and it was super tasty!
Are you able to freeze and re-heat this dish? I would love to make this for a family friend.
yes, you should be able to freeze it just fine Jessica. Just remember to thaw it out in the fridge before reheating in the oven at 350″F for about 35 minutes or until bubbly. You can finish under the broiler before serving.
Could this be made ahead of time such as a freezer meal?
Yes definitely works as a freezer meal, just remember to thaw out in the refrigerator before reheating.
I wonder if there are other thickener options in place of flour. I can’t eat it and would love any substitute suggestions. Thanks!
Hi Julie, you could do rice flour or tapioca instead (2 tbsp tops).
Like Barbara I heated mine in a 350 degrees oven for about 25 minutes – I wasn’t sure if my cookware would withstand the heat of the broiler. It came out perfect – delicious gravy and just the right consistency. With no food processor it took at least an hour to prepare, but I’m used to that. One thing – the recipe said 4 servings but for us it was more like 8. I’m going to freeze half of it. By the way, I loved the video! Thanks!
That’s awesome Sarah, i’ll update the oven baked instructions as well. I loosely said 4 servings because 4 hungry people in my house kill it every time haha but it can definitely be 8 for myself.
Haha, yes, we are light eaters – we can usually not finish a restaurant meal. Thanks again!
This was so amazingly good! My family loved it as well. My son asked why it’s called Shepherd’s Pie when there’s no meat in it. My husband said, we’ll call it Gardener’s Pie, lol. I just started my WFPB journey and am so glad I came across Veggie Society! Definitely a keeper.
That’s awesome, this makes me so happy 🙂
I have made this 3 times now , making slight changes with each , ( diff wines , powder clove vs whole, changed some spices , and its impenatrable !! It is DELICIOUS every way
Made this tonight for Saint Patrick’s Day. My wife and I loved it! After a heart attack in 2018, I have been moving more and more plant based and vegetarian. We didn’t miss the corner beef at all. Delicious. The gravy was amazing. Thank you!
Woohoo! I’m so happy you all enjoyed it 🙂
Can you use dry thyme? If so how much?
Sure, just a little pinch maybe 1 teaspoon or so.
What can I substitute for the cashew milk? My daughter is allergic to cashews.
Any plain plant milk should be fine here, just make sure it is unsweetened, no vanilla etc… Coconut will alter the flavor some so keep that in mind.
Can I use ground California chili pepper instead or do you think that will change things?
Excellent dish! My daughter asked me to keep this recipe and to cook it often.
We’re not vegan or vegetarian but don’t eat much meat so I used what we had in our house (beef broth, regular flour, and Costco mashed potatoes) and it still worked out better than fine. Rich, flavorful, and super easy to make.
If you’re thinking of trying this recipe, I’ve got one word for you: Do!
Thanks so much for this keeper recipe!
I’m excited to try this recipe. If I use regular flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour, does it change the taste/consistency of the dish? Thank you!
Regular flour is fine, I just use the whole wheat to be WFPB compliant.
Looks so delicious but for one big thing. I gag on mushrooms! Lol. Can I substitute anything else ?