Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Welp. Our 3 weeks of “spring in winter” came to a screeching halt last week and now we’re back in the thick of winter. This means nothing but protein-packed, comforting meals are coming out of my kitchen.

Hence this recipe for vegan shepherd’s Pie.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

This may also have something to do with St. Patty’s day being right around the corner. But mostly the, I need a hot, protein-packed meal in my belly 24/7 because it’s fa-reezing outside, reason.

I’m also working on a new and improved gluten-free Irish soda bread recipe but it’s still got a ways to go. Fingers crossed for that.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

I first made this dish just after the new year. My parents were in town and my mom told me she and my dad had recently made and loved this recipe. I changed a few things, adding in rosemary instead of sage, using 1/2 tempeh and 1/2 grated extra firm tofu, and mixing yukon and sweet potatoes for the topping.

Thinking I was going to make super luscious and creamy potatoes for the topping I pureed the cooked potatoes in my food processor. When I went to scoop the potatoes onto the filling mixture they immediately sunk into the filling.

Lesson here. Mash these potatoes and go easy on the milk. The meal was still delicious but it kind of ended up more like shepherd’s creamy potato pie soup.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

This time around I lessoned the broth a bit, swapped tempeh and tofu for lentils, added more peas, and threw a few cloves of garlic in.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

Anyone who says a vegan meal can’t be filling is oh so very wrong.

I’m getting full just looking at this photo.

vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

Print Recipe!

adapted from: Harvest Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

gluten-free, vegan // yields 4-6 servings

mashed potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • non-dairy milk
  • salt + pepper

pie filling:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari, divided
  • 3/4 pound potatoes, cubed - yukon, red, sweet, or a mixture (1/4 – 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried ground rosemary
  • 2 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups cooked green or brown lentils, rinsed + drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
  • salt + pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds (and/or pepitas)

For the mashed potatoes:

Peel (if desired) and cube potatoes. Steam or boil potatoes until fork tender. Mash with a potato masher or back of a fork with the olive oil and a few splashes of milk. Mash until creamy, adding more milk if needed. You want the potatoes very thick, so add milk in tablespoon increments. Add salt + pepper to taste. Set aside.

While the potatoes cooked I also cooked green lentils until they were just tender. Rinse and drain after cooking. You can also use canned.

For the filling:

While the potatoes are boiling heat the oil over medium in a dutch oven (or large, oven-safe pot). Once hot, add the onion, carrots, and 1 tablespoon tamari. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and stir for 30 seconds – 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in the potatoes, broth, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and remaining tamari and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 12-18 minutes.

After adding the potatoes preheat your oven to 375°.

After the potatoes are tender, remove about 3 tablespoons of broth from the mixture and place in a bowl. Thoroughly whisk with the starch until there are no lumps.

Stir into the pot with the cooked lentils and let simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken slightly. Taste and stir in more salt and pepper if desired.

If you aren’t using a dutch oven or oven-safe pot transfer the filling mixture to a casserole dish.

Scoop 3 1/2 – 4 cups mashed potatoes on top of the filling and gently spread in a ring or covering the entire top. Potatoes should not sink.

Sprinkle with almonds and/or pepitas and place in the oven (uncovered) for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown.



  • Dried rosemary is very twig-like and needs to be ground to incorporate most recipes. I used a (wiped clean) coffee grinder. If using fresh, finely chop about 2 1/2 teaspoons.
  • Feel free to use 1 type of potato or use a mixture like I did. I didn’t want an overwhelming sweet potato flavor which is why I cut the mashed potatoes with half yukon gold. For the filling I used yukon, sweet, and red.
  • If you want ultra creamy potatoes be sure to peel them.
  • Do not puree your potatoes in a food processor. They’ll end up too soft and will sink into the filling mixture. (Trust me, I did this the first time around.)
  • The filling mixture will be a bit brothy coming out of the oven but thicken quickly once served and the mashed potatoes start to mix in.
  • Soy sauce can be subbed for GF tamari if you don’t need this to be gluten-free.
vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |
vegan shepherd's pie |

I’m pretty sure over half of the country is in a deep freeze right now, which means over half of the country should make this recipe. Pronto.

No Monday complaints with this bowl in front of my face. Have a good one!