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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

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Nothing’s more comforting than a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie! Vegan meat topped with buttery potatoes and a drizzling of some brown gravy! YUM!

Alright, I don’t remember eating a ton of Shepherd’s Pie before going vegan. I was more of a Chicken Pot Pie guy, but now that I’ve been eating it for the past week, I have no idea why that was the case! I mean, meat and potatoes and gravy? Those were my favorite foods! But, the good thing is as vegans, we don’t gotta miss out, so I’m making up for lost time!

why you’ll dig vegan shepherd’s pie

It might take a little time to make, but it’s worth it! After all, if this is going to be the main dish at a holiday gathering, you are taking care of the mashed potatoes and gravy too!

But since this is a classic, rustic dish, it’s pretty simple to put together. We are making some buttery mashed potatoes, a delicious meat filling with some veggies and herbs, and then optionally but highly recommended is some brown gravy.

It’s also great for a group of family and friends. I used a cast iron skillet but you can use a casserole dish as well. This should be enough to make 10 – 12 servings, so again, it’s great for a Holiday Main Dish!

ingredients for vegan shepherd’s pie

  • Vegan Meat – I used plant-based meat (like Impossible or Beyond) but you can use whatever you like. I also have recipes using Lentils & Mushrooms, TVP, Tempeh, or my Tofu Ground Beef would work great too!
  • Potatoes – We are making a simple version of some mashed potatoes that uses only vegan butter and nutritional yeast. You can also make my other Mashed Potatoes recipe as well.
  • Veggies – For the veggies we’ll be doing 1 cup of mushrooms, celery, carrots and shallots (or onions) diced. So dice up enough to fill 1 cup for each veggie. Use whatever veggies you like, you can even use some frozen veggies as a shortcut. Oh, and we’ll be using frozen peas too!
  • Herbs – I employed some thyme and sage. I didn’t have rosemary on hand but feel free to add some (it doesn’t need it though in my opinion!)
  • Seasonings – We’ll also be using nutritional yeast and some other pantry staples.
  • Red Wine – If you don’t wanna use red wine, you can sub with the same amount of grape juice and a splash of vinegar.

how to make vegan shepherd’s pie

Like I said, although this might take a little time, if you have the stovetop space you can cook the meat and potatoes at the same time. Plus, it’s really three holiday dishes in one! Main course, mashed potatoes, and gravy!

mashed potatoes

  • I used Yukon Gold but Russets work great too, so use whatever you like, or even a combo.
  • Pick potatoes that are the same size and weight, this will make it easier to cut them into quarters and ensure even cooking.
  • Wash them after peeling, and start them off in a pot of cold water.
  • Add plenty of salt and a few cloves of lightly crushed garlic to the cooking water.
  • Cook until fork tender, drain, then return to the pot over low heat to cook out any excess moisture.
  • Use a POTATO RICER! Not only does it do an amazing job of mashing the potatoes, but it’s super fun to use too!
  • In this recipe I’m only using salted vegan butter as I wanted to try that out, and I really liked it! You can also make my other Mashed Potato recipe if you like too!
  • Make sure the butter is room temperature. You can throw it in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it too.

meat filling

  • In a cast iron skillet, add the plant-based meat over medium high heat and cook until browned and no pink remains. Remove from the pan and reserve.
  • After that it’s just a matter of cooking all our veggies and seasonings.
  • Then mixing the cooked meat back in!

gravy

  • This is a pretty basic gravy made with a roux of vegan butter and flour, and then some vegan beef broth.
  • Season to taste as always!
  • You can also add a sprig of rosemary or thyme to infuse some herby flavor into it.
  • Add a splash of something like Gravy Master, it really plusses the gravy up!

pie assembly

  • Add the meat filling in the cast iron and spread the mashed potatoes on top.
  • Use a fork to draw lines into the mashed potatoes to create a craggy texture.
  • Bake and Broil it and you’re done!

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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Thee Burger Dude
4.89 from 17 votes

Ingredients
  

MASHED POTATOES

  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4-5 cloves garlic lightly crushed, skins removed
  • 1/2 cup room temperature salted vegan butter more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt & pepper to taste

MEAT FILLING

  • 1 1/2 pounds plant-based meat like Beyond or Impossible
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 cup mushrooms diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup shallots or onions diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup vegan beef broth or veggie broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas

GRAVY

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 – 3 cups vegan beef broth or veggie broth
  • 1 tsp browning sauce like Gravy Master optional
  • 1 Tbsp Mushroom Seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste if needed

Instructions
 

Mashed Potatoes

  • Skin and wash the potatoes. Depending on the size you may want to halve or quarter them. But make sure to cut them into equal sizes. Add the potatoes to a pot of cold water, making sure the water is just covering them. Add in a few big pinches of salt and the crushed garlic.
  • Add to stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a heavy simmer and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes or so. Drain the cooked potatoes and then return them to the pot and cook on low to get rid of any excess moisture.
  • Mash the potatoes (ideally with a POTATO RICER) don't discard the garlic, it will be cooked down enough that it'll be smooth once riced.
  • Add the 1/2 cup (1 stick) of salted vegan butter, and gently fold in. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding more butter if you like (I added in 2 Tbsp more).

Meat Filling

  • In a cast iron skillet, add the plant-based meat over medium high heat and cook until browned and no pink remains. Remove from the pan and reserve.
  • Add in 2 Tbsp of vegan butter and melt, then add in the mushrooms and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until they've released some moisture and have shrunk down. Then add in the carrots, celery and shallots. Cook for an additional 8 – 10 minutes or until they have softened and have a bit of color.
  • Add in the garlic, sage and thyme. Stir and cook for 1 minute, then add in the tomato paste and worcestershire sauce. Stir and cook for 1 minute and add in the flour. Stir and cook for another minute (there's a theme here) and then add in the red wine (you can sub with grape juice and a splash of vinegar if you don't use wine). Stir to combine and cook down the wine until it's mostly been absorbed / reduced, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Add back in the reserved meat and stir to combine. Next, pour in the vegan beef broth and stir to combine. Then add in the frozen peas and combine. Cook for a minute then remove from the heat.

Pie Assembly

  • Smooth out the meat filling in the cast iron with the back of a spoon, pressing down but not mashing, until it's level and compact. Then spread the mashed potatoes on top, spreading them as evenly as you can.
  • Use a fork to draw lines into the mashed potatoes to create a craggy texture, this will help it brown at the end when we broil the top, and create some nice crispy bits on top. Do whatever kind of design your artistic heart desires!
  • Add the cast iron skillet to a preheated oven at 375 F or 190 C for about 20 minutes. Then broil the top for about 3 minutes or until it's browned to your liking. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!
  • Now the hardest part of the recipe, you need to let it rest at least 20 minutes, but 30 is better. It will be way too hot to eat and it needs to set a bit too. But you can use that time to make some gravy, recipe below!

Gravy

  • In a skillet, melt the butter, then whisk in the flour 1 Tbsp at a time. Once all flour has been whisked in, cook for one minute to get rid of the raw flour.
  • Dissolve mushroom seasoning into the vegan beef / veggie broth. Whisk in the broth about 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Whisk to combine and then reduce to desired consistency (although for me the consistency was great out of the gate). Taste and adjust for seasoning.
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15 Comments

  1. We recently made this shepherd’s pie and it absolutely rocks. It’s everything we hoped it would be. We’ve been eating it all weekend. We baked ours in a 9 inch by 13 inch glass dish instead of a cast iron skillet and that worked well for us. And sadly we do not have a potato ricer, so we mashed our potatoes the old fashioned way, and they were great.

  2. Oh my lord! I made this today and ate waaaay too much cuz it was TOO GOOD! I couldn’t help myself! A bit labor intensive but worth it! I made it pretty much as recipe called for except for I didn’t put nooch in potatoes but I did put nooch in the gravy! I also didn’t have Gravy Master. The filling had a great flavor. I used 1 lb of Beyond and some leftover Gardein I had hanging around and needed to use. I also used a 9×13 glass dish. Thank you for the wonderful recipe! Looking forward to trying more of them!

  3. Any tips for replacing the wine? I’m 75 days sober and not looking to buy any alcohol even for cooking! Haha

    1. Thanks! And yes, I’ve made the filling the night before and then made the mashed potatoes the day off and that worked great. If you want to do the potatoes the night before it should be okay, though I would do the final bake and broil the day you plan on eating. I personally don’t like day old mashed potatoes for something like this, but it might be okay too!

        1. So I just literally watched a thing by Kenji Lopez-Alt where he said the reason why mashed potatoes aren’t as good the next day is because of the starch molecules expanding (or something) so I’d highly suggest making them the same day you eat them for best results. But the filling is good to be made a day ahead.

  4. Made this as the main of our Christmas dinner for the whole (omni) family. Even my fairly picky grandparents and aunt left nothing on their plate – it’s THAT good. Absolutely delicious, will definitely make again!

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