Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

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Show-stopping Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie features a delicious medley of vegetables, a flavorful gravy and the best mashed potatoes on top.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve often made this Shepherd’s Pie (well, technically, a Cottage Pie), which I shared last year, for guests and it’s always a hit, especially with my boys. With many vegetarian family members, I decided to create a vegetarian version of shepherd’s pie that’s just as amazing. This meat-free pie is packed with flavor and will leave you craving more veggies and not missing the meat. It’s ideal for entertaining, including vegetarian guests, and works great as a make-ahead or freezer meal.

Cooking potatoes, browning veggies, preparing mushrooms, and putting it all together.

Ingredients

Base:

  • Olive Oil, Garlic, Onion, Carrots, Celery: Sautéed together for a flavorful foundation.
  • Cremini Mushrooms: Add meaty texture.
  • Seasonings (Thyme, Italian Seasoning, Paprika, Salt, Pepper, Bay Leaves): Enhance overall flavor.
  • Flour and Tomato Paste: Thicken and enrich the filling.
  • Peas, Corn, Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes: Add sweetness, texture, and smokiness.
  • Vegetable Stock and Red Wine Vinegar: Create a savory gravy and balance flavors.

Topping:

  • Potatoes (Yukon Gold and Russet): Form the creamy topping.
  • Heavy Cream, Sour Cream, Butter, Salt, Pepper: Make the potatoes rich and flavorful.
  • Optional Fresh Herbs (Parsley, Thyme): For garnish and added freshness.

The hearty filling being made in the pan for this vegetarian shepherd's pie recipe.

How To Make A Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

  1. Prepare the Potatoes: Peel, cube, and rinse potatoes, then boil with salt and a bay leaf, drain, and mash with heavy cream, sour cream, butter, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cook the Vegetable Base: Sauté onions in olive oil, add garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms, and cook until tender, then stir in flour, tomato paste, seasonings, and some vegetable stock.
  3. Thicken the Base: Add tomatoes, peas, corn, remaining stock, and a bay leaf to the skillet, simmer to thicken, and then stir in red wine vinegar before cooling in the fridge.
  4. Assemble and Bake: Spread the vegetable mixture in a dish, top with mashed potatoes, seal the edges, texture with a fork, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 350°F until golden, about 25-30 minutes, optionally broiling for a crispy top, and garnish with herbs to serve.

QUICK TIP

Make sure the pan you use for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie will work with a broiler. Glass pans, including Pyrex®, can’t withstand the 500+ degree temperatures. And if the pan you’re using has plastic or wooden handles, they shouldn’t be broiled. Most other pans are able to stand up to the heat.

The mashed potato topping, before and after broiling.

STORAGE

Can You Freeze Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie?

Shepherd's pie vegetarian variation still in the pot with a wooden spoon in it.

Serve This Dish With

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Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

4.89 from 9 votes
Show-stopping Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with a medley of fresh vegetables, a flavorful gravy, and the best mashed potatoes on top.
Shepherd's pie vegetarian variation still in the pot with a wooden spoon in it.
Print Recipe

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie vegetarian variation still in the pot with a wooden spoon in it.
4.89 from 9 votes
Show-stopping Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with a medley of fresh vegetables, a flavorful gravy, and the best mashed potatoes on top.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine American, Vegetarian
Keyword vegetarian shepherd's pie
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 485kcal
Cost $6.39

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (~1/2 of 1 large onion)
  • 3/4 cups diced carrots (~2-3 large carrots)
  • 3/4 cups diced celery (~3-5 stalks)
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: dried thyme, Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves, separated
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 cup frozen yellow corn
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock divided (Note 1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Topping

  • 2 and 1/2 pounds potatoes, I use an equal mix of Yukon gold and russet; if just using one, use Yukon gold, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (can use half and half)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can use light or fat free)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Optional: fresh parsley or fresh thyme (for topping)

Instructions

  • POTATOES: Peel and then cube the potatoes into golf-ball sized pieces. Place in a strainer and rinse under cold water until the water rinsing through comes out clear. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon fine sea salt and 1 bay leaf, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender; about 15-20 minutes. When a potato can easily be pierced, drain the potatoes in a strainer and make sure you get rid of ALL the extra moisture. Let them dry for about 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
  • VEGGIES: While potatoes are cooking, pour 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet (1.5 quart skillet) over medium high heat. Add finely chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently for about 1 minute. Add in the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the finely chopped carrots and celery and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until veggies are softened, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, thinly slice the mushrooms. Add in the mushrooms and cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender. Add in the flour and stir for 1 minute to cook off the rawness of the flour. Add in the tomato paste, thyme, Italian seasoning, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. (I add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, add to preference). Stir for another 1-2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth (see note 2) and stir for 1-2 more minutes or until thick.
  • FINISHING VEGGIE BASE: Reduce heat to medium and add in the can of diced tomatoes, frozen peas, frozen corn, and remaining 1 bay leaf. Add in the remaining 1 cup of vegetable stock and stir until combined. Bring this mixture to a simmer then reduce heat to medium and cook for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 5 or so minutes, until you have a thickened gravy. Stir in the red wine vinegar. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • FINISHING VEGGIE BASE CONT.: Remove veggies from heat, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake. (I like making this in the morning and assembling right before dinner). If making immediately, place in the fridge until potatoes are completely finished (you want the mixture to chill for as long as possible so the layers stay separate when baking, 15-20 minutes at a minimum). If you didn't prepare in an oven-safe skillet, transfer to a 1.5-2 quart oven-safe dish. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
  • POTATOES CONT.: While the potatoes are drying in the strainer, add the heavy cream, sour cream, and butter to the pot the potatoes cooked in. Melt on low heat and stir to combine. While potatoes are still hot, put them through a ricer and add on top of the butter/sour cream mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I use about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Cover and place in the fridge until ready to assemble pie.
  • ASSEMBLY: Gently spread the potatoes in an even layer on top of the veggies. Use a large spoon or silicone spatula to press them to cover all the veggies and make sure to "seal" the edges with potatoes. Use a fork to add marks onto the surface of the potatoes. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
  • BAKE: Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and the edges are bubbling. Broil for 1-2 minutes on high to get the very tops of the potatoes crispy! (See note 2) Remove from heat and garnish with fresh thyme or fresh parsley as desired. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Traditional Shepherd's Pie uses red wine in the gravy. If you'd like to do the same, you can substitute 1/2 cup of medium-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir, for the same amount of vegetable broth.
Note 2: Glass baking pans, including Pyrex® cannot withstand the high heat of a broiler. Additionally, if your baking pan has plastic or wooden handles, they won't work, either. Most other pans are safe for oven and broiler use.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 6g | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 340mg | Potassium: 1309mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3976IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My whole family loved this vegetarian and non-vegetarian alike. I added about 1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes and 1.5 cups cooked lentils for protein to the vegetables. It’s now my go to vegetarian meal.

    1. I am so happy to hear this Sherri! So glad you family loves this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie! 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  2. How would you recommend I make this gluten free? Do you think corn starch would work in place of the flour?

  3. 5 stars
    This is probably the best thing I’ve ever made. I added fake ground meat from Trader Joe’s and it came out very well, you couldn’t even tell that there was no meat in it. My family ate it up so fast! Thank you for this recipe!

  4. Great recipe BUT it actually takes a whole lot longer to make than what it actually says. It would be great to know, up front, that the vege base needs to be refrigerated after its cooked as it’s now going to take me 2.5 hours to make this, factoring that in. The recipe is structured so that you start making the potato mash before you start on the vege base, which is a bit misleading since it then needs to be refrigerated. This meant that my mash was ready an hour before it needed to be.
    Probably won’t be making again due to it taking so long to cook 😔

  5. 5 stars
    This was amazing! Only thing i changed was adding a spoonful of smokey bbq sauce as we can’t get hold of the canned tomatoes you use. Did take a long time to make, but will definitely make it again!
    Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Loved it! I’ve Mae it twice now for the family, we eat mostly vegetarian and kiddos LOVED
    IT! I added some Yves veggies ground round
    to the recipe too which make it extra delish.

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