Home » Course » Entree » Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

The Best Vegan Shepherd’s Pie features protein rich lentils with a medley of vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with classic mashed potatoes and baked to perfection for a rustic, comfort food everyone will love!

top down view of vegan shepherd's pie in baking dish and small plate with serving.

Savory, comforting, hearty, easy to make and delicious – this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie pretty much has it all. Oh yes – plus, it’s healthy and well-balanced, so I guess it really does have it all!

It’s great for entertaining and enough to feed a small crowd. And, the leftovers are just as delicious!

I really wanted to make this shepherd’s pie easy and customizable, using either fresh, frozen or canned vegetables. The other ingredients are fairly easy and most will be in your pantry, or can be substituted or optional.

I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying this a few times over the last few weeks and I think you’ll love it too!

So without further ado, let’s cook something wonderful!

top down view of ingredients used to make vegan shepherd's pie recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this savory recipe, Vegetables and lentils are simmered with flavorful herbs and layered with seasoned mashed potatoes, then baked until warm and bubbly, creating a flavorful, rich and hearty vegan main dish.

Here is everything you’ll need, plus variation ideas:

  • olive oil – or as always, you can saute with 1/4 cup water
  • onion – any color will do
  • garlic 
  • carrots – fresh or frozen
  • celery – can be optional, just sub with one of the other veggies
  • thyme + rosemary – feel free to use just 1 herb
  • lentils – canned or fresh cooked (brown, green or puy)
  • flour – light spelt, all-purpose, whole wheat, etc.
  • tomato paste
  • vegan Worcestershire sauce – adds additional savory flavor, but you can sub with tamari or soy sauce
  • dijon – can be optional
  • peas – fresh, frozen, or canned
  • corn – fresh, frozen, or canned
  • vegetable broth – or use vegetable paste with water (I use 1/4 tsp. Better Than Bouillon (affiliate link))
  • parsley – optional to garnish
  • potatoes (Yukon or Russet), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • vegan butter – my favorite is Miyoko’s, olive oil is great too
  • almond milk – or this homemade vegan cream
  • garlic powder
  • salt + pepper
side by side photos showing the process of making vegan shepherds pie.

How To Make Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

  • Make the mashed potato topping as directed in the recipe card, or make Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes.
  • To make the shepherd’s pie filling, saute the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for 5 minutes.
  • Add the thyme and rosemary, continue to cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the lentils, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and flour, stir until no flour is visible.
top down view of veg broth added to vegan shepherds pie filling.
  • Add the peas, corn, dijon, salt & pepper, and vegetable broth, cook at a gentle simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
side by side photos showing the process of topping vegan shepherds pie filling with mashed potatoes before baking.
  • Once the filling is done simmering, either in the pot you cooked the vegetables or 9 x 9 or 9 x 11 baking dish, evenly layer the mashed potato topping overtop, spreading from edge to edge.
  • If you like, make a pattern on the potatoes using the back of a fork, dragging it from edge to edge, then repeat in the other direction for a crisscross pattern.
side angle view of pot with vegan shepherd's pie.
  • If the baking dish seems very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet so that the filling doesn’t bubble over into your oven.
  • Bake in a preheated oven set to 400 degrees, uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

And there you have it! Mine came out of the oven with the gravy bubbling up making it look a bit rustic, and it was all so delicious!

Enjoy my friends, and be healthy and well!

Top Tips

  • Add more depth of flavor. Use a little red wine for another layer of flavor. I would suggest 1/4 cup red wine with 3/4 cup vegetable broth for a nice dose of flavor. Feel free to add a little more if you like!
  • Change the topping. For variation, try replacing the potatoes with sweet potatoes for a sweet potato mash instead!
  • Keep it easy. Use a frozen classic vegetable medley, one that includes peas, carrots, corn, and green beans, using about 4 cups.
  • Free up space. If you have an Instant Pot, these Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes will free up space on the stove and are so easy to make with no draining required, locking in all the potato flavor!
  • Using dried lentils. If all you have are dried lentils, cook 1 1/4 cups according to package directions, which will yield 3 cups of cooked lentils. I recommend brown or green (puy French lentils), which hold their shape the best.
  • Make ahead. To make vegan shepherd’s pie ahead, assemble the casserole as directed, cover it, and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, remove it from the refrigerator, uncover it, and bake as directed.
side angle view of pot with vegan shepherd's pie with portion removed.

How To Store + Reheat

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This vegan shepherd’s pie is freezer friendly and freezes well for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store portions in freezer-safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: To reheat, simply warm in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F. for 10 – 15 minutes until warmed through. You can also zap individual portions in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes, stopping to check every 45 – 60 seconds.

Serving Suggestions

This savory vegan cottage pie is hearty on its own but is still great with a little something on the side. Here are a few of my favorite options:

side angle view of small plate with serving of vegan shepherd's pie with fork.

If you try this vegan shepherd’s pie recipe or have a question, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

VEGAN SHEPHERD’S PIE

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with protein rich lentils with vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with classic mashed potatoes and baked to perfection for a hearty and comforting vegan lunch or dinner!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 – 8 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: bake, saute
  • Cuisine: American, Irish
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or 1/4 cup water
  • 1 small yellow onion (about 1 cup), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (or half rosemary)
  • 2 cans (14oz.) lentils (or 3 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie’s), or use tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 rounded teaspoon dijon
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn (or 6oz. can, drained)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • salt + pepper, to taste

Potato Topping

  • 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes (yukon or russet), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter (my favorite it Miyoko’s) or olive oil
  • 1/32/3 cup unsweetened, plain almond milk or vegan cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt + fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Instructions

Potatoes: Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water (I added a few sprigs of thyme to the water.) Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, add butter/oil, mash into potatoes to melt, add milk and stir until desired consistency. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and set aside in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Filling: In a shallow pot or dutch oven, warm oil/water over medium heat, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Add thyme and rosemary, cook for 1 minute more. Add the lentils, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and flour, mix well until flour is incorporated and no white streaks. Add the corn, peas, dijon, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for flavor and season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Assemble: Using the pot you cooked the vegetables or transfer to a 9 x 9 or 9 x 11 baking dish, evenly layer the mashed potato topping overtop, spreading from edge to edge. Leave as is, or make a pattern on the potatoes using the back of a fork, dragging it from edge to edge, then repeat in the other direction for a criss cross pattern.

Bake: If the baking dish seems very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet so that the filling doesn’t bubble over into your oven. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in a covered container. To store longer, keep in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. See notes for freezer storage.

Notes

Add more depth of flavor. Use a little red wine for another layer of flavor. I would suggest 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup vegetable broth for a nice dose of flavor.

Oil-free potatoes: Omit the butter or oil, they’ll still be great without it!

Change the topping. For variation, try replacing the potatoes with a sweet potato mash instead!

Using dried lentils. If using dried lentils, cook 1 1/4 cups according to package directions, which will yield 3 cups cooked lentils. I recommend brown or green (puy French lentils) which hold their shape well.

Keep it easy. Use a frozen classic vegetable medley, one that includes peas, carrots, corn and green beans, using 3 – 4 cups, adding it all together just before adding the broth.

To make ahead, freeze, and bake this vegan shepherd’s pie later. Wrap the cooled pie in a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Label with contents and date; place in freezer. Will be best baked and served within 2 – 3 months. Heat as directed. Note that while it’s best to thaw your shepherd’s pie in the refrigerator before reheating it to ensure it heats evenly, it is possible to cook your pie from frozen.

To freeze an already baked vegan shepherd’s pie. After baking, let pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. When ready, reheat the shepherd’s pie, with covered foil, for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven.

Freezing cooked portions (individual servings) of shepherd’s pie: Let cool completely and store portions in freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. Let thaw before reheating. To reheat, simply warm in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F. for 10 – 15 minutes until warmed through. You can also zap individual portions in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes, stopping to check every 45 – 60 seconds.

Keywords: vegan shepherd’s pie

FOLLOW TSV on FacebookInstagramPinterest, or RSS for more updates and inspiration!

42 Comments

  1. What would you recommend French or brown lentils ? Thanks

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Marco! Either one will be just fine, use your favorite or what you have on hand. Enjoy!

  2. I made this over the weekend and it was a hit with three non-vegans having multiple servings. The only thing I changed was I used Beyond Meat crumbles instead of lentils.

    Thank you very much!

  3. This was so good! The flavors were perfect. I used green lentils. Even my picky 10-year old had two servings. I was expecting her to just scrape the potatoes off the top, so we were all shocked. My husband (a flexitarian -haha) said he is even willing to try your vegan “meatloaf” now. yay!

  4. Nicole Zach says:

    I just made this recipe tonight and it turned out amazing! I didn’t read the note about the lentils and used red instead of green so it was a little mushy, but it still tasted great! I used half sweet potatoes and half regular potatoes for the mashed potatoes. I recently discovered your blog and I’m really loving these recipes, thank you so much!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Glad you enjoyed this and the red lentils worked well! And the mix of potatoes sounds delicious too! Thanks so much for sharing, Nicole!

  5. We have loved every recipe we have tried. You have a gift! We just wanted to say thank you for posting beautiful, clear pictures of the ingredients for your recipes. We have autistic boys and when we pick out recipes for the week, they can clearly see what will go into what they are eating. It’s such a small thing, but helps us in a big way. Thank you!

  6. Harmony Tadlock says:

    I’m new to Whole foods plant based eating, but this recipe was easy and delicious. My husband (an avid meat eater) said he hardly noticed the lack of meat and enjoyed it. I added fresh rosemary and thyme from our garden but otherwise followed the recipe. I’ll definitely use more from this site!

  7. Julie, this shepherd’s pie is amazing!! My entire family loved it, and they are not vegan. It’s filling and the blend of tastes and spices is perfect. I didn’t have vegan Worcestershire (I didn’t know there was such a thing!) so I used soy sauce. The recipes you put on your site, and I’ve made so many of them, are just magnificent. This is right up there with your delicious mushroom bourguignon, and I’m making the white bean lentil soup tonight. You are the best! Thank you!!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you, Linda! That makes my day, I’m so glad you all loved it! Cheers :)

  8. I’m the type of person that would take out that lovely single serving and put it on a plate… and eat the rest of the shepherds pie right out of the pan. That’s my kind of single serving! It looks totally comforting and absolutely perfect for chillier nights.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      You and me are a lot alike, and I enjoyed every bite by the end of the day! Thanks for making me smile, Hannah! Cheers :)

  9. I’ve read through the recipe numerous times, but can’t seem to find when the lentils should be added??

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Dana, I can’t believe I missed one of the most important ingredients. I’ve updated the recipe to include the lentils, which are added with the tomato paste and flour. Thank you so much for pointing that out! Cheers :)

  10. Hi Julie, I want to try your yummy-sounding recipe but wanted to make sure about when to add the lentils? If I use dried lentils, do I add them to simmer or precook them? Does it matter what kind of dried lentil as I know some cook faster than others? Thanks for your help!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Dawn, you will need to precook the lentils according to the package directions before adding them to the recipe. I suggest using brown or green (puy french lentils) for this recipe as they hold their shape the best.

      Cook 1 1/4 cups of dried lentils which will yield the 3 cups called for in the recipe.

      Thank you for asking, I will add it to the notes as well! Do let us know how you liked the recipe, or not! Cheers :)

      1. Thank you for that quick info, Julie. When do I add the lentils to the recipe? When I saute ingredients or simmer them? Thanks.

        1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

          Add the cooked lentils with the tomato paste and flour. The lentils where missing in the recipe earlier (I forgot to add them), but it’s been updated to include them. If you printed the recipe out earlier, do check again and reprint. My pleasure, enjoy! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star