This savory, comforting, vegan shepherds pie is perfect during the winter months and great for feeding a lot of people. It freezes well too, so it’s great for batch prepping. This recipe makes 6-8 servings, so while it does take some time to prepare, you can keep it going all week long.
I use frozen or canned veggies for convenience, which helps cut down on prep time. Lately I’ve been cooking up big pots of lentils and using them for veggie burgers in addition to my shepherds pie, but canned lentils work great too.
Sidenote: In the UK, the difference between cottage pie and shepherds pie is whether beef or lamb is used. This vegan version uses neither, so call it whatever you like!
Lentil & Vegetable Filling
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, optional – use water to sauté to make the recipe oil-free
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 large carrot, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, or other saucy tomato condiment
- 1 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 2 cups cooked or canned brown or green lentils, drained
- 2 cups frozen peas or corn, or both!
- 1/4 cup red wine, optional
- 1-2 cups veggie stock, more as needed
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce, or sub tamari, or liquid aminos
- 3-4 Tbsp arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or flour
- freshly ground pepper, 6-7 grinds
- 1 tsp sea salt, more to taste
- 2 lb baby yellow potatoes or yukon golds, halved and peeled if desired
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice, more as needed
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter
- pinch of salt and pepper
Sauté the Aromatics
- In a large skillet that holds a fair amount of volume, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and carrots for at least 10 minutes, until fragrant and well carmelized. Add the garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes.
Make & Simmer the Filling
- Add the red wine into the pan and stir to deglaze.
- Stir your thickener of choice into to the veggie stock (I usually do this in the measuring cup) with a fork to remove any lumps. Add to the pan.
- Add the rest of the filling ingredients and simmer to thicken for 10-15 minutes. Adjust the consistency with broth if too thick, or simmer longer if too thin. You’re going for a gravy-like consistency, bubbly, but not too liquidy.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Boil & Mash the Potatoes
- Chop the potatoes into large chunks of roughly similar size. You can peel them if you like, I don’t bother. I usually buy baby potatoes with tender skins and don’t mind the peel at all. It’s nutritious too!
- Boil a large pot of water and drop in the potatoes. Boil for 5-10 minutes, or until soft and easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot with the lid on. Let them steam and dry out a little bit in the pot before mashing, so you don’t get wet mashed potatoes.
- Add the milk and butter and a pinch of salt and mash well with a potato masher (or standing mixer if you want to be extra fancy) until creamy. Add milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
Assemble & Bake
- Pour the filling into a large baking dish.
- You may be tempted to drop the whole of the mashed potatoes into the center and spread them out, don’t do this. It will create a mess and mix with the filling. Instead, drop little blobs of mashed potato all around to cover the filling and then spread it gently and evenly with a fork. (See photos)
- At this point, you can refrigerate or freeze the dish, covered well. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden on top. You can brush some olive oil over it before baking too, for extra golden crispiness.