Cozy Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

A cozy vegan shepherd’s pie made with lentils or chickpeas. This vegan main is perfect for the holidays or for a comforting winter meal. It’s packed with vegetables, including mushrooms, carrots, peas and celery, then topped with creamy mashed potatoes.

cozy vegan shepherd's pie

Vegan comfort food at its best! Just imagine gravy-coated mushrooms, carrots, celery and peas topped with creamy mashed potatoes. All baked together to create a cozy vegan shepherd’s pie.

This recipe can be made with lentils or chickpeas – Simply use what you prefer. I added notes on substitutions below, including an easy gluten-free option and more.

It’s perfect for a vegan holiday main dish or for a comforting winter weekend meal.

How to Make a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Start by preparing the mashed potatoes. You have the option to make them on the stove-top or in the Instant Pot using this recipe. Mash the potatoes with your choice of plant-based milk, plus vegan butter and salt.

Meanwhile, prepare the shepherd’s pie filling. Start by sautéing the vegetables, including onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once the vegetables have softened, add the herbs, vegetable broth, flour or corn starch, soy sauce, tomato paste, lentils or chickpeas and green peas. Cook everything together for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

Spread the mashed potatoes over the vegetables, then bake for 20 minutes. Done!

mushrooms, carrots and celery on a cutting board
vegan shepherd's pie filling in a cast-iron skillet
mashed potatoes in a pot

Notes on the Recipe:

  • You can prepare the mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot following this recipe. You can also add roasted garlic to the mashed potatoes following the recipe.
  • I love using oat milk in the mashed potatoes, but plain and unsweetened soy, almond or cashew milk will also work.
  • If you don’t have cremini mushrooms, feel free to use white button mushrooms.
  • You could try replacing 1/2 a cup of broth with red wine if preferred. I tested this recipe with broth only, but wine is often used in Shepherd’s pie recipes.
  • This recipe was tested with both canned lentils and chickpeas. Both were delicious, but I personally preferred the lentils. Choose your favorite or what you have on hand.
  • For a gluten-free option, use corn starch instead of flour.

More Vegan Comfort Food:

vegan shepherd's pie closeup
vegan shepherd's pie closeup

Cozy Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

A cozy vegan shepherd's pie made with lentils or chickpeas. This vegan main is perfect for the holidays or for a comforting winter meal. It's packed with vegetables, including mushrooms, carrots, peas and celery, then topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Vegan comfort food at its best!
Course Main Course
Cuisine vegan
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6

Ingredients

Shepherd's Pie Filling

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cups (227g) cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sage, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth, low sodium (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, low-sodium
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (540ml/19oz) lentils or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup green peas, frozen

Mashed Potatoes

  • 7-8 medium Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced (about 8 cups)
  • 3/4-1 cup oat milk, plain and unsweetened
  • 4-5 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

Prepare the Mashed Potatoes

  • Peel and roughly chop the potatoes – I chop them into four pieces. The larger the pieces, the longer you'll need to boil them. Boil them until fork tender and easy to mash. Drain and mash the potatoes, along with the oat milk (start with the smaller amount and add more if needed – the potatoes should be thick and creamy), vegan butter and salt. Taste and adjust as needed. Keep covered until ready to use.

Prepare the Filling

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Chop and prepare all of your vegetables.
  • Heat the oil in a large oven safe pot or 12" cast iron skillet. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the sage and thyme, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In 1/2 cup of broth, whisk the corn starch or flour until well combined. Add the mixture to the vegetables, along with the remaining 1 cup of broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, lentils or chickpeas and peas. Simmer over low to medium heat until it thickens, about 5 minutes. The mixture should be thick, but saucy. If it's thinner and soup-like, add more flour or cornstarch, mixed in a small amount of broth.
  • Gently spread the mashed potatoes on top of the vegetable filling.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F, then broil for a few minutes if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

I love using oat milk for the mashed potatoes, but almond milk, soy milk and cashew milk should also work. Make sure to use plain, unsweetened plant-based milk.
If preferred, you can prepare the mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot following this recipe. Feel free to add the roasted garlic as instructed in that recipe.
You could try replacing 1/2 a cup of broth with red wine if preferred. I tested this recipe with broth only.
This recipe was tested with both canned lentils and chickpeas. Both were delicious, but I personally preferred the lentils. Choose your favorite or what you have on hand.
You can use white button mushrooms if you don’t have cremini mushrooms.

If you make this vegan Shepherd’s Pie, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!

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Nourished by Caroline

I’m Caroline, a registered dietitian located in Kelowna, British Columbia. I focus on plant-based nutrition and intuitive eating. I believe in living a balanced life, while eating the food you love. Learn more about my practice here or book an appointment today!