Easy Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 1 casserole
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
759 Calories
39g Fat
86g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 759
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 49%
Saturated Fat 21g 104%
Cholesterol 91mg 30%
Sodium 1029mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 86g 31%
Dietary Fiber 17g 62%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 62mg 311%
Calcium 426mg 33%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 1835mg 39%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe makes a great dish for vegetarians and a lighter meatless alternative for carnivores. The dish bursts with goodness in the form of beans, vegetables, and herbs and a delicious sweet potato topping, which also makes it lower in carbs. What is not to like. 

The dish is a complete meal in itself needing little else for serving but if you feel something is needed, crusty bread or a crisp green salad is a great accompaniment. If you have leftover vegetarian shepherd's pie, it freezes well.


  • 2 pounds (900 grams) sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into large cubes

  • 6 tablespoons milk

  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 cup (115 grams) chopped onion

  • 1 cup (115 grams) finely chopped carrot

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 (15-ounce) can mixed beans, drained, see tips below

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, drained

  • 1 cup vegetable stock

  • 1 cup (115 grams) white mushrooms, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves

  • 1 cup (115 grams) grated cheddar cheese

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 375 F/190 C/Gas 5.

  2. Boil the sweet potatoes until soft, drain. Place the milk and butter in the pan used to boil the potatoes, return to the heat and warm gently until the butter has melted. Add the sweet potatoes and mash.

  3. Season to taste and keep to one side.

  4. Heat the oil in a large deep pan. Add the onion and carrot and fry for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

  5. Add the beans, mushrooms, and one-quarter of the vegetable stock to the onion and carrot mixture and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining stock, tomatoes, parsley, coriander and season with a little salt and pepper.

  6. Place the sauce into an 8-inch/20-centimeters x 3-inch/7-centimeters deep ceramic or glass ovenproof dish and cover with the sweet mashed potato. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the potato and bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until the surface is crisp. browned and bubbly. Serve immediately.


  • Traditional shepherd's pie is made with minced/ground lamb and cottage pie with minced beef. In this recipe, that meat is replaced with a mixture of beans—you choose your favorites—to provide protein, herbs for flavor, and tomatoes for added goodness. 
  • Use any mixture of canned or cooked beans. If you don't have cooked beans you will need to begin the dish the day before by soaking the beans, then cooking. Or you can simply use up cooked beans but so much easier for this dish is to buy a can of already cooked beans. Choose your favorite mixture of beans: we like white beans, flageolet, red kidney and to add texture, some chickpeas. Ring the changes with different herbs.

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