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
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1168 Calories
72g Fat
101g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1168
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 72g 93%
Saturated Fat 41g 206%
Cholesterol 185mg 62%
Sodium 703mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 20g 71%
Protein 35g
Calcium 732mg 56%
*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.


  • 900 g./2 lb. sweet potato (peeled, cut into large cubes)
  • 6 tbsp. milk
  • 110 g./1 stick butter (cubed)
  • 1 vegetable oil
  • 115 g./1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 115 g./ 1 cup carrot (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 can mixed beans (drained, see tips below)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 115 g./ 1 cup white mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaf
  • 115 g./ 1 cup Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  • Dash salt
  • Dash pepper

Steps to Make It

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

  1. 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.

  2. Season to taste and keep to one side.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Place the sauce into an 8"/ 20 cm by 3"/7 cm 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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