Vegan Shepherd's Pie With Plant-Based Meat

Vegan Shepherd's Pie With Plant-Based Meat

The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 70 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 pan
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
343 Calories
15g Fat
44g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 343
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 1004mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 15mg 76%
Calcium 122mg 9%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 810mg 17%
*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 recipe gives a classic comfort food a plant-based makeover. Shepherd's pie is a hearty meat-and-potatoes casserole, for which a thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes are baked over a filling of ground lamb or beef, carrots, and peas in a tomato-tinged sauce.

In this version, we swap the ground meat for a plant-based meat alternative. This recipe will work best with one such as, Beyond or Impossible that are sold "raw," looking similar to ground meat, then sauteed on the stovetop, versus those that are sold pre-cooked. By sautéing the "meat" within the moment, you're able to incorporate the pie's flavors, such as thyme and rosemary, more deeply than with a pre-cooked version. 

Ingredients

For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 4 cups peeled and 3/4-inch-diced potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter or margarine

  • 1/4 cup vegan creamer

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream

  • 1/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as grapeseed oil or avocado oil

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • 1 cup diced carrot

  • 1 pound plant-based meat, such as Beyond or Impossible

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 cup no-chicken broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Potatoes

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    potato mash ingredients

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Add potatoes to a large pot of cool water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low, remove the lid, and simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 12 minutes. 

    boil potatoes in a pot of water

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  3. Drain potatoes in a colander, then return to the pot and add butter, half and half or creamer, salt, and pepper. Mash until no large lumps remain.

    mashed potatoes in a pot

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  4. Add sour cream and parmesan, stir thoroughly to incorporate, and set aside.

    mashed potatoes with sour cream and parmesan cheese in a pot

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    filling ingredients

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add oil.  Once hot, sauté the onion and carrot until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

    sauté the onion and carrot in a pan

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  3. Add raw ground "meat," along with thyme and rosemary, and sauté until browned and cooked through; this may vary depending on the brand, so follow the package instructions. (It will generally not take more than 10 minutes.)

    Add raw ground "meat," along with thyme and rosemary to the onions and carrots in the pan

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  4. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and sauté for 30 seconds while stirring, until all ingredients are coated.

    add flour to the meat and vegetable mixture

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  5. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, broth, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine.

    Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, broth, salt, and pepper to the meat mixture

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  6. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

    cook the meat mixture in the pan

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  7. Add frozen peas, mixing them in completely, and remove filling from heat.

    vegan Shepherd's pie filling in a pan

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Assemble and Bake the Shepherd's Pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Place the filling mixture in a shallow 9x13-inch baking dish or deep 9x9-inch dish, then spoon the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling.

    place mashed potatoes over the filling

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Spread with a spatula until they are an even layer.

    Spread the potatoes with a spatula

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger


  3. Bake for 30 minutes, until mashed potato crust is lightly golden. For extra browning, once baked, place the pie under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes.  

    Vegan Shepherd's Pie With Plant-Based Meat on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


For premade casseroles or leftovers that are in a glass baking dish and have been refrigerated, do not place directly into a hot oven as the glass can shatter. Instead, place any cold glass bakeware into a cold oven to warm up while it preheats. Or, allow the bakeware to rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to reach room temperature while the oven preheats.

Tips

  • Because this dish has two different recipes involved, for ease of making; you can prep the filling, or the potatoes ahead of time. You can also make the topping and filling simultaneously, and it'll take around 25 minutes.
  • A vegetarian "chicken" or "beef" broth will provide a more rich flavor that is closer to the "real thing" than a vegetable broth.
  • This works equally well as a vegan or vegetarian pie; the dairy involved is in the mashed potatoes, not the filling, so all that is needed to make it vegan is the choice of vegan butter or margarine, sour cream, and Parmesan over dairy.
  • The amount of added salt in the filling is minimal due to the sauces and broth; if using a low-sodium version of any, add additional salt to taste. 
  • In keeping with the rustic nature of this dish, we mashed potatoes by hand with a masher. If you prefer a whipped and smooth appearance, you can instead blend them in a food processor.