This savory Vegan Shepherd's Pie recipe is super easy to make, hearty, and extra flavorful. You're going to love the delicious combination of melt-in-your-mouth, spicy mince topped with crispy, garlic mashed potatoes. A comforting and satisfying vegan main dish that is guaranteed to become a new family favorite.
When I saw Gordon Ramsay, making his classic British Shepherd's pie, I just knew I had to recreate a vegan version. He says, "the secret to a great Shepherd's pie is all in the mince". So I kept the flavors and textures as close to his Shepherd's pie recipe as possible without meat or eggs. The meaty mince filling is a combination of vegan ground beef, traditional seasonings, vegetables, and red wine. Then it's topped with a crown of garlic mashed potatoes (freshly made or leftovers!). It's classic vegan comfort food - rustic, hearty, and satisfying - gluten free to boot!
Here's What You'll Need
To make this simple vegan casserole, you'll need just a handful of ingredients: olive oil, carrots, onions, garlic, vegan meat (I used Beyond meat), vegan mashed potatoes, vegan heavy cream, tomato paste, vegan worcestershire sauce, red wine, veggie broth, dry oregano, fresh thyme, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, and vegan parmesan cheese.
How to Make Shepherd's Pie Vegan
As I mentioned, this meatless shepherd's pie is very simple to make - only 3 steps! Let's get into the details including my TIPS for managing your timing (full directions in the recipe card):
- Vegetable stock - mix up veggie stock (I use Better Than Bouillon).
- Prepare vegetables - peel and cut the potatoes and garlic cloves; grate the carrots and onions. Pro Tip: grating the carrots and onions helps to thicken the sauce but the veggies kind of meld into the sauce. For more texture, dice the veggies instead.
- Gather ingredients - gather all spices, wine, vegan Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste and set near stove.
- Preheat oven - 350º F
- Make mashed potatoes - get the potatoes cooking. Once ready, mash or rice the potatoes with the vegan butter, dairy-free heavy cream, and seasoning. For loads of expert tips on making perfect mashed potatoes, check out my vegan mashed potatoes post.
- Start the mince filling - start by browning the veggies until they begin to take on some color (5-6 minutes). Then add the vegan ground meat, stirring and breaking it up as it browns. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, red wine, fresh thyme leaves, dry oregano, and red pepper flakes stirring to incorporate. Once the wine has cooked down, add the broth - simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat. If adding peas, stir them in now.
Pro Tip: For a saucier stew/mince, add more broth or remove from heat sooner.
- Assemble - if using a separate dish, transfer the mince to the prepared dish(es), then pipe or spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Create as many edges as possible (for maximum crispiness) by swirling the potatoes with the back of a spoon or dragging a fork across the top to create ridges. Adds dots of butter for extra decadence (optional).
- Bake - until golden and the sauce is bubbling up the sides (~18-20 minutes). I broil for the last few minutes for extra color.
- Serve - serve Shepherd's pie with a rainbow salad, a side of steamed peas or broccoli, and some crusty overnight bread.
Variations & Substitutions
Put your own spin on this recipe by making the gravy thicker or thinner, doubling up the mince, adding extra veggies or some heat. Here's a few ideas for customizing:
- Vary the vegetables: Stir peas, carrots, corn or thinly sliced beans (fresh or frozen) into the mince for extra servings of veggies and texture.
- Potatoes: I've heard it said that Shepherd's pie (and cottage pie) originated from British and Irish cooks getting creative with leftovers (my kind of people!). So use up those leftover mashed potatoes in this recipe (just be sure to bring them to room temperature first so they are easy to spread).
- Worcestershire sub: In a pinch use tamari or soy sauce in place of gluten free Worcestershire sauce.
- Red wine option: Sub in Guinness stout or use extra veggie broth if you prefer.
- Make it cheesy: Top the veggie Shepherd's pie with grated vegan parmesan cheese or another shredded dairy-free cheese.
- Individual servings: For a special treat, serve Shepherd's pie in individual pots (extra fancy for holiday dinners or to impress guests). Grease with butter or spray the ramekins before filling to prevent sticking.
- MILLION DOLLAR TIP - texture: My advice about texture for any recipe is to include a variety of textures for the most delicious results. For this recipe, the potatoes should be soft, but not sloppy because the stew/mince also leans toward soft. I like to make the potatoes fluffy and buttery, but not too soft (definitely not whipped) with a crunchy crust. Play around and put your own fingerprints on this recipe. Enjoy!
Make Ahead, Storing & Reheating
Make ahead: To get ahead, make the Shepherd's pie components the day before your big holiday dinner. Store in separate containers covered in the fridge. When ready, assemble (while the oven is preheating), bake, and enjoy!
Storing: Leftovers keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days.
Freezing and reheating: Freeze leftovers in individual size portions for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or lunch. Let the Shepherd's pie thaw, then warm in a 350º F oven or in the microwave until heated through.
What to Serve with Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Here are some lighter side dish suggestions to balance this hearty meat and potatoes dishes:
- steamed veggies: we like peas, carrots or broccoli
- side salad: rainbow salad with light vinaigrette or vegan coleslaw
- crusty bread: no knead overnight bread
- more bread: soft fluffy, vegan dinner rolls or vegan breadsticks
- vegan St. Patrick's Day feast: serve with potato leek pancakes, vegan corned beef and cabbage
More Vegan Dinner Ideas
More ideas for Meatless Mondays or any vegan weeknight meal:
- Easy Vegan Chili (it's the best!)
- Vegan Mushroom Pasta (so easy, so creamy)
- Easy Mushroom Chickpea Bake (dump and bake)
- Easy Tofu Pasta (Italian crusted tofu)
Easy Vegan Shepherd's Pie (gf)
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Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 5-6 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2-4 tablespoons vegan butter
- ¼ cup vegan heavy cream (or plant-based milk)
- 2 tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese or grated cheese
Vegan Mince using Beyond Meat
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, grated or diced
- 1 cup carrots, grated
- 2-3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 4 patties Beyond meat, thawed
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce (vegan)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 ½ teaspoons oregano, dry leaves
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- fresh herbs (parsley, thyme), chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º F
- Prepare 6 ramekin cups by greasing sides and bottom (if using).
- Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks. Place the potatoes, garlic cloves, and salt into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil then cook until fork tender (around 12-15 minutes depending on how big your cubes are).
- Drain, mash or rice the potatoes into the pot. Add in 2-4 tablespoons butter and a few tablespoons of vegan heavy cream/milk and mash/mix to desired consistency adding more milk/butter as desired. Season to taste.
VEGETABLE MINCE FILLING
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven or oven proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add grated onions and carrots cooking for 5-6 minutes while the vegetables soften, become fragrant and change color.
- Stir in the garlic and vegan meat* breaking up and cooking till browned and cooked through. *I used Beyond meat patties but you could sub for your favorite veggie mince (see notes).
- Add the vegan Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, red wine, fresh thyme leaves, (chopped fresh rosemary if using), dry oregano, and red pepper flakes stirring to incorporate.
- Once the red wine has evaporated, add the veggie broth. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes, then turn the heat off. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Spread or pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the mince filling. Swirl the potatoes with the back of a spoon or drag a fork across the top to make ridges to get golden. Dot the tops with dairy-free butter or grated parmesan cheese for extra crispiness.
- For individual servings: divide the mince filling evenly among 4-6 ramekins/pots (depending on size). Top with a scoop of potatoes and a few dabs of butter. Place on baking sheet before going into the oven.
- Bake, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes until the potatoes are golden and the sauce is bubbling up around the sides. I like to broil for the last few minutes for extra golden tops.
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme/parsley and hot pepper flakes. Serve with a leafy green salad and a side of steamed peas or broccoli.
This recipe is from simplyceecee.co food blog. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images or republish this recipe without prior permission. Thank you.
originally posted January 2019, updated November 2022