This vegan Shepherd's Pie is so flavorful and comforting it will be your go to meal to curl up with. Super healthy with a spot on texture!
This post was sponsored by Yondu but the content and opinions expressed are fully my own.
I never grew up eating meals like this, so when I recreated this one I was thrilled to have amazing neighbors who like to eat and are actually from England! After many trials, tweaks, and testing, we finally got a winner!
Shepherd's Pie is a casserole that traditionally is made of a base of ground meat mixed with veggies and a gravy, then topped with mashed potatoes. Recreating a meat based dish with only whole food plant based ingredients can be a challenge, but I can safely say the flavor and texture of the classic comfort food dish have been captured in this recipe.
No meat, no diary, no problem! Only real plant based whole foods are used in this satisfying Shepherd's Pie recipe:
- Mashed potatoes
- Chopped walnuts
- Yondu umami seasoning
- Veggie broth
- Tomato paste
Yondu is a vegetable based liquid seasoning that you can use in place of salt in your recipes. It has a rich unami flavor, that it gets from fermented soybeans and a concentrated broth made from 8 vegetables.
I have been loving using it in so many things! It is oil-free, so if you watch how much oil you consume, you can easily use this to saute. It's also plant-based and gluten-free.
I love that a little drizzle helps bring out the flavors in my recipes without needing an overabundance of different spices. I have used it in so many ways:
- Simply as a seasoning to saute
- In place of soy sauce/tamari or fish sauce when you want to keep recipes vegan
- Mixed with water as a broth
- In sauces to give them an extra depth of flavor
- A touch over rice or grain bowls
How To Make Vegan Shepherd's Pie
With just a few simple steps you can recreate the classic comfort food dish in less than an hour. Here's what to do:
- Sauté onion, garlic, beans, walnuts, and herbs.
- Add the broth, Yondu, and tomato paste and mix well.
- Cook until the beans are softening and the liquid is cooked off.
- Add the carrots, peas and more broth and cook until saucy.
- Spread mixture into a square baking dish and top with mashed potatoes.
Tips and tricks
- You can use canned chickpeas instead of dried, soaked ones, but the texture will change a little.
- Yondu is a savory seasoning that brings out the richness in this dish. Start with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed. The amount you need will depend on the salt in the broth you use.
- If you do not have Yondu yet, you can sub soy sauce or Tamari, but you may need less. Start small and add more to taste.
- I suggest chopping the mixture in a food processor before adding the corn and peas. You do not have to do this but it helps with texture.
- If you do not chop the mixture with a food processor, just make sure to break up the chickpeas into small pieces before adding in.
- Mix in extra veggies like mushrooms or peppers for extra flavor and nutrients.
- Make this dish oil free by using broth to sauté instead.
- Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Shepherd's Pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing it unbaked, but you can also freeze it once it's been cooked. Potatoes run the risk of changing texture when frozen, so if you prefer wait to top with the mashed potatoes until you're ready to bake.
- Reheat leftovers in the oven for best results, or in the microwave to save some time!
Sauté the filling base, add in broth, seasonings, veggies, then mix in flour. Spread in a square baking dish, top with mashed potatoes, and bake.
Traditionally cottage pies are casseroles made with beef, while shepherd's pies are made with lamb. In more recent years shepherd's pie has become an umbrella term to mean a casserole made with a meat base with gravy, veggies, and a topping of mashed potatoes. This version omits all meat to make it vegan friendly.
Yes you can. It's best to freeze it unbaked in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You can also freeze it once it's cooked, but the texture may change a bit.
More Comforting Vegan Recipes
When it's time to cozy up with a hearty meal, try any of these healthy plant based recipes:
- Vegan Lentil Meatloaf
- Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
- Mushroom Bourguignon
- Creamy Mushroom Risotto
- Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
Healthy Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe
- 1 recipe mashed potatoes
- 1 ½ cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- Drizzle of your favorite oil to sauté , or broth if oil free
- ½ cup dry lentils , green or brown (use more if not using chickpeas, see note)
- 1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas , drained and rinsed (optional, see note)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 4 cups veggie broth , low sodium if needed
- 2-4 tablespoons Yondu umami seasoning , can sub soy sauce or Tamari (see note)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup chopped carrots
- Preheat oven to 400 F/ 205 C
- You can either chop the whole mixture in a food processor after cooking, or simply just chop the chickpeas and walnuts into smaller pieces using a food processor now. I prefer to do this because it’s easier to clean up.
- Sauté onion, garlic and salt with oil, or broth if oil free, over medium heat until onion is soft. About 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils, chickpeas, walnuts, parsley and thyme and saute until just browning. About 3-5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups of the broth, Yondu and tomato paste and cook covered for about 8-10 minutes. Don’t let it burn.
- If you opted to chop the entire mixture, then chop now in a food processor. Make sure to pulse slowly so it doesn’t turn into mush. It helps to do it in small batches. Add back to the pan when done.
- Add the carrots, peas and the rest of the broth into the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated but it still has some sauce.
- Spread at the bottom of a square baking dish. Then top with the mashed potatoes.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until the top is browning at the edges.
- Allow to cool so it sets better and serve!
- You can use all lentils instead of both lentils and chickpeas. If you do this, use 1 cup lentils.
- You can chop the entire mixture, or just chop the walnuts and chickpeas. See directions.
- Yondu is a savory seasoning that brings out the richness in this dish. If you do not have it you can sub soy sauce or Tamari, but you may need less. Start with 2 tablespoons, taste and add more if needed.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.