Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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With St. Patrick’s Day close at hand, you may be thinking of Shepherd’s Pie. I always enjoy this seasonal dish. It is great comfort food that I don’t think of making very often and consequently, it tastes even better when I do make it! Therefore, I thought I would share a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie recipe with you so you can enjoy it on Meatless Mondays.  By definition, Shepherd’s Pie is usually a ground lamb meat pie with a mashed potato crust. I have substituted chopped eggplant to replace the meaty texture of what would normally be the ground beef or lamb. This vegetarian shepherds pie still has butter and milk so you still get those creamy, comforting flavors in the mashed potato crust layer.

vegetarian shepherd's pie

Homemade Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Recipe is easy and delicious. Even the men in my family approve. It is such great comfort food!

First, we make the bottom layer of veggies and we make the top top layer of mashed taters. Second, we lay one of top of the other in a casserole dish and bake for a nice warm dish with a crusty, golden potato top. That is all there is to this Meatless Monday Shepherd’s Pie!

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook:  40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings


Potato Crust

  • 1.5 pound of russet potatoes (about 3 large russet potatoes)
  • 6 tbsp of butter
  • 1/3 cup of whole organic milk (heavy cream or half and half)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Pie Filling

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups of baby green peas  
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 2 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp of rosemary
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (optional garnish)
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan (optional garnish)
vegetarian shepards pie

Vegetarian Shepards Pie Recipe Notes:

Russet potatoes are the suggested type of potatoes for this because they make light and fluffy mashed potatoes that are perfect for the pie topping layer. You can substitute Yukon Gold potatoes but it will be a more dense and heavy topping- still full of great flavor though!

The butter and milk in the potato layer are great for adding to the protein value and also for getting that beautiful golden brown to the top of mashed potato layer.

Fresh or frozen peas will work just fine. They are high in protein content so don’t leave those out and feel free to up the quantity if you like.

If you don’t want to include the red wine, just use extra veggie broth in its place. The red wine just adds some depth of flavor. It works nicely with the Worcestershire sauce and the fresh herbs to give the roux gravy a rich flavor for this vegetarian version.

If you don’t have eggplant, you can use a can of cooked lentils as your meaty texture instead. Just drain off any juices and add the cooked lentils in place of the eggplant in the recipe.

This dish will take about 20 minutes of stovetop cooking and 20 minutes of baking time.

How To Make Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

The potato topping

Peel potatoes and cut into even sized cubes- about 1 inch.  Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a high simmer.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until fork tender so that they will easily mash.  Pour water off using a colander and place potatoes into a large bowl or stand mixer bowl.  I recently started using the stand mixer to mash my potatoes with the whisk attachment because I love how light and fluffy they come out.  You can do it by hand with a potato masher if you prefer.  Start mashing the potatoes and then add the butter sliced up into small pieces so that it melts quickly. Keep mashing. Then add the milk and keep mashing. Finally, add the salt and pepper and keep mashing and until smooth and creamy.

The veggie filling

While the potatoes are boiling, you can begin the pie vegetable filling.  In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Then add the diced onion and cook while stirring for a couple of minutes.  Next, add the garlic, diced eggplant, carrots, peas, and green beans and cook for about another 7 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add the herbs and butter and stir.  Then sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir again.  Add veggie stock, red wine, and tomato paste, and cook for another 7 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat.

Bake it

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Use a large casserole pan and pour in the vegetable mixture. Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out into one even layer.  Next, add the creamy mashed potatoes to the baking dish and smooth over the first layer and against the sides of the pan to create a seal. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potato layer begins to brown.  As a result of the baking, the flavors all meld together beautifully.

vegetarian shepherds pie

Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  You may wish to garnish with a bit of minced parsley and some grated parmesan. This vegetarian shepard pie is sure to please!

vegetarian shepherd's pie recipe

Finally, slice into large squares and serve. This is a great all in one dish the whole family will enjoy.

Printable Recipe Card For Shepherd’s Pie Vegetarian Version

I hope you enjoy this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie recipe. It is a great recipe for colder months.  Do you try Meatless Mondays with your family?

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