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Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie in a blue Dutch oven with a wooden spoon

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Katelyn
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Hearty vegetarian take on the classic Shepherd’s pie. A dark, rich gravy loaded with veggies and lentils simmered with red wine and fresh herbs then topped with the creamiest buttered mashed potatoes. 



Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into quarters
  • kosher salt 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Shepherd’s Pie Filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced 
  • kosher salt 
  • 16 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine (preferably pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock 
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs freshy rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas 
  • 1 cup cooked lentils 


Make the Mashed Potatoes

  1. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover by 1 inch with cold water.
    quartered Yukon gold potatoes cooking a large pot on the stove top
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and bring water to a boil. Simmer for around 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. (You can go ahead and get started on the filling while the potatoes cook).
  3. With about 5 minutes left on the potatoes, make your butter/milk mixture.
  4. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic cloves over medium low heat. Cook the garlic for a couple of minutes until aromatic. Add the milk, black pepper and kosher salt to taste (I use about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Heat until milk is warmed through and stir in parmesan cheese. Remove the whole garlic cloves. Remove from heat and cover if needed to keep warm. 
    butter and garlic simmering in a sauce pot on the stove
  5. When potatoes are fork tender, drain and rinse them with cold water, then return them to the pot.
  6. Use a potato masher to mash potatoes until they are smooth and no chunks remain. Do not over mash.
    mashed potatoes in a pot on the stove
  7. Stir in warmed butter mixture until just combined. You do not want to over-stir, otherwise your potatoes can become “gummy”. 

Make Shepherd’s Pie Filling

  1. Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large pot.
  2. When shimmering, add carrots, onion, celery, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and cook for 7-10 minutes until softened and slightly browned.
  3. Add mushrooms, black pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more. 
    celery, carrot, onion and mushrooms sautéing in a Dutch oven on the stove
  4. Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring continuously for 1 minute. 
    Vegetarian Shepherd's pie cooking on the stove
  5. Deglaze with red wine, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to release anything sticking to the bottom.
  6. Add tamari, Worcestershire, vegetable stock, thyme rosemary, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
    Vegetarian shepherd's pie broth simmering on the stove in a Dutch Oven
  7. At this point, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Simmer the filling for 20 minutes scraping the bottom of the pot occasionally to make sure nothing sticks.
  9. Stir in lentils and peas. 
    Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie cooking on the stove
  10. Test for seasoning and add additional kosher salt/pepper to taste. (I added 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt).
  11. If you did not use a Dutch oven, transfer filling to a 9×9 or 9×13 inch baking dish.
  12. Cover filling with a thin layer of mashed potatoes (you will only need about 3/4 of the mashed potatoes you made, yay leftover mashed potatoes!)
    Vegetarian Shepherd's pie in a Dutch oven
  13. Sprinkle the top with smoked paprika.

Bake Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Bake in 375 degree oven uncovered for 15 minutes.
  2. Place under the broiler for 5 or so minutes to get everything nice and golden.


  • Avoid over mashing or over mixing your potatoes
  • Allow Shepherd’s pie to cool before serving. 
  • Serve with LOTS of freshly cracked black pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired. 
  • You can substitute low sodium soy sauce for tamari or use all Worchestire 
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Mains
  • Method: Stove-Top/Oven
  • Cuisine: British Inspired

Keywords: vegetarian

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