Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes

Classic Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan veggie-filled shepherd's pie recipe

This delicious classic casserole, a vegetable-filled shepherd’s pie, requires 30 to 40 minutes of hands-on time, plus about an equal amount of baking. So, while it may not qualify as a quick dish to make when you come home from work, it’s a comforting weekend meal. It’s substantial and filling.

Serves: 6 or more

  • 4 large or 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance or other vegan buttery spread
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2  medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups very finely chopped cauliflower or broccoli
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped brown or white mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup cooked fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill, optional
  • 2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning blend (like Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel and dice the potatoes. Place in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  3. Stir the buttery spread into the potatoes until melted, then add the  nondairy milk and mash until fluffy. Set aside until needed.
  4. Meanwhile, as the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and carrots and sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden. Add the cauliflower or broccoli and the mushrooms along with 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until the vegetables are just tender.
  5. Add the peas, corn kernels, parsley, seasoning blend, and optional dill. Cook until the mixture is well heated through, then stir in 1/2 cup of the mashed potatoes and the optional nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Lightly oil a shallow 2-quart casserole dish. Pour in the vegetable mixture and pat in evenly. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top and pat down lightly.
  7. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 5 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges to serve.

Nutrition information:
Per serving: Calories: 214;  Total fat: 4g;  Protein: 6g;  Fiber: 6g; Carbs: 41g;  Sodium: 49mg

To make this dish even more substantial, add 8 ounces of well-drained, finely diced tofu (or baked tofu) or 1 cup cooked or canned beans of your choice. Just stir them into the vegetable mixture.

Other vegetables can be substituted for the ones listed above. Try zucchini or green beans in place of the corn and/or peas, for example.

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  • Reply
    Hareen Seerha
    July 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    What is Earth Balance??

  • Reply
    July 17, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    It’s a vegan buttery spread — basically a nonhydrogenated margarine.

  • Reply
    Hareen Seerha
    July 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Oh, I wanted to give you an idea for the special occasions. Maybe you could do Anniversaries. My parent’s are having their’s and I want to surprise them be making a romantic but tasty dinner. I have had so much trouble finding formal, but not wedding formal food for this. Maybe it is something you could consider.

  • Reply
    Hareen Seerha
    July 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    could the wheat germ be substituted with breadcrumbs??

  • Reply
    July 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Yes, breadcrumbs would work really well.

  • Reply
    July 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    In reply to your other comment, that’s a very good idea. There should be a section on romantic dinners for two; it would work for anniversaries, engagements, as well as Valentine’s Day! I’ll definitely give it some thought.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Can I leave out the wheat germ all together? My husband is gluten intolerant. Is the wheat germ just for texture? Thanks!

    • Reply
      December 29, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Tracy, the wheat germ is to absorb a bit of that moisture from the
      veggies layer and make it a bit easier to scoop out. It would likely be fine without it, or you could sprinkle with a fine layer of rice flour or even a very modest layer of a cooked grain.

  • Reply
    January 5, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    What about using sweet potatoes instead of white?

    • Reply
      January 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm

      Absolutely! Or, you can combine the two.

  • Reply
    Tracie Lin
    February 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I am no cook, so please excuse me. What if you added a vegan meat crumble layer, to make it more traditional?

    • Reply
      February 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Tracie, by all means. I encourage readers to add their own tweaks to recipes, to make them your own. Hope you like it!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Just thought I’d point out – there is no mention of the mushrooms in the ingredient list, and there is no mention of what to do with the nutritional yeast in the recipe. I’ve made a few recipes from this website and almost all of them have at least one oversight like that.

    Always been able to figure it out, but it is a little confusing the first time to see “add the broccoli and mushrooms” having not seen any mention of mushrooms prior.

    • Reply
      December 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Hi Nir — so sorry about that, the recipe has been updated.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2015 at 12:17 am

    I didn’t see anything about wheat germ or substituting rice flour? Guess it pays to read thru the comments but there’s no mention of how much of either ingredient. Can u post it? Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    February 11, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Hey Vegan Banana,

    One of my favorite winter dishes. Thank you as I have only recently given up flesh you have been a wealth of knowledge and encouragement. And I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have the dishes that I love to eat guilt free.


    • Reply
      February 13, 2016 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you, Rachel! Glad we’ve been of service. Though I’m a bit perplexed by the Vegan Banana designation!

  • Reply
    Christie Rechin
    December 20, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Hello trying to make this dish for a friend. But I have 2 questions

    1. What could I substitute mushrooms for? My friend is not a big fan of the consistency of mushrooms but I’m sure it adds a lot of flavor because your not adding meat.

    2. When you add the beans to the dish for extra substance when do you add them in and how should I cut them, if I should at all?

    • Reply
      December 20, 2016 at 9:29 am

      Hi Christie — you can just omit the mushrooms and increase one or two of the other vegetables by 1/2 to 1 cup or so. Or just use the beans, which will also make up for the volume. You just add them in with the other vegetables. Chickpeas would add a nice flavor. I hope your friend enjoys this!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Thanks for this amazing recipe. I love it so much I will make it for my christmas dinner. I hope that you don’t mind that I added it to my latest blog “Vegan Christmas recipes”. You can see it here:
    Happy holidays!

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