Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Imagine a Shepherd's Pie with the flavors of an Indian samosa - that's what's going on here. Vegan, make-ahead, one-dish meal with a split pea (or lentil) base, mashed potato crust, and spices.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe uses a number of my favorite techniques: mashing, slathering, and drizzling. Imagine a Shepherd's pie meeting the flavors of an Indian samosa. That's where we're headed. Shepherd's pies are typically lamb or meat based, but this is a veg-friendly version.
Make Ahead Vegan Samosa Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie: The Process

Here's how this shepherd's pie comes together. It's pretty straight-forward. You make a hearty, flavor-packed, vegan base using split peas (or lentils), chopped mushrooms, spices, and crushed tomatoes. Layer this under a thick slather of mashed potatoes and baked until the top is golden and a bit crusted. If I know the week ahead is going to be a crusher, I'll assemble everything over the weekend, and all I have to do is pop it in the oven a bit later in the week. Give it a go, this has been on repeat all winter.

Individual Pies!

You can certainly create smaller, individual pies - they're cute, and people love getting their own individual pie.

Sweet Potato Variation

You can absolutely swap in sweet potatoes here, just give them a quick peel first.

More Pie Recipes

 

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Vegan Shepherd's Pie

4.2 from 36 votes

Cold-weather comfort food, without a lot of the trappings. You can make the "crust" with sweet potatoes, potatoes, or a blend of the two. You can prepare ahead of time, and bake just before serving. If you use sweet potatoes, peel them.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 cups cooked yellow or green split peas
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • To serve: a drizzle of melted coconut oil with chopped serrano chiles, micro greens, scallions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F with a rack in the center.
  2. Place the potatoes/sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with water, salt as you would pasta water, and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, or until tender. Drain, and return to saucepan over heat for a minute or so to dry out a bit. Add the coconut milk, and the salt, and mash together. Set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut oil with the onion and garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions are translucent, and then turn the heat up and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the mushrooms release their water, and start to brown. Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir well, then add the cooked split peas and peas. Cook for another minute or two, taste, and adjust with more garam masala or salt if needed.
  4. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a 8-inch baking dish (or equivalent), spreading it across in a somewhat even layer. Dollop the potatoes across the top, and gently push them around until they cover the entire top of the casserole, run the tines of a fork across the top if you like a bit of texture.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, and finish under a broiler to add a bit of extra color and texture to the top. Serve as-is, or sprinkled with any (or all) of the suggested toppings.
Notes

Serves 6.

Serves
6
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
 
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Comments

I thought I had posted yesterday partway through making this, not sure if I pushed submit. Once I boosted all the flavours to suit our "Madhur Jaffrey" Indian foods palate, I can say it was a resounding success. This is what I did. Made the lentils with mostly split green peas and some toor dal. Being non-vegan, I added some bone broth to the water to boost nutrition and umami. Made the veggies as listed added to lentils and then added tamarind to taste, dried hot chile, more salt, some bone broth, kashmiri chili, a sizzling tarka of ghee mustard seed, cumin hing, and finally some of the chopped fresh Serrano. Cooked it for another 20 minutes and then let it sit to get itself together. The topping was half potato and half sweet (light yellow kind) potato, salt and the GAME CHANGING coconut milk. Just wow! I was freaked it it would be all watery but no, it came together beautifully with just a potato masher. Will be using this gain for sure. Anticipating the leftovers tonight with copped green beans and fennel sauteed in ghee and garlic!

Jannebarn

Soo... just finished the filling. This is good basic template for a vegan shepherd's pit filling. We are used to highly seasoned Indian food so when first I tasted this, I found it chalky and bland. No worries. I added tamarind paste to balance the sweetness of the peas, a dried red chile to give it some heat, made a tarka of hing, cumin and mustard seeds in ghee (I am not vegan) and threw that on. Still it needed salt. More heat in went a quarter minced Serrano pepper. I am leaving it to simmer and develop to see what else it needs. I am using half spuds and half sweet potato (not yam) so I worry with the coconut milk and the peas the whole thing might be a bit sweet for our taste. Time will tell.

Jannebarn

Thank you so much for sharing this incredible recipe! It's such a creative and mouthwatering fusion that I can't wait to try. Your recipes always inspire me to get into the kitchen and experiment. Keep up the fantastic work!

SpiceyChef Stratford

Easy to make, really you can't mess it up :) Liked by all and enjoyed on Christmas Eve with the "favorite cinnamon rolls" for dessert!

Shelby

Delicious! My whole family- including a toddler!- loved it. I'm out of pomegranate molasses, but I think that, or a tamarind chutney, would be good to drizzle on (I used a bit of balsamic).

Katie

Woul you say its ok to freeze this recipe? Thanks!

Iva

    Should be fine! Will take longer to bake though, or reheat...

    Heidi Swanson

This recipe also works well with cauliflower mash on the top. Eggplant, mushrooms, lentils, split peas—-all work well with onions or leeks or shallots as the “filling.” It is really good.

Lee R

    Thanks Lee!

    Heidi Swanson

Hey Heidi! I was wondering -- would using a homemade paneer in this mess up the flavors at all? When would you add it in? Thank you. :)

Monica

    I don't think it would. And I would add as just before placing in the oven, as a topping? I can imagine it being delicious. :)

    Heidi Swanson

I’ve made this several times, it is fabulous.! Comfort food!

Judy

Made this last night, really cool idea. The idea of shepherd's pie always appeals to me but this is the first vegetarian recipe I've seen that actually looked good. I made a couple of modifications that I would recommend: 1. I made split peas and they were wayyy to broken down for me (i cooked them for too long probably but thats really the only way I've ever seen them). I put them aside and cooked some regular brown lentils instead- much better for that "meaty" kind of texture we're replicating here 2. Added chili powder and carrots for personal preference. I also added a couple more mushrooms bc I

Danielle

Hi! Lovely recipe. I'm used to eating samosas that are hot and spicy. Thus I decided to add a little bit of cayenne pepper.

Pedro

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