shepherd’s pie

For some reason, pretty much every vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe that I’ve found is lentil-based. Lentils are good, but sometimes, like when I’m trying to have shepherd’s pie, I need something that feels more meaty. Enter fake meat! Any “beef” crumbles will work for this- I typically use Gardein or Morningstar.

This recipe is: vegetarian, vegan, gluten free

Adapted from Alton Brown and Gardein.


For the filling:

  • 1 package beefless grounds
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp flour of choice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 cup stock/broth of choice (I used Better than Bouillon No Chicken stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/3 cup peas
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • optional: red wine

For the potato topping:

  • 3/4 lb russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1 oz butter of choice (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1/4 heaping tsp kosher salt
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • optional: 1 egg yolk (or small flax egg); this will make the potatoes more stiff

OR, top with cauliflower mash instead!


  1. Start cooking the potatoes. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, decrease the heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are very easily pierced with a fork.
  2. When the potatoes are nearly done, place the milk and butter in a microwave safe container and heat for 30-35 seconds, until warmed through. Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Mash, then add the milk mixture, salt, and pepper, and mash again until smooth. Stir in the egg yolk if desired.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the carrots and onions and sweat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste (and an optional splash of red wine) and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir to combine, then add the soy sauce and stir well.
  5. Add the stock, bay leaf, (and optionally, a bit more wine), and the beefless crumbles to the pot. Add the parlsey and thyme. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly.
  6. Remove from heat and add the peas, corn, and pepper, and pour into a deep baking dish (I used a 1-quart casserole dish).
  7. Top with the potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the filling from bubbling up, and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the potatoes are beginning to brown on top. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 3-4.

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