Savory mushrooms and lentils are simmered in a rich tomato sauce, topped with a layer of fluffy dairy-free mashed potatoes, and baked to yummy-cozy perfection. This vegan shepherd’s pie recipe is a plant-based twist on the classic dish we all know and love!
My vegan shepherd’s pie recipe features a mixture of veggies and lentils in a hearty tomato and red wine sauce. It has a thick layer of creamy, fluffy, mouthwatering-ly amazing mashed potatoes on top, which becomes a gorgeous golden color when baked. No sides necessary, this main dish is a complete meal on its own!
And I mean, seriously… just the look of it makes you want to dive right in.
Prep it ahead for convenience, or make plant-based shepherd’s pie for a relaxing dinner. Either way, I’m sure you’ll be enjoying it again and again all season long!
For The Mashed Potato Layer
- Yukon gold potatoes
- Full fat coconut milk
- Vegan butter
- Black pepper
To Make The Lentil Vegetable Layer
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Baby bella mushrooms
- Celery stalks
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Tomato paste
- Red wine
- Green lentils
- Vegetable broth
- Bay leaves
- Vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Frozen peas
Plus freshly parsley to garnish.
Step 1 – Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes
First, go ahead and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel and chop the potatoes, and place them in a large pot. Then fill the pot with water until the potatoes are covered. Add to teaspoons of salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and remove the lid. Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until you can easily slice through a piece with a knife or fork. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
Use a masher or hand mixer to mash the potatoes. Add the butter, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Mix well, taste and season more if needed.
Step 2 – Make The Shepherd’s Pie Filling
While the potatoes are cooking, begin to make the savory shepherd’s pie filling.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Next, mix in the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and tomato paste.
Add in the red wine, and cook while you continue to stir the filling mixture. The wine should evaporate as it cooks.
Add the lentils, vegetable broth, bay leaves, and worcestershire sauce. Stir well and let come to a boil. Then reduce the heat back to a simmer, and cook for 25 minutes. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the frozen peas.
Step 3 – Assemble And Bake
Once the filling has finished cooking, add it to a 9×13″ casserole dish. Use a spoon to spread into an even layer.
Now spoon the mashed potatoes on top, and gently spread so that it evenly covers the lentil shepherd’s pie filling.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven and let the vegan shepherd’s pie cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
What To Serve With Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Top the warm lentil and potato casserole with fresh chopped parsley and cracked black pepper, if you like.
This dish is a full dinner meal on its own. But you certainly can serve all kinds of other goodies on the side, particularly if you are feeding a crowd!
Enjoy with a basket of super flaky rosemary biscuits or vegan cheddar bay biscuits. I also like to pair with a simple green salad, shaved brussel sprouts salad, or kale apple salad with roasted butternut squash.
Make Ahead And Storage Suggestions
Vegan shepherd’s pie will keep well for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Let the leftovers cool completely before transferring to a container with a lid and placing in the fridge.
This recipe is great as a make ahead as a freezer meal! If you plan to freeze the whole thing and rebake later, I suggest you prep the shepherd’s pie in an aluminum pan… That way you can easily go from freezer to oven no problem
Make the dish as directed, but do not bake after you’ve added the mashed potato layer. Instead, wrap the whole thing in a layer of plastic wrap, then in another layer or two of heavy duty aluminum foil. Keep in the freeze for up to 3 months.
To bake from frozen, up wrap the vegan shepherd’s pie casserole, and cover with a fresh layer of foil. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until golden on top.
If you tried this vegan shepherd’s pie recipe let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Mashed Potatoes Layer:
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 2.5 teaspoons salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 4 Tablespoons vegan butter
- black pepper to taste
Lentil Vegetable Layer:
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms diced (about 1.5 cup)
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2-3 celery stalks diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 cup green lentils uncooked
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup frozen peas optional
- fresh parsley chopped (for garnish; optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel and quarter potatoes and place in a large pot. Fill the pot with water so the potatoes are completely covered. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, cover, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, remove the cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a fork in a potato piece. If the fork easily pierces the potato, the potatoes are done. Drain and let the steam release from potatoes. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Mash potatoes using a potato masher or you can even beat them with a hand mixer. Add butter, coconut milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few cracks of fresh pepper. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed (potatoes need lots of salt!) Set aside.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook until veggies are tender (about 10 minutes).
- Add mushroom and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
- Add garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Stir until well combined.
- Add red wine and stir until wine is cooked through and mostly evaporated.
- Add lentils, broth, bay leaves, and worcestershire sauce. Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add frozen peas and stir well.
- Add lentil veggie mixture to the 9×13 baking dish and spread into an even layer. Spoon mashed potatoes on top and carefully spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. Mashed potatoes should be golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with more black pepper and fresh parsley if desired.
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