Plant-Based Shepherd’s Pie

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd’s pie. A traditional British shepherd’s pie is usually the complete opposite of what you’d think a vegan or plant-based dish should be, good thing I like a challenge! This hearty version is super easy to whip up any night of the week and is packed with nutrients and bursting with flavour.

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

The Low-Down On Lentils

I have some serious love for lentils! They come in red, brown, and green, and are such a great addition to casseroles, soups, or anything you want to add some texture to. For this recipe I used red lentils from Bob’s Red Mill, my go to brand for pantry staples, but you can use whatever color of lentil you have on hand.

Lentils are a legume from the bean family and are a fibre powerhouse. Because of this I recommend soaking your lentils for at least 4 hours to remove the outer covering of anti-nutrients. It’s these compounds that have given beans a bad reputation of causing gas and bloating. By soaking your lentils you are mimicking their natural germination process and not only removing the hard to digest compounds but activating the good compounds and increasing the nutritional value. Soaking will also cut down on cook time, but it is totally optional. If you’ve got a belly full of lentils and a gut full of gas don’t say I didn’t warn you!

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

Two British Thumbs Up

I am always cooking and recipe testing at home and luckily for my boyfriend, he is my number one test subject! Andrew is my biggest fan and best critic because he will always tell me exactly what he thinks. If you’ve seen Andrew on my stories you already know he’s British and has probably enjoyed more authentic shepherd’s pies than you or I could imagine.

So when I decided to tackle a plant-based version of a shepherd’s pie, I knew he would really let me have it. I actually tested this recipe twice so we’ve been eating a lot of it and I’m happy to report Andrew has given this plant-based shepherd’s pie two thumbs up!  He’s been having it for lunch and dinner, as this recipe makes a large casserole and I love leftovers as a lunch option. It’s Andrew approved so I know your whole family will love this hearty, warm, and not so traditional shepherd’s pie.

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

Easy Mid Week Meals

Like I mentioned above this recipe makes a large casserole so it can been saved for leftovers or frozen for another cold day. It can also be made ahead, kept in the fridge, and then thrown in the oven for a fast dinner. It is super easy to make and is mostly all prepared in one pot (the mashed potatoes take up another pot, sorry I tried). By using a mix of lentils and the Yves ground round in a tomato puree you’ll have a delicious “meat” sauce that you won’t believe isn’t meat. Don’t be afraid to add other beans or veggies like corn or peas to the filling, get creative! For more easy mid week meal inspiration be sure to check out my Pinterest board here and try some of my other recipes:

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

Give this plant-based shepherd’s pie a try and I know you will be happy to eat it for the entire week! Not only is it super easy but it is so good for you. Healthy and convenient, win win. Check out the recipe below and don’t forget to let me know what you think over at @foodbymaria! Tag #foodbymaria and #fearnotfoodisyourfriend so I can see all your beautiful recreations.


Shepard’s Pie

  • Author: Maria Koutsogiannis
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Category: Mains
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • season to taste – this may be best to do at the end!
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 2 heaped tsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable stock paste
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils – I used Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1 packet Yves Ground Round
  • 2-3 cups hot water
  • season to taste
  • 5 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • season to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • garnish with 2 tbsp. fresh thyme


Into a large pot add olive oil and heat for 30 second on medium-high heat.  Add your onions and cook for around 5 minutes or until soft and translucent.  Add in your garlic, basil, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and cloves. Stir until onion is well coated and turn heat to low to cook and marry for around 3 minutes.  Stir often to avoid burning.

Into the pot add your tomato puree, tomato paste and stock paste paste.  Give this all a good stir and then increase heat to high before adding your lentils and Yves Ground Round.  Let them sautéed in the pan for two minutes before adding your water.  Stir, stir, stir, bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes until thick and luscious like a traditional meat sauce. Set aside once done.

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

While your “meat” sauce in simmering prepare your mashed potatoes by boiling water in a large stock pot.  Season your water and cook your potatoes till very tender, could take 15 minutes or so.  Strain your potatoes but absolutely do not rinse and return to pot.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and mash till extremely rich and creamy!  Remember, when adding your liquid that you must have a more solid mash to add on top of the first layer! Set aside.

Into a 13″L x 7.75″W x 2.25″H baking dish transfer your “meat mixture” and lay it flat using a spatula. Begin dolloping your mashed potato onto the mixture and using a flat tool flatten it all out.  I like using a fork to carve marks vertically and horizontally across the pie.  This adds fun texture and when it cooks gets nice and golden brown! Before cooking spray the mashed potatoes with an oil of your choice for that added golden colour (you will thank me later if you do this).

Cook for 25 minutes before setting oven to broil for 5 minutes.  Watch closely so nothing burns but this is an amazing adding touch to the recipe!

Enjoy with fresh thyme garnish and your choice of steamed greens or veg!


Will last up to 1 week in a tight sealed container in the fridge.

This recipe is freezer friendly, lasts up to 2-3 months.

If you don’t have vegetable stock paste then use 2-3 cups of your own vegetable stock! Just make sure it’s strong, good quality stuff!

We are stuck in the middle of a polar vortex and all I want to do is eat this warm, plant-based, comfort in a casserole dish, shepherd's pie.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bobs Red Mill

  • Casey Jolly
    Posted at 19:59h, 18 February Reply

    Recipe was incredible!
    The meat sauce is savory, hearty & very simple.
    And the thyme mashed potatoes are so flavorful & not too rich. All of the flavors compliment each other. It’s a hearty home style dish the whole family (meat eaters too) will love!

  • Catarina Cardoso
    Posted at 15:49h, 19 February Reply

    So so good. In Portugal I couldn’t find the equivalent to Yves ground round but it was divine, even without it. Real confort Food.

  • shaleigh
    Posted at 09:41h, 20 February Reply

    THANK YOU THANK YOU for easy, hubby approved recipes. This casserole was easy and delicious. We somehow managed not to eat it all in one sitting, and to have some leftovers for easy lunches. Woo hoo!

  • larlie21
    Posted at 01:04h, 21 February Reply

    Thankyou so much Maria! You have made plant based meals with so much flavour and ease. I have made this for my family and not being funny we should have had some left over for lunch, there was nothing left!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:50h, 21 February Reply

      YESSSSS! Honestly I couldnt be more flattered. I see that your email says UK so I AM SO PUMPED that someone from the UK is saying this about my VEGAN Shepherds Pie!! Thanks so much for your support!!

  • Nafeesa
    Posted at 21:40h, 22 February Reply

    This was so delicious! The recipe was easy to follow and I loved the addition of lentils. Was lovely to have the leftovers for lunch, tasted just as good the next time. Also approved by my husband! Thanks so much for the recipe, excited to try your moussaka next!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 09:15h, 23 February Reply

      Hey beauty! Thanks so much for the love! I love this recipe as well, I quite like how simple it is too! The moussaka is amazing! Please let me know what you think of the recipe!!!

  • Dana Rah-Khem
    Posted at 18:04h, 25 February Reply

    Made this for dinner and it was a huge hit, literally vanished so fast. Very flavorful and fragrant. You have so many wonderful recipes!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 09:10h, 26 February Reply

      Thank you so much beauty! I love cooking food with amazing flavour. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste like shit should really be my motto haha.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 12:59h, 26 February Reply

    Delicious dinner. One of my new soulfood recipes. Wanted to safe the leftover for tomorrow but it’s nothing left 😂

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 19:23h, 26 February Reply

      hahahahah I am so sorry there were no leftovers! haha but I feel like that’s a good thing so I won’t complain! xx

  • Meaghan
    Posted at 10:01h, 01 March Reply

    This was my first time ever making a shepherds pie and it was worth the wait!! The spices in this recipe really make it so delicious! I did happen to overlook that I was supposed to add cooked lentils so that added a few extra minutes in the middle of preparation but it ended up turning out amazing!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 11:29h, 01 March Reply

      Hey Meaghan!! Thanks so much for the love!!!!!! So glad you loved this!

  • Kasia Taekema
    Posted at 20:38h, 01 March Reply

    This recipe is amazing – and perfect for the plant-based food scared hah! The flavours are fantastic and the textures are bang on. This will easily be a staple in our household. Also, it’s heavily toddler approved. So many wins.

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 09:43h, 02 March Reply

      Yes!! Kasia, this is amazing! So glad even your little ones loved this!!! BIG FOODBYMARIA WIN!

  • Kayla Belcher
    Posted at 22:26h, 04 March Reply

    This was so so easy and delicious. My husband, who is not veg, had multiple servings, so I deem this recipe a success. 10/10 will make again. 🙂

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:56h, 05 March Reply

      YESSSSS! thank you so much Kayla! this is great, so glad your hubby loved and that youll be making it again!

  • Amber Fehr
    Posted at 22:29h, 04 March Reply

    This dish was delicious to eat and easy to make. I made it yesterday, and I alone have eaten about a quarter of it! The blend of spices are perfect, and my husband and toddlers love it as well! There’s something so satisfying about cooking healthy meals for your family.. Thank you so much Maria! I will be making this often

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:57h, 05 March Reply

      Hello Amber!! Thanks so much for this amazing review. Glad your family enjoyed this amazing recipe! Please let me know if you make anymore recipes 🙂

  • Cassie Autumn Tran
    Posted at 15:30h, 05 March Reply

    This pie looks like it would taste so delicious! You probably had the most amazing dinner for DAYS. I wouldn’t ever want anything else aside from this shepherd’s pie for a loooooong time if I made this at home, which I totally should do. I did make a sweet potato green lentil shepherd’s pie and it was freaking amazing. I do want to experiment with red lentils to see what the filling texture is like though!

  • Roxane Georgousis
    Posted at 20:42h, 07 March Reply

    This was amazing!! I’m a meat eater transitioning to a more plant based diet and this Shepards Pie left me 100% satisfied. Didn’t miss the meat at all!

    Thank you for sharing your talents!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:13h, 08 March Reply

      Yes, this is incredible to hear!!! So glad I can help you transition beauty!!!

  • Aina
    Posted at 11:02h, 09 March Reply

    Really love this kind of comfort food, so great recipe!

  • Brittany Longley
    Posted at 18:04h, 11 March Reply

    Just made this… and holy was it AHH-MAZ-ING. Seriously one of the most flavourful dishes, and my toddler devoured it! It might be the only time i’ve gotten him to enjoy lentils other than in burgers. I will be making this a staple for sure!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 07:42h, 12 March Reply

      YES BRITTANY!!! I AM HERE FOR THIS! So happy to hear! Thanks so much beauty!

  • Sepideh
    Posted at 14:57h, 04 April Reply

    Such an easy and yummy recipe. Comfort food at its best. Took the leftovers to works for lunch and it was even better next day. All my colleagues were jelly AF!

  • Janice Boudreau
    Posted at 15:42h, 15 April Reply

    I’ve made this recipe twice now as a ‘make ahead’ for the work week. We are a household of 2, so it was great for several nights. I think it actually tastes better the next day, as the flavors soak in and deepen. I plan to add corn the next time I make it. It was the first time I used Yves and the texture would make non vegetarians happy too. Thank you- it is now a favorite go to recipe!!!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 09:18h, 16 April Reply

      HELLO JANICE!thank you so much for the kind words. so glad you love this recipe, it’s honestly amazing!!

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