Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

A serving of vegetarian shepherd's pie in a bowl

For a warm-you-up that won’t weigh you down, it’s Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie!

A serving of vegetarian shepherd's pie in a bowl

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A rich, thick vegetable filling bubbling away beneath a creamy mashed potato topping, this meat-free dinner is hearty, cozy, and satisfying, just like the original.

When the cold wind whips, classic comfort meals like Shepherd’s Pie (made with ground lamb) or cottage pie (the same as shepherd’s pie but with ground beef) are a necessity.

While belly-warming comfort is in demand most winter evenings, night after night of Braised Short Ribs or Beef Bourguignon can be a bit much.

Plus, whether or not you are a vegetarian, it’s nice to go meat free for some of your meals.

Skipping the meat should never mean skipping that satisfaction, which is why all of the vegetarian recipes you’ll find here don’t just fill you up—they hit the spot.

Vegetarian shepherd's pie with herbs

When you are creating vegetarian versions of traditional meat-and-potato dishes like shepherd’s pie, one of the best ingredient swaps is mushrooms (just like you’ll see in this mushroom Vegetarian Pot Pie).

Mushrooms hearty and boast an intense savoriness called umami that provides complexity.

Put another way, umami means this mushroom shepherd’s pie tastes like much more than a big pile of vegetables.

It’s a worthy main event.

What If I Hate Mushrooms?

While mushrooms are my first choice for this recipe, if you are a mushroom hater, you can certainly make this vegetarian shepherd’s pie without mushrooms. See FAQs below for suggestions.

PS. I do hope you’ll come around one day; in the meantime, save all the Mushroom Stroganoff for me!

A white bowl with vegetables and potatoes

How to Make Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is traditional comfort food I love down to my Irish roots.

With this easy recipe, you can enjoy it meat free too!

The Ingredients

  • Mashed Potato Topping. Creamy mashed potatoes with butter and Parmesan become an exceptionally delicious topping. A mixture of egg yolk and milk adds richness and helps hold the potatoes together.

Substitution Tip

You can easily swap this mashed potato topping for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes or Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes (no need to add the egg).

Or, grab those leftover Crockpot Mashed Potatoes in your refrigerator and use them for the topping.

  • Carrots + Parsnips. These root veggies are naturally sweet and packed with vitamins.
  • Mushrooms. Thanks to their unique umami flavor, mushrooms give the recipe depth of flavor.
  • Tomato Paste. A simple way to create rich flavor for the filling.
  • All-Purpose Flour. Makes the filling thick and gravy-like.
  • Vegetable Stock. A blend of vegetables, herbs, and spices that adds flavor and liquid to the shepherd’s pie filling.
  • Soy Sauce. For an extra hit of umami.
  • Fresh Rosemary + Bay Leaf. Adds a touch of woodsy, herby flavor that cuts through the richness.
  • Frozen Peas. Easily sneak in extra veggies by incorporating a bag of frozen peas.

The Directions

  1. Boil the potatoes.
Onions in a pot
  1. Saute the onion.
Cooked vegetables in a pot
  1. Add the carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, salt, and pepper.
Vegetables for vegetarian shepherd's pie
  1. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste.
Flour being added to a pot of vegetables
  1. Sprinkle the flour on top, stirring for 1 minute.
Vegetables being cooked in a pot
  1. Finish making the filling, then transfer to a casserole dish.
Potatoes being mashed for vegetarian shepherd's pie
  1. Mash the potatoes.
Mashed potatoes in a pot
  1. Stir them up with the Parmesan, milk, and egg so they’re nice and creamy.
Mashed potatoes on a casserole
  1. Spread the potatoes on top of the vegetable filling. Bake vegetarian shepherd’s pie at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then ENJOY!
Vegetable shepherd's pie in a baking dish

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate shepherd’s pie in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Meal Prep Tip

Up to 1 day in advance, prepare the vegetable filling as directed (through Step 6). You can also boil and mash the potatoes as directed. Refrigerate both the topping and potatoes in separate airtight storage containers until you’re ready to finish and assemble the recipe.

What to Serve with Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

  • Bread. Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Irish Soda Bread, or Drop Biscuits would be delicious with this recipe.
  • Vegetables. Add even more vegetables to your meal by serving this pie with Roasted Green Beans, Grilled Broccoli, or Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts.
  • Salad. Arugula Salad and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad are tasty sides for this dish.
  • Meat. If you’d like to serve some meat options with your shepherd’s pie, try Sausage and Peppers, Air Fryer Steak, or Baked Fried Chicken.
Vegetarian shepherd's pie with a piece missing

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Casserole Dish. Perfect for this vegetarian shepherd’s pie.
  • Saucepan. From preparing mashed potatoes to boiling pasta, this tool can do it all.
  • Extra-Large Cutting Board. With this cutting board, you’ll never run out of room while you’re chopping.

The Best Casserole Dish

This casserole dish is beautiful, high quality, and dishwasher safe. You’ll have it for a lifetime!

Get on AMazon
A serving of vegetarian shepherd's pie in a bowl

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Carb lovers, vegetable lovers, comfort food lovers, good food lovers: this easy vegetarian shepherd’s pie is for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie without Mushrooms?

If you do not share my mushroom fervor, make this vegetarian shepherd’s pie with Impossible meat crumbles (or similar meat-free crumbles) or with white beans, such as cannellini or great Northern beans.

How Can I Make Gluten Free Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie?

You can easily make this recipe gluten free by swapping the all-purpose flour for a 1:1 gluten free baking flour.

A serving of vegetarian shepherd's pie in a bowl

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Hearty vegetarian shepherd's pie with a savory vegetable mushroom filling and creamy mashed potato topping is cozy, filling comfort food!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine British, Scottish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cooling Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 353kcal
Author Erin Clarke / Well Plated


For the Mashed Potato Topping:

  • 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter diced
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup milk or half-and-half
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 large carrots scrubbed and diced
  • 2 parsnips peeled and diced (or 2 additional carrots)
  • 8 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms or more baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or fresh thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 (10-ounce bag) frozen peas (no need to thaw)


  • Boil the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add enough cool water to cover them by 1 inch. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water is boiling, uncover, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle, steady simmer, until potatoes are fork tender, about 12 to 16 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. If the potatoes are very moist, heat the saucepan over low, shaking it occasionally, until any liquid on the surface of the potatoes has cooked off, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  • While the potatoes boil, make the filling: Coat a 9×9, 8×10, or 11×7 casserole dish with nonstick spray. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. In a Dutch oven or similar large, deep pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion. Saute for 3 minutes until it begins to soften.
    Onions in a pot
  • Add the carrots, parsnips, baby bella and shiitake mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are softened and the mushrooms brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
    Cooked vegetables in a pot
  • Add the garlic and tomato paste. Stir continuously for 30 seconds.
    Vegetables for vegetarian shepherd's pie
  • Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables. Cook, stirring continuously, for 1 minute.
    Flour being added to a pot of vegetables
  • Add the broth, soy sauce, rosemary sprigs, and bayleaf. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck on browned bits. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to low, then let simmer gently, stirring every few minutes, until the mixture thickens into a rich veggie-riffic filling, about 8 minutes. Remove the rosemary and bay leaf. Stir in the peas. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Spoon into the prepared dish, spreading it into an even layer.
    Vegetables being cooked in a pot
  • Finish the potato topping: Once the potatoes have been returned to the pot, with a potato masher or wooden spoon, mash the potatoes well.
    Potatoes being mashed for vegetarian shepherd's pie
  • Scatter the butter pieces over the top. Add the Parmesan, salt, and pepper. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir a few times, until the butter is mostly melted. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup with a spout, whisk together the milk and egg yolk. Add to the potatoes. Stir to combine. The potatoes should be creamy and fluffy.
    Mashed potatoes in a pot
  • Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling, starting around the edges to create a “seal” (this will prevent the filling from bubbling up). With a spatula, gently spread the potatoes into an even layer.
    Mashed potatoes on a casserole
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper to catch any drips, then place the dish on top. Bake the vegetarian shepherd's pie on the center rack uncovered for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to brown. Let cool 10 minutes prior to serving.


  • TO STORE: Refrigerate shepherd’s pie in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days. 
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 


Serving: 1(of 6) | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Potassium: 1321mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 7598IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 3mg

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