Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Shepherd's Pie - the vegan way

What do you think of when you hear Shepherd's Pie?

I picture a cozy country cottage (probably in the English or Irish countryside) and a family gathered around the hearth eating a meat pie covered in a thick layer of mashed potatoes.

Hungry yet?

Cook's has a video. Here's hoping it plays. (You probably have to go to the page.)

I attended a Christmas party last week at a German restaurant and one of the items listed for the buffet was Shepherd's Pie. I was so excited.

Turns out German Shepherd's Pie is very different. The meat is bratwurst and beneath the potatoes was a layer of sauerkraut. Different, but delicious still.

The next day while I was waiting for my daughter's coffee drink to be ready, I picked up a magazine that had Shepherd's Pie on the cover - but it was a chicken one. The drink took awhile to be ready, so I got to read a lot. Apparently there was a lot more to changing the recipe than just switching to chicken. I wish I'd noted which magazine it was in.😟

Onward to Christmas Day.

My husband and eldest always have Thanksgiving Turkey and Christmas ham, but my vegan daughter always selects some new dish for us to try. This year we made a vegan Shepherd's pie.

The reason I'm sharing it today is because I think substituting black-eyed peas for the lentils would turn this into a rib-sticking New Year's Day meal.

(I can hear all you carnivores screaming NOoooooooo!)😱😱😱😱😱

We started with diced onions, carrots, parsnips and garlic.

Fresh thyme and sage.

 Mushrooms go in next.

Simmer everything for a while in the Dutch Oven.

The recipe called for a covering of whipped cauliflower, but my daughter had been eating so much cauliflower lately that we decided to substitute mashed turnips.

The turnips rest lightly on top.

After it's all baked.


It looks like mush here, but it's the perfect comfort food - and not an unhealthy ingredient in there!

To give proper credit, the Shepherd's Pie we made was a mish mash of these two online recipes.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Cauliflower


Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Parsnip and and Potato Mash

Do you have a favorite Shepherd's Pie recipe?


  1. Thanks for sharing the vegan shepherd's pie. I prefer chicken or vegan to the typical shepherd's pie with ground chuck. Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Marilyn. Thanks for always visiting in the cafe.

      I've made chicken pot pies for my husband, but I've never tried a chicken shepherd's pie. From what I remember reading there was a problem preventing the mashed potatoes from sinking into the chicken so they did more lumps than a straight cover of potatoes.

  2. Well, the carnivores might be screaming "Nooooo!" but this vegetarian is jumping up and down. And funny thing is my daughter was lamenting the fact that she hasn't found a good vegan shepherd's pie recipe recently. Like on Christmas Eve. I used to make one ages ago but it was really expensive and full of unusual ingredients that were hard to find. Can't even remember what the protein source was. Lost the recipe which my pocketbook appreciated so I never tried to hunt it down. I'll definitely try to make this....if I can figure out quantities from juggling the two recipes. Love parsnips too. yummy yum yum.

    1. Kav, I had to check with my daughter because I was just following her directions. Apparently this time we pretty much followed the one with cauliflower except we substituted 3 pounds of mashed turnips instead of the cauliflower.

      We made the second one last New Year's and used the black-eyed peas as a subsitute for the lentils.

    2. Oh...thanks for that info, Cate. I'll be making this soon. After all the decadent holiday food, I'm anxious to get into some healthy eating...well, after the last shortbread cookie is gone. :-)

    3. I have to add Juniors Cheesecake to the list of goodies to finish. A friend gifted us one.

  3. I haven't had shepherd's pie in years! It used to be on the menu at my husband's work, and he ate it quite regularly, but I never made it at home. I think I'll have to put it on next week's menu.

    But mine won't be vegan. ;)

    BTW - I love mashed turnips and haven't had them in ages, either. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I so rarely make turnips, Jan. I have nightmares from trying to peel waxed ones, I think. These were ridiculously easy to peel - just like a carrot.

      I have a feeling you would love the German Shepherd's pie.

  4. I love the standard beef recipe. It's one of my daughter's favorites. But I'd love to try this! I would probably put cheese on top, though. :)

    1. Missy, I confess. I added cheese to the leftovers. Almost everything is better with cheese on it and this was no exception!