This vegan mushroom shepherd’s pie is a hearty, cozy spin on the traditional winter comfort food dish. It’s made with mushrooms for both umami and a “meaty” texture. This recipe can be made ahead and frozen, which makes it a perfect option for stress-free holiday entertaining!
Shepherd’s pie is really and truly one of my favorite things.
It’s also one of those comfort food dishes that has extra special meaning because I grew up with it. My mom made a great shepherd’s pie (not vegan).
Since becoming vegan, I’ve experimented with many plant-based shepherd’s pies to help satisfy the craving for a nostalgic childhood dish.
This vegan vegetable mushroom shepherd’s pie is the version that my mom has given her seal of approval to. And it’s the version that we tend to enjoy together during the holiday season.
Shepherd’s pie, which is sometimes called cottage pie, is a layer of cooked meat and vegetables topped with a layer of mashed potatoes. It is baked in the oven and emerges as a warm, hearty dish of protein, vegetables, and cozy carbs.
As Ina Garten would say, what’s not to love?!
Most shepherd’s pie recipes that I’ve seen are made with beef. The primary challenge of creating a vegan version is to replace the meat.
I’ve tried doing this in a number of ways. I’ve used vegan ground “beef,” such as the Beyond Meat Crumbles. I love that product, and it creates a very authentic shepherd’s pie.
I’ve also made a sweet potato lentil vegetable shepherd’s pie that’s wonderful! It’s a fan favorite from this blog, too.
In some ways, this mushroom shepherd’s pie has been the most pleasant surprise. In spite of the fact that it doesn’t have a true protein source, it’s certainly hearty like the original recipe.
This is thanks to mushrooms, which provide both umami, or savoriness, and also a chewy, substantial texture.
I wish I could tell you that making this shepherd’s pie is as easy as 1-2-3. However, like a lot of casseroles, it requires some steps.
The steps are described in much more detail within the recipe. But here’s a little rundown:
Making the mashed potato topping for the mushroom shepherd’s pie is about as simple as making any vegan mashed potato.
For this recipe, I forgo a potato ricer, which I feel strongly in favor of when I’m making mashed potatoes that are going to stand alone as a side dish. Mashed potatoes made with a ricer tend to be so much fluffier and silkier than those mashed by hand.
Rustic is the name of the game when it comes to shepherd’s pie, though. And the mashed potatoes for this mushroom shepherd’s pie are appropriately rustic, mashed with a simple handheld masher.
That filling consists of onions, celery, carrot, garlic, herbs, and the two ingredients that create body and substance: rutabaga and mushrooms.
Mushrooms might not come as a surprise, as they stand in for animal protein in a lot of plant-based recipes.
I guess the explanation is that it’s one of my very favorite autumn root vegetables. And it helps to bind and hold the filling together without being quite as starchy as the potatoes that live on top.
Plus, rutabaga has a subtle sweetness that contrasts nicely with all of the savoriness of the mushroom shepherd’s pie!
If you don’t have, or can’t find rutabaga, you can substitute turnip or celery root instead.
This filling will take some time for you to prepare. Each vegetable needs to be cooked and seasoned just right before the whole pie goes into the oven.
I promise that patience is worthwhile here: the finished mushroom and vegetable interior is truly delicious. It’s so good that it could probably be an entree of its own, with toast or a baked potato. But the effect of the whole pie is pretty sweet.
The final step in making the shepherd’s pie is easy! Oil a rectangular baker, spread the vegetables and mushrooms on the bottom, and pile the mashed potatoes on top.
Use an offset spatula to swirl the potatoes around a little, just so that the top looks pretty. Then transfer it all to the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.
Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.
In this beginner’s guide to vegan meal prep, I mention that casseroles, while a little time-consuming, are one of my very favorite things to make for meal prep.
Why? A few reasons:
The vegetable mushroom shepherd’s pie is no exception. Leftovers will keep in an an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. They can also be frozen for up to 6 weeks.
I like to freeze portions individually, so that I can defrost only what I need.
I haven’t yet tried making this pie with sweet potatoes or mashed root vegetables in place of regular potatoes, but I think that would work really well.
You can play around with different types of mushrooms in the filling for sure. I love how affordable white button mushrooms are (and they’re quite nutritious, too!). But shiitakes, chopped portobellos, and many other varieties would work, too.
Finally, you can try adding different herbs or seasonings to the filling. I love the garlic + white wine combo, but do feel free to omit the wine in the recipe. It’s totally optional.
If you love the looks of the mushroom shepherd’s pie, either for winter holidays or every day winter comfort, then we have similar food tastes.
Here are a few more of my favorite winter comfort food dishes:
To serve the mushroom shepherd’s pie, you can add a fresh green salad to the meal—or whatever green veggie sides you love.
If you want to create even more earthy goodness in your meal, braised red cabbage is a fun side dish, too.
No matter how you serve this classic, I hope you’ll love it!
Leave a Comment
Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better!
Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him.
Pretty sure he will have a very good read.
Thanks for sharing!
It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s
time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest
you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
I wish to read even more things about it!
What’s up friends, fastidious post and fastidious arguments
commented at this place, I am really enjoying by these.
I tried this today and it was AWESOME and I DON’T COOK!
I substituted sweet potatoes for the white ones (made half white potatoes) and the sweet potatoes were better in my opinion.
My only criticism is that all of the chopping takes a long time (did I mention that I’m not a cook?). My husband gave it 9/10 and that says a lot for a girl that hates cooking 🙂 Thx for a great recipe!
Hooray! So glad it was a hit, Angie!
Yes… divine is the perfect word for this tasty/earthy Shepherd’s Pie!!! It is everything Gena says it is. Made a trial run of this recipe today in hopes that I would love it and could serve it for Thanksgiving! Well, after eating it, watching my husband go back for seconds, and listening to my meat-eater neighbor rave over every bite and make several great comments my decision was made! Boy are we going to love Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I don’t think anyone will miss Tom… Turkey. I know I won’t. Went strictly by the recipe and wouldn’t change a thing. This Shepherd’s Pie could easily be served in any Fine Dining Restaurant in the country and would definitely be a repeat favorite!!!
Gena, you’re A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. 🙂
I made vegan shepherd’s pie for xmas dinner too! It is so easy to make and it always seems to please the omnivores – especially when served with miso gravy. Good thing I have leftovers 🙂
Shepard’s pie is meal that brings comfort here at our home too, both my son and husband like it a lot (my son loves mashed potatoes!). And I always make it vegetarian too, much the way you do, but I like to add lentils to the vegetable portion sometimes, it makes it really delicious, gives it an even heartier feel and taste/flavor – but I may be bias, I love lentils!
I like your pie, looks delicious!!
(1ST time posting) First of all LOVE your blog! I am inspired everyday reading it to try to stay with my veganism (1 yr vegan with some speed bumps) and to try to incorporate more raw dishes. I have a question which I hope you wont think of as silly. Since I am new to the concept of raw dishes, I was wondering if you are suppose to eat the raw soups you describe (like the one above) cold? I know raw means not cooked, but I was wondering if you even just warm them at all?
This pie looks delish!!
I have a question could you reccommend any restaurants with vegan options near penn station? going to dinner with 2 friends but can’t be too much $$$.
Awww.. Fitz is a cutie pie..
I think your meal looks amazing and delicious. I pretty much cooked what my kids wanted for christmas, but I enjoyed it too… my kids and I have similar taste in food most of the time.
Yummy recipe and always a great winter staple.
Greens are the main fuel that runs my body. As we age we need all the nutrition we can get to keep metabolism high and to stay healthy and encourage all hormones to keep on firing!
That Vegan Shepherd’s Pie looks amazing! Sounds like you had a lovely weekend! 🙂
Hi Gena! I thought I’d share with you that I made the caesar kale and white bean salad for myself on Christmas Eve and absolutely loved it. That is my kind of comfort food. I was able to do this because it was just me and my parents that night and they had the traditional spread of Italian seafood dishes. My mom kept eyeing my plate and I had to keep giving her bites because she enjoyed it so much!
Christmas day my mom made stuffed shells, meatballs, and sausages. She also made broccoli with olives and pignolis that is totally vegan and one of my favorites. To mesh with the theme, I brought my own jumbo brown rice shells and tofu/cashew ricotta (her tomato sauce is vegan which I smothered it in). My sister-in-law is dairy and soy-free so I made her an all cashew ricotta (your recipe!) and she brought a salad. My sis was about to die she thought the cheese was so fantastic! The desserts were totally vegan because I made them – gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pie coconut ice cream, and red velvet cake with pistachio cream cheese frosting.
Shep. Pie is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Thank you for this healthified recipe!
This year I brought a few vegetarian items like salad, fruit salad and some empanadas, but mostly I quietly didn’t eat the meat based dishes. One family member this year rather rudely asked my very health conscious mother in law to ‘not have too many healthy foods.’ It really upset me, but also made me aware that I don’t want to demand the flip side from my family and make the host do extra work to cater to me. If they are gracious and generous enough to provide a huge meal for a lot of people, the least I can do is be grateful and make up my dinner plate from the veggie tray and salad. Christmas is about much more than the food.
Mmmm…. I’ve always wanted to make a shepherd’s pie. I’m going to have to give yours a try sometime!
I just started a new blog not to long ago. Would you mind looking at it and letting me know what you think? Thanks so much!
Oh, I’ve been craving shepherd’s pie; thank you!
I made vegan chocolate truffles for Christmas and they were a mad hit. People were raving about them and no one detected the truffles were vegan. Score!
Love Fritz; is he a Schnoodle?
I see where you get it from now. Your amazingness that is. Spell check informs me that “amazingness” is not a word, but I assure you, it is. I think your mom is pretty spectacular to eat vegan for you. And I think you are pretty incredible to stray a little from what you normally eat and to bake for her. (That is baking, by the way.) Being a little uncomfortable to be with the ones you love. That IS what Christmas is all about, right?
Haha, high-five to Mama Pea. It wouldn’t be Christmas without at least a token split second of discomfort. Luckily my holiday was far more pleasant than unpleasant, so I won’t complain. 🙂
Kudos to you, Gena, for striking a gracious balance, and I shall put the rest of my comment in an email! xo
merry christmas, looks delicious!
Raising my hand as one of the raw foodies who doesn’t love green soup. But I do like green smoothies, so we’re even. 🙂 And I am not that thrilled about raw beets, so I can see where your mom is coming from. I win a lot more over with cooked vegan main dishes, but I do have a lot of success with my raw desserts. More so than with cooked ones!
Fritz is as adorable as they come for brothers. What a cute mustache he has.
I think raw soups and green smoothies are a very even trade!
For Christmas, my mom made the shepherd’s pie from the recipe you based this off of, and it was delicious! There’s still more in the fridge–I can’t wait to have some leftovers.
Scrumptious-looking pie, it’s always hard to know what to cook for the ‘uninitiated’! The other night I whipped up a warm, creamy potato salad using avocado as the mayonnaise, romaine, chives, pickled onions etc. So good, and the whole family liked it! I don’t think they even realised it was all veggies 🙂
Wonderful post and the shepherd’s pie looks great, like a recipe my hubby and I could enjoy. My mom is the same way about veggies, she doesn’t understand how I can eat so much spinach at a time. 😛 The celery soup also looks wonderful! And Fritz is a cutie!
Thanks for sharing the recipe! I plan to make it this next week.
Your Shepherd’s Pie looks delicious – perfect for a Christmas meal. We made a baked risotto with porcini mushrooms last week and I love them. I think my husband would love this pie, too. I’m with you on the raw green component with every meal. Something cold and fresh to round out the hot, hearty dish.
Fritz is so cute!
I always bring a couple of vegan dishes to holiday meals with my family…usually something with quinoa and lentils. I also bring veggies to steam since most of the veggie sides are casseroles which include dairy. This year, I brought some vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, too.
The celery soup sounds delectable.
It sounds like you’re having an amazing journey in terms of learning how to communicate your love for your mom as well as your passion for vegan food, and putting them together in her world. Sounds like you’re having great success too–which is a great gift to you both.
I tend to skimp on my own foods and use available time to ‘crowd-please.’ However, this Christmas I made a whole bunch of raw/vegan/gluten free/very-low-sugar treats (my husband’s daughter is also avoiding sugar and gluten atm, which helps me to feel ok about going that way). And everybody loved everything and didn’t even necessarily realize that it wasn’t ‘the real thing,’ which is amazing, since most of the folks up here are very ‘mainstream’ and suspicious of alternatives. Made me feel good! Trying to get some pics up on blog right now.
Thanks for sharing yours. And Fritz is adorable!
Uh, Fritz is the cutest!!
We went to a friend’s house for dinner where I knew there would be meat (which I eat) and a lot of rich sides, but no greenery. So I made an avocado/lemon/miso massaged spinach salad and coconut oil sauteed brussels sprouts, along with orange maple whipped sweet potatoes and a dairy-free pumpkin/peanut butter crustless pie to take with us. My contributions were much appreciated and I loaded up on what I brought plus a little of everything else and was very satisfied and not left feeling overly bloated or too stuffed. It was great. 🙂
What a food and family filled day you had miss, Gena! Love how you accustomed your eats to more of your mom’s likings– that’s what I do when I cook for my family as well. It’s not always about us and our safe foods and routines on Christmas, but about our loved ones around us.
I had a lovely Christmas and definitely had up my usual routines and safe foods. Flexibility is definitely a hard task, especially as a foodie 🙂
i’m far from vegan, but i love healthier comfort foods such as this. i made an awesome vegetable pot pie from the candle cafe cookbook that reminds me of this in its heartiness and all. yum! glad your mom enjoyed.
i’ve been eating out this holiday season as i’m vacationing in vermont. i did find out about a new vegetarian restaurant in town where we have reservations at in an hour. looking forward to what should be a delicious belated holiday meal!
You covered so much ground in this post Gena:
the shepards pie..not something I would have ever thought to make, but what a lovely, hearty, comforting recipe for those days when we just need some lovin’ and warmth and heavier foods in our tummies!
The celery soup…looks like a great way to get more veggies in (altho according to your mom you dont need anymore…lol)
And the lemon bundt cake….that’s where it’s at for me: cake! But I am w/ you, I’d go more for raw/choc stuff but hey, cake is cake 🙂
Glad you had a nice, chill, holiday!
She said it best 🙂
Merry (belated) Christmas, Gena!
Your mom has great taste, and you are such an amazing cook! Shepherd’s pie is one of my favorites. I just love something hearty made of meat and potatoes, but this looks just as decadent and delicious without the meat.
The shepherds pie looks AMAZING, Gina. I can’t wait to try this for my (very Irish) fiance – I love veganizing old favorites!
Everytime you have a recipe with almond milk do you homemake it these recipes look awesome but almond milk raw is hard to make. Thanks
I do typically make my own almond milk, but there’s nothing wrong with using boxed.
Your shepherd’s pie looks divine (and I’ve added it to my recipe file!)
My husband and I decided to stay in NY this year, just us, and it was perfect. He veganized mashed sweet potatoes and dressing for me, I made a veggie “meat” loaf (“Vegan Comfort Food” recipe), we enjoyed sauteed garlic-spinach-almonds and he was on his own with his turkey breast (blech).
Congrats on your “brother”! Adorable.