Easy Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian Option) Recipe (2024)

Last Updated: By Linnie 5 Comments

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Shepherd’s Pie is everything you need from a savory classic comfort food creation. This one-pot wonder is quick and easy as well as warm and filling. A little slice of comfort food heaven.

(Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian Options)

Easy Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian Option) Recipe (1)

Now let me just clear the air here regarding a Shepherd’s Pie and a Cottage Pie. Until recently we’ve become aware that Shepherd’s pie indeed is made with lamb. Makes sense. However, coming from a midwest background lamb is not something you see everyday in the grocery store and therefore is why I think midwesterners decided to call it Shepherd’s pie with beef.

In our case we have been making it with our vegetarian meat replacement so at this point I’m not sure what is up or down.

So whatever you may call this recipe just know that it’s delicious and I think you are going to enjoy it – whatever you may call it.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie is a family favorite for many reasons.

  1. It’s so quick to make and only uses ONE POT.
  2. Flavorful and packed with all-natural ingredients.
  3. It’s the husband’s favorite meal ever … that should always be a good excuse to make it, right?
  4. Easily made vegetarian! See Below 🌱

The ability to convert this dish to vegetarian is honestly my favorite reason. When R is deployed, I’ll make it vegetarian by substituting with chopped mushrooms or if I feel like I still need a little protein, I’ll go with ground turkey.

Culinarian Beware: This recipe makes so much! When I’m on my own and don’t want to eat Shepherd’s Pie for 2 weeks straight I have to freeze it and unfortunately the mushrooms don’t hold up well.

But when R is home, ground beef is the key ingredient in his Shepherd’s Pie, no substitution allowed. 😉

Easy Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian Option) Recipe (2)

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie Vegetarian

Our Vegetarian Meat Replacement recipe is a fabulous alternative to replace the ground beef. Call me crazy, but it is remarkably good and a GREAT option for those who are vegetarian/vegan.

We’ve used this in bolognese sauce, tacos, nachos and now this shepherd’s pie! Unfortunately there are a ton of vegetarian meat replacements out there that actually contain gluten so we’ve been able to enjoy our vegetarian meat replacement naturally and sans the gluten – WIN!

Other ways to enjoy this pie

  • Lean Option – Simply swap ground beef with ground turkey. Easy Peasy.
  • Sweet Potatoes – You already know how much I love sweet potatoes and they are a deliciously suitable replacement for traditional russet potatoes.
  • Slow Cooker – Make this Easy Shepherd’s Pie even easier! Cook all your ingredients like you would, pour into slow cooker and top with potatoes. Allow the flavors to mingle together (on low 2-3 hours).

This is why I love cooking so much, there are so many different ways to adapt recipes and still get to the same place. A place of delicious comfort food that is!

Easy Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian Option) Recipe (3)

Do you freeze mashed potatoes?

If not, it is something I highly recommend and makes this Shepherd’s Pie easy as a weeknight meal. We all need that, right?

Here are a couple cooking tips for freezing mashed potatoes.

  • If using Russet potatoes, make sure you FULLY prepare them into mashed potatoes before freezing. The more butter and fat in them, the better they freeze and thaw out.
  • This is not the time to skimp on the fat (which I hardly ever recommend anyway), skimping on the fat will result in potatoes becoming very grainy in texture when thawed.

So, while we try to keep warm as the colder weather approaches us we’ll do what we can to keep cozy up here devouring our Shepherd’s Pie.

Easy Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian Option) Recipe (4)

Easy Shepherd's Pie Recipe (Vegetarian Option)


Gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian


Easy Shepherd's Pie is everything you need from a savory classic comfort food creation. This one-pot wonder is quick and easy as well as warm and filling. A little slice of comfort food heaven.

Yield: 14

Prep Time:25 min

Cook Time:35 min

Total Time:60 min


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cups beef stock

For the Potatoes: Can be made ahead of time.

  • 6 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (dairy-free butter option)
  • ½ cup milk (or dairy-free butter option)
  • Pinch salt and pepper


  • 1. In a large saucepan, boil potatoes until they are fork tender and fall off a fork. Mash potatoes with a immersion blender and cream together butter, milk, salt and pepper.
  • 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • 3. In a 3.5 Quart Dutch oven over medium heat, brown ground beef. Drain the beef fat out.
  • 4. Add onions, carrots. Saute veggies 3-4 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
  • 5. Stir in peas, tomatoes, basil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, cornstarch, and beef stock.
  • 6. Spoon mashed potatoes over pie filling. Place lid onto dutch oven and into the oven 30-35 minutes.

Author: Linnie

Recipe Video:

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: 1
Calories: 180
Other nutrition information: Total Fat: 8g , Saturated Fat: 3.5g , Trans Fat: 0g , Cholesterol: 25mg , Sodium: 220mg , Total Carb: 18g , Dietary Fiber: 3g , Total Sugars: 3g , Protein: 8g

Recipe, images, and text © Veggie Balance

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Easy Shepherd's Pie (Vegetarian Option) Recipe (2024)
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