Packed with vegetables and beans, then topped with creamy mashed potatoes, vegetarian shepherds pie will please even the carnivores in your family. Serve it as a comforting, casserole-style main dish for dinner or as a side dish to roast chicken.
Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
Traditionally, Shepherd’s Pie is made with a filling of lamb. This vegetarian version replaces the lamb with colorful, healthy vegetables – onion, carrots, celery, tomatoes, green beans, corn, peas, and both red and white kidney beans. The vegetable filling is then topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
Of Potatoes, Dairy and Prep Work
For fluffy textured potatoes, I use a tool called a ricer. For the creamy part, stir in sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (more tang), then add a little butter. Another option for topping your Shepherds Pies, use whipped sweet potatoes instead of gold or russet potatoes. They are a healthier option and beautiful color, not to mention nutritious. Basic recipe is here. For a vegan version, use vegan sour cream and plant-based butter in the mashed potatoes.
Knife Skills and Organization
There’s a bit of prep work for the vegetables. Assemble all of your prepped vegetables and ingredients in little bowls and put them on a half-sheet tray for better organization. Sauté the vegetables together, stir in the beans, then spoon the filling into individual or one large casserole dish. Spoon the potatoes over the top.
Bake and Serve
To serve, bake the dishes in the oven until the filling is hot. A few minutes under the broiler will brown the tops but be careful not to burn the potatoes. If you’d like, gently brush with a little olive oil or melted butter.
A note on dishes – I like to make individual Shepherd’s Pies. For a main dish serving size, use 10 ounce ramekins. For a side dish try the 6 ounce size. You can also use a variety of mini casseroles. It’s fun for everyone to get their own little dish.
Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 3/4 cup sour cream regular or plant-based
- 2 tablespoons butter regular or plant-based
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion chopped fine
- 2 ribs celery chopped fine
- 3 carrots chopped fine, about 3/4 cup
- 3 large garlic cloves chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried basil, oregano and thyme can use 1 tablespoon blend
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup corn kernels thawed if frozen
- 1 cup peas thawed if frozen
- 1 cup raw baby green beans chopped
- 1 15 ounce can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 15 ounce Cannelini beans rinsed and drained
- Heat oven to 350°F degrees then start the mashed potatoes. Peel potatoes and cut into quarters or eights. Aim for the same size so they cook evenly. Place in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and add 2 teaspoons of sea salt. Bring the potatoes to a simmer over medium heat and cook until very tender when a paring knife easily pierces the potatoes.
- Drain potatoes well and place back in the hot pan (heat off). Cover and allow to steam dry for a few minutes. Next, push the potatoes through a ricer. Alternatively use a hand masher or hand mixer. Add sour cream and butter and stir. Season with salt and pepper. The texture should be creamy and firm, not runny.
- Next, assemble all of your prepped vegetables and ingredients in little bowls. Put them on a rimmed baking sheet for organization. In a medium saute or fry pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste, water, dried herbs, paprika, tomatoes, corn, peas and green beans. Cover and cook until the green beans are tender and some of the moisture has cooked down, a few minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and taste. Gently stir in the beans. Distribute mixture between 4 – 10 ounce ramekins or a medium size casserole dish. Swirl mashed potatoes over the top with a spoon to cover the vegetable-bean mixture.
- Place the casserole (s) on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven until hot or when a digital thermometer reads 160-165 degrees. It should take about 30 minutes. If the potatoes are not brown, bake under a to broiler just until browned. Serve immediately.