Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious meatless version of traditional shepherd pie, made with soya chunks cooked in a flavoursome sauce, vegetables, topped up with mashed potatoes and baked to perfection.
Shepherd’s Pie, also known as Cottage Pie, is a dish that has originated from Britain. Traditionally it is made using ground meat and was given the name Shepherd’s Pie because of the use of lamb meat in recipe.
The shepherds pie recipe share here is :
- Vegetarian (No meat, No eggs)
- Gluten free
- Easy to make
My mom frequently baked this dish at home & we always called it “Baked Soya Pie” as the bottom layer consists of soya granules (chunks) or minced soya. It was recently I read about Shepherd’s Pie & realised how unknowingly we were eating its vegetarian version for so long.
This vegetarian Shepherd’s pie is quite simple to make with easily available ingredients in kitchen pantry. I generally cook it at home when not in the mood to cook elaborate meals. We have a bowl of soup first, followed by this baked pie served with bread toasted in herbed butter & some salad on side.
In each bite of this meatless shepherd’s pie, you can taste flavourful soya chunks mixed with veggies, cheese and melt-in-the-mouth potato mash. As we all know soya granules are rich source of protein & in combination with so many vegetables, this dish is full of fibre & essential vitamins. In fact these days, soya in all forms – soya chunks, granules, soya milk, tofu all are being considered as an important source of protein for vegan & plant based diet.
Ingredients to make veg shepherd’s pie:
Vegetables: The vegetables I have used here are garlic, ginger, onion, tomato, bell peppers (capsicum), carrots, peas and green beans. The tomato puree adds moisture & juiciness to the filling. You can add some chopped mushrooms or sweet corn too.
Soya: The soya granules or soya mince have a meaty texture, absorbs all the flavours from veggies, spices and thus makes for a perfect substitute for meat in this recipe.
Cheese: I have added mozzarella cheese in the second layer of shepherd’s pie to make it more rich. Instead of mozzarella you can use cottage cheese too. Feel free to skip cheese for low fat version.
Seasonings: I have used crushed black pepper, red chilli flakes, dried herbs like oregano, rosemary to season the pie. The seasoning can be adjusted as per your own taste. Also, please take care while adding salt as each layer will have salt of its own. Together they should not taste too salty.
Potatoes: The dish is topped up with rich, fluffy potato mash made with potatoes, whole milk, butter & crushed black pepper. If you are using salted butter, skip adding salt.
To get smooth potato mash, boil the potatoes & mash them using a hand masher while gradually adding milk & butter. The milk should be warm and butter should be melted. Please don’t add cold milk / butter to the mash as this will ruin the texture. Some people even add cream but whole milk & butter has always worked for me.
Can I make this pie with lentils?
Instead of soya granules, some people make this dish using boiled black lentils. Rest of the recipe & steps remain same.
How to make vegan shepherd’s pie?
You can easily adapt this recipe to make it vegan (dairy free). Instead of butter you can use vegan butter or margarine. Whole milk can be replaced by coconut or other plant based milk like soy, oats, almond etc. You can skip adding cheese or replace it with vegan cheese if available.
Can I make shepherds pie in advance?
This easy vegetarian shepherd’s pie is perfect addition to your Christams or Thanksgiving menu. One of the best things about this dish is you can make its preparation in advance & assemble it. At dinner time, all you have to do is preheat the oven & bake the pie. To reheat it, just microwave it for 40-50 seconds.
Almost everyone in our family is fond of cooking or eating good food. I consider myself lucky as this gave me a chance to know & try so many dishes. When only few people knew about baked dishes or just a handful of restaurants included continental items on their menu, me & my brother grew up watching our mother trying out different baked dishes, cakes & cookies.
As kids we would watch her cooking & even try to be part of it in our own small way whether by just mixing the cake batter or spooning jam on thumbprint cookies. I have been a big fan of baked dishes because of the two reasons. Firstly, love the way they slowly fill the house with their heavenly aroma and secondly, I enjoy gawking at the oven (dont’ judge me!!🙈), seeing dishes turning to beautiful golden brown . Somehow baking always gives me cosy relaxing vibes!!
More vegetarian recipes you might like:
- Cottage Cheese Pasta
- Béchamel Sauce Pasta
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- Arrabbiata Penne Pasta
- Cheese Garlic breadsticks
- Layer I:
- Soya Granules-1 cup
- Cooking Oil-2 tbsp
- Garlic Cloves (minced)- 7 to 8
- Ginger Paste-1 tsp
- Chopped Onion-1/2 cup
- Chopped Tomato-1/4 cup
- Chopped Bell Peppers-1/4 cup
- Chopped Carrot-1/4 cup
- Chopped Green Beans- 1/4 cup
- Peas-1/4 cup
- Tomato Puree-1/4 cup
- Red Chilli Flakes-1 tsp
- Crushed Black Pepper-1 tsp
- Dried Oregano -1 tsp
- Dried Rosemary- 1/4 tsp
- Salt-1 tsp (or to taste)
- Lemon Juice- 2 tsp
- Layer II: (optional)
- Grated Mozzarella Cheese-1/2 cup
- Layer III:
- Boiled Potatoes- 4 (medium)
- Melted Butter-1/4 cup
- Warm Milk-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
- Black Pepper-1 tsp
- Salt-1 tsp (or to taste)
- For garnishing:
- Chopped Cilantro / Coriander – 2 tbsp
Soak soya granules in hot water for at least 30 minutes. By the time these granules are soaked let us proceed to next step.
Heat oil in a pan. Add minced garlic & ginger paste to it. Stir for few seconds. Add chopped onions and let them cook till they turn translucent. Add chopped bell peppers, carrots, peas, beans and sauté them. After 2-3 minutes, add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Mix well.
Add all the seasoning and let this mixture cook for 2-3 minutes more. Squeeze all the water from soya granules & add them to the pan. Cover with a lid & let the mixture cook for 3-4 minutes. In the end add lemon juice. Keep this filling aside.
(Tip: Please add the salt keeping in mind that there will be some salt in cheese and potato layer too. Taste it once to adjust the salt or spices as per your taste.)
Mash the boiled potatoes with a masher. Add melted butter, warm milk, black pepper and salt to it. Mix well so that mash becomes smooth & fluffy. If you are using salted butter then skip adding salt.
Take an oven safe bowl. Place the soya granules mix in the bowl and level it with a spatula.
Add grated cheese over it. I have used mozzarella cheese here. If you want to make lighter version, you can skip adding cheese.
On the top of it, add potato mash to it. With the back of a spoon or spatula, flatten it & then make grooves on the top using a fork.
Preheat the oven at 180°C (360°F). Once the oven is preheated, place the bowl in it and let it bake for 25-30 minutes till the top becomes golden brown. The time may vary from oven to oven so keep an eye around 25 minutes. If the top layer is not turning brown then turn the oven to 200°C (390°F) for last 5-10 minutes.
Delicious meatless Shepherd’s Pie is ready. Garnish with some freshly chopped cilantro. Serve it with toasted bread or salad on sides. Bon appétit!!
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