This Easy Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe Is Full of Delicious, Gut-Healthy Ingredients

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Hungry for a cozy dinner? Whip up this vegan shepherd's pie recipe in no time. 

My first trip to London was basically Emily In Paris if Emily were more despondent and the weather was rainy and cold. And just as Emily loved her friend's boyfriend, I loved shepherd's pie. It's a dish popular in the UK and is typically made with ground meat, gravy, and veggies topped with a mashed potato crust. (Repeat after me: Mashed. Potato. Crust.) Thankfully, you don't have to eat meat to enjoy the singular comfort that is this delightful dish. In the latest episode of Well+Good's YouTube series Cook With Us, chef Palak Patel shares her vegan shepherd's pie recipe.

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You start by making the mashed potatoes that will turn into the crust—to make the mashed potatoes vegan, Patel replaces the butter and cream you'd typically use with vegan butter, oat milk, and plant-based parmesan cheese. (Bookmark her tips for Thanksgiving prep, thank me later.) Instead of ground meat, Patel uses a trifecta of gut-healthy ingredients: cauliflower, lentils, and sweet potatoes. They're each high in fiber, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut and keeps everything moving through your digestive tract. Plus, each vegetable is rich in unique antioxidants and other benefits to help you get the most bang for your buck, nutritionally speaking.

Oh, and like last week's vegetable dal recipe, this meal also comes together in one pot for easy cleanup. "It's layered with beautiful mashed potatoes that are creamy, and they're nice and bubbly from the broiler, I can't wait to dig into this," Patel says. And once she takes a bite, she says it is "head-wrecking good. I feel like this is autumn on a plate."  Hungry yet? Get the full vegan shepherd's pie recipe by watching the video.

One-pot vegan shepherd's pie recipe


For the pie filling:
2 cups brown lentils
2 Tbsp oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, small diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup mushrooms
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Paprika, cumin powder, garlic powder (to taste)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper cracked, as needed
Kosher salt, to taste

For the mashed potato topping:
4 large russet potatoes
1/2 cup oat milk (such as Oatly)
4 Tbsp vegan butter
1 cup vegan Parmesan, optional

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add oil with mushrooms, onions, carrots, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Cook until just tender around 10 minutes. Season with salt, stir in crushed garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.

2. Add sprigs of thyme and spices with tomato paste and cook until the oil begins to separate. Add vegetable broth.

3. Mix in the lentils and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid evaporates.

4. Add peas and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Season as needed.

5. While lentil mixture cooks, prepare the potatoes: Place peeled and cut potatoes into cold water in a saucepan along with salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are cooked through. Drain. Mash while warm, and add the oat milk, butter, and cheese. Season well with salt.

6. Spoon potatoes over lentil mixture and score the top with a fork to allow the potatoes to get crispy.

7. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 F until golden brown.

This article was originally published on October 26, 2020. It was updated on February 19, 2021. 

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