Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

The first recipe in my Veganise It! challenge is this wonderfully hearty Shepherd's Pie. It's healthy, filling and meaty, but without the nasty things you find in a regular pie. Feel free to experiment with the filling and toppings!


  • 1 1/2 cups organic plain unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 100g vegan butter (I used Nuttelex)
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • 4 tbs cold water
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 400g tinned lentils, drained and washed in cold water
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
  • 600g dutch potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup vegan milk, depending on how smooth you like it
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 1/2 tbs dukkah


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and decide on a pie tin (I used a 22cm round tin, but you could make mini-pies if you prefer)
  • Sift flour into a large bowl and add salt
  • Cut butter into small squares and add to bowl. Use a butter knife to incorporate butter into the flour mixture until the flour is sticking to the butter
  • Using your fingertips, rub butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. The vegan butter I use is very soft, so be sure to do this with cold hands
  • Add lemon and water 1 tbs at a time, until you have a firm (but not dry) dough
  • Pour dough onto a lightly flour surface and knead for a few minutes until well combined
  • Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • While the dough is resting, make the filling by heating olive oil in a large pan on a low-medium heat
  • Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until you can see it start to soften
  • Add herbs, toss ingredients together and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly
  • Add celery and stir to coat with onion mixture, and cook for 10 minutes
  • Add mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add lentils to the mixture and cook for 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to stick together
  • Pour in nutritional yeast and tomato paste, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until your mixture starts to resemble mince
  • Leave mince to cool slightly in pan
  • Remove pastry from fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll out to approximately 1cm thick, depending on your pie tin
  • Carefully lift pastry using your rolling pin and place into the pie tin, pushing against the sides and removing excess pastry as required
  • Place in fridge to rest for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, make the potato mash by boiling salted water in a medium pot, adding the potatoes to the simmering water
  • Cook potatoes for 10 minutes or until soft, then remove from water and place in a large bowl
  • Season potatoes to taste, and lightly mash
  • Slowly pour in milk in 3 batches, mashing into potato mixture between each addition
  • Once potato is to your liking, set aside
  • Remove pastry from fridge and prick base all over with a fork
  • Place in oven for 15 minutes. You do not need to blind bake but if your pastry starts to rise in the middle, simply prick some more holes into it with a fork
  • Remove pastry from the oven and fill with mince, followed by potato. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and dukkah over the potato and place in the oven
  • Cook for 20 minutes or until your potato is as browned as you like it
  • Slice into 8 pieces and serve with some steamed vegetables, or eat the whole thing yourself!


  • For a creamier potato mash, try adding your favourite vegan cheese or margarine!!

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