Vegetarian Shepherds Pie Recipe

The Shepherds Pie Recipe is a traditional English dish, and is the ultimate comfort food! Often the terms Shepherds Pie and Cottage Pie are used interchangeably. However, technically a shepherds pie is made with lamb mince and a cottage pie is made with beef mince. Here though is a wholesome and delicious vegetarian version, with the meat replaced with mixed pulses. Whatever the pie is called, in all cases, the pie is topped with filling and warming mashed potato. The purist version would have a simple mashed potato, but here there is cheese mixed in with the potato to give a depth and richness of flavour.

This is such a versatile recipe. Mix up the vegetables to use whatever you have spare in the fridge or change the cheese that is added to the mash. The pie tastes equally good made with goats cheese rather than Wensleydale in the mashed potato, but if you do use goats cheese, omit the grated cheddar / red Leicester on the top. If you want to make this a vegan recipe, substitute the milk and cheese for vegan alternatives such as soya.

Serves 4 people

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

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Ingredients For Vegetarian Shepherds Pie Recipe:

  • 750g (or 3.5 cups) Potatoes
  • 150ml Milk
  • 100g (or 1 cup) Wensleydale Cheese - grated
  • 100g (or 1 cup) Red Leicester or Cheddar Cheese - grated
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Medium Leek
  • 400g / 14 oz Canned Tomatoes
  • 400g / 14 oz Canned Mixed Beans
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
  • 1 Teaspoon Mixed Herbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Equipment Needed:

  • Chopping Board and Sharp Knife
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Ovenproof dish, measuring approx. 20cm by 20cm
  • 2 Large Saucepans (preferably non stick)
  • Colander
  • Grater
  • Potato Masher
  • Measuring Jug


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 0 C/ Gas mark 4 / 350 0 F
  2. Peel and chop the potatoes into small chunks (approx. 4 cm)
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the potatoes and a small pinch of salt. Cover and leave to cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft when tested with a knife.
  4. Meanwhile.....Peel and chop the onion, leek and carrot so that all the vegetables are in bite sized pieces.
  5. Put the second large pan onto a medium heat and add the olive oil. Place the chopped vegetables into the saucepan and stir well. Sautee for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the canned beans, rinse well and add to the vegetables in the pan. Open the canned tomatoes and pour into the same pan. Measure out and add the tomato puree and the mixed herbs. Give it all a good stir and leave to cook for a further 10 minutes.
  7. When the potatoes are cooked, drain these and return to the saucepan. Pour the milk over the potatoes and sprinkle the grated Wensleydale cheese on top. Mash thoroughly until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Spoon the tomato / vegetable mixture into the bottom of the ovenproof dish. Top with the mashed potato. Use a fork to make light indentations in the top of the mash (this helps to create a tasty slightly crunchy layer on the top of the pie once it is cooked) Sprinkle the grated cheddar / red Leicester evenly over the top.
  9. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the topping is golden 

Enjoy making and eating this shepherds pie recipe!