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A dinner consisting of Shepherd’s Pie was never a common occurrence for me as a child, and even my adult life didn’t see much of it.  Even though Shepherd’s Pie is such a classic dish – and so common in North American households – it just wasn’t something I was exposed to.

Shepherd's Vegetarian Skillet Pie

A few years ago, I met someone who, quite frankly, made a great tasting Shepherd’s Pie, but it was extremely simple.  They would use ground beef, mashed potatoes, and canned cream corn.  There were a few other ingredients and seasonings, but that was the jest of it.

Shepherd's Vegetarian Skillet Pie

Fast forward to sharing a home with the vegetarian, and the ground beef is out of the question.  Luckily, a good Shepherd’s Pie can still be had by substituting the ground beef with textured vegetable protein, or by adding lentils.  You can really pile in the veggies when preparing this dish, and the more robust, rustic, root vegetables will work best.

Shepherd's Vegetarian Skillet Pie

Shepherd's Vegetarian Pie

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 3 small carrots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup corn, frozen
  • 1 cup green peas, frozen
  • 1 cup vegetarian beef crumbles
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered, and boiled until fork tender
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté half of the onion, all of the celery and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for two additional minutes.
  2. Add the water and allow to cook until the water has evaporated.
  3. Add the Veggie Ground, green peas, corn, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir together, reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool.
  4. Next, let's move on to the gravy. Wipe the skillet out with a paper towel, and return to the heat on a medium setting. Add the butter and sauté the remaining onions until translucent. Add the thyme, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Allow the butter to melt and come to a bubble.
  5. Add the flour and use a whisk to 'cook' the flour into the butter. Be sure to vigorously move the butter and flour around the pan to be sure the floury taste is eliminated.
  6. While continuing to whisk, slowly add the veggie stock one cup at a time, and finally, whisk in the soy sauce. Reduce heat to a low simmer and allow the gravy to thicken. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and pour into a large bowl to cool.
  7. In the meantime, mash the boiled potatoes until very smooth - you will want no lumps at all. Add the butter, milk, a dash of salt and pepper and mix together. Set aside.
  8. Add the vegetable and Veggie Ground mixture back to the skillet. Add half of the gravy and stir to combine. If you prefer a dryer bottom to your Shepherd's Pie, you can move on to the next step, otherwise, continue to add the rest of the gravy and stir to incorporate. I set one cup of gravy aside, but used the rest in the mixture.
  9. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a piping back and pipe all of the mashed potatoes onto the pie. You don't need to be fancy, you can simply place the mashed potato on top of the veggie/gravy mixture in large mounds and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Pile the potatoes higher in the middle and be sure to get right to the edge of the skillet when smoothing the mashed potatoes over the top.
  10. Transfer the skillet to a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  11. Switch from bake to broil to brown up the potatoes on top. Watch carefully as they can burn very easily. You can leave the skillet under the broiler for as long as you want - the desired 'brownness' is up to your personal tastes.
  12. Remove from oven. Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Shepherd's Vegetarian Pie
Amount Per Serving (0 g)
Calories 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g 0%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Shepherds Vegetarian Skillet Pie

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This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. This looks like a great recipe. I do like a good Shepherds Pie. I will try this but will use my home made Seitan/gluten instead of a TVP based product. I used to use it but stopped when I found out about the toxic chemical process that went into making it.
    1. Mary, would you believe me if I told you that it took me sooooooooooo long to do that. It should have been a breeze, but I didn't have the right size tip for my pastry bag. Live and learn. :)
  2. I had no idea that Shepherd's Pie was so common in North America Byron. Like you, I too never had it growing up. As a matter of fact the first time I had it was when I was volunteering in Kenya on a conservancy near the foothills of Mount Kenya. The Masaii chef prepared it one night to cater to the tastes of the European scientists ( I was kind of shocked to see it show up on the table in the Kenya bush) that were at the conservancy. That said, I think your Shepherd's Pie is absolutely stunning. I love the little swirl of potatoes that crown the top . .it gives it such an elegant flair.
    1. Hi Lynn! Yes, very much so! My mom never made it much, but I have friends and family who have had it as a regular part of their dinner rotation since they were kids. And, thank you for your kind words. "Elegant Flair!" :)
  3. I grew up on Shepherd's Pie, but I've never had a vegetarian version. I'm sure it still tastes so comforting, though. I love the 'crust' you got going on there.
    1. I've had both the meat and vegetable versions, and I actually prefer the vegetarian version over the meat. It's nice to actually taste the vegetables rather than them being masked by the flavour of ground beef.
  4. Shepherds pie and Cottage pie were weekly occurrences on our dinner table when I was a wee nipper, this looks glorious... I've got a veggie version similar to this in my arsenal that I use lentils for and it tastes wonderful.
  5. Not a fan of "fake meat" since I am a meat eater, however most of my friends are veggies. I am always struggling to find things to take to our potluck dinners and I think this would be a hit. How would I incorporate lentils instead of the "fake meat"?
    1. Hi kdoe1 - thanks for stopping by! The textured vegetable protein is a great product if you can find the right brand, but I'm well aware of the fact that some people just do not like the taste. If you were to substitute lentils, which I think would be a lovely idea, I would just use pre-cooked lentils and add it to the recipe in step three. I have used lentils in soups and stews before and I find that the cooked canned lentils are a great way to save some time. Since step three in the recipe is just a warming through step, canned lentils would work well and would not break down in the cooking process. Please come back and let me know how it works out for you; I'd love to hear about it! Cheers!
        1. Made it with the lentils last night and it was amazing! It was so good that my boys only left a little container in the fridge. My boys are very active and after practices and games they need hearty meals.The lentil veggie mix will work for replacing meat in lots of my recipes. Thanks again.
          1. I'm so happy the hear that! You've now inspired me to remake this dish using lentils too. Thanks for letting me know how the recipe turned out. Drop by again real soon. Cheers!
  6. I never grew up around Shepherd's Pie either, I think all the meat freaked me out a bit as I was very picky growing up... but this makes me want to indulge! There's not meat to scare me away! haha. Looks delicious!!
    1. Thanks, Hillary. To be honest, piping on the potatoes was the worst! I had the wrong tip for my piping bag, so I had to apply extra pressure. My hands were killing me. LOL

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