Vegan shepherds pie from Recipe Renovator | Grain-free, migraine-friendly, low-sodium, dairy-free

Hearty savory shepherds pie, completely plant-based and packed with goodness

My first real memory of shepherds pie was having it at a pub in England after a long, chilly driving day. So hearty, comforting, and satisfying. I don’t remember my mom making this dish, which hails from England and was traditionally made with lamb or mutton, or ground beef (cottage pie). Leftover potatoes were mashed and placed on top instead of a pastry crust.

I simplified this dish by using some pre-prepped items from the grocery. Since it’s still a little time consuming, you could make it ahead up until the baking step, then pop it into the oven an hour before dinner.

If you have access to Trader Joe’s, I purchased their pre-cooked lentils, pre-cut butternut squash, and mirepoix, all in the refrigerated case, plus one package of their frozen sweet potato purée. Watch me make this on Facebook Live!

Suitable for:

vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, grain-free, dairy-free gluten-free, celiac diets

Not recommended for:

paleo and migraine diets

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Veggie pot pie (gluten-free)
1 hour vegan shepherds pie from Minimalist Baker
Vegan shepherds pie with mashed cauliflower from Kara Lydon

Vegan shepherds pie from Recipe Renovator | Grain-free, migraine-friendly, low-sodium, dairy-free

Vegan Shepherds Pie

Savory, warm, and comforting, pretty enough for the Thanksgiving table.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Irish
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 cup potatoes diced (130 g)
  • 1 cup carrots diced (105 g)
  • 1 cup onions diced (130 g)
  • 1 cup celery diced (100 g)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (low-sodium) organic if possible
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour organic corn starch, arrowroot starch
  • 1 tsp cumin (dried)
  • 1/2 tsp sage (dried)
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder optional
  • 1 cup lentils pre-cooked (200 g)
  • 1 cup butternut squash diced (100 g)
  • 18 ounces sweet potatoes cooked, pureed, thawed if frozen


  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray or coat lightly with oil. Or, use a cast iron skillet to make this a one-pan dish.
  • Put a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot add oil and swirl to coat. Turn down the heat to medium. Add the veggies as you prep them. (Don't pre-cook the butternut squash.) Stir with each addition. If the veggies start to stick, add a little white wine. They should get golden brown, not too dark.
  • Add about 3 tablespoons of broth to a small bowl and whisk in the tapioca starch or corn starch until it's a smooth slurry. Heat the rest of the broth in a medium saucepan over medium heat just until bubbling around the edge. Whisk in the slurry and the spices, stirring constantly. Cook for 4 minutes until thickened, then turn heat to low.
  • When the white potatoes are still firm but almost cooked through, stir all ingredients—except the puréed sweet potatoes—in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. Pour into prepared pie pan and smooth the top.
  • Snip off a corner of the sweet potato bag and use corner of bag to pipe sweet potatoes on top as a decorative crust. If using home-cooked sweet potatoes, place in a pastry bag with a large decorative tip. If using a ziptop bag, put all purée in the bag, close the top, then snip the corner. Or use a spatula to spread the potato purée on top.
  • Bake for 50 minutes until the potato crust is golden brown and you see the gravy bubbling a little through the crust.
  • Serve immediately.