Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

A flavorful, veggie-filled vegetarian shepherd’s pie topped with garlic herb mashed potatoes. Gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
Vegetarian Shepherds Pie for St. Patrick's Day

Have I already told you how much I love the month of March? I know there are some who aren’t big fans. The weather is a little bipolar – windy and cold one day, warm and sunny the next. The grass starts to turn green, the it snows and there’s a blanket of white. But I still love it. I love it almost as much as October.

While October marks the end of fair weather and it starts to turn chilly, March is the complete opposite as it ushers in the fairer days and warmer spring weather. They are both a bridge of sorts, and I like that.

I absolutely hate winter, but adore fall and spring. I love that both are full of an abundant harvest of seasonal veggies and (some) fruit. This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is kind of like March – fall and winter veggies meet spring. It’s a great thing to have instead of corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day.

Becky and I have teamed up again this month. Our theme is St. Patrick’s Day recipes. Please hop over and check out Becky’s tasty Currant and Caraway Irish Soda Bread Cookies. (I know! Doesn’t that sound awesome?!)

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I was going to post a recipe for gluten-free Irish soda bread, but the recipe turned out SO bad it ended up in the trash. Back to the drawing board for that one….sigh. Oh well, for today there is Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, and a good one at that!

The vegetable filling is full-flavored with a  hint of sweetness from the onion and root veggies. I used a basic mix of veggies that I usually have on hand. It would be delicious to use turnips, rutabaga, or celeriac instead of, or in addition to the veggies I used.

I have often wondered if I could make mashed potatoes worth eating without butter and milk. The answer is yes! Yes, you can. I use homemade unsweetened almond milk. It’s thick and creamy and just a little bit sweet. I also add a little olive oil. Of course if you’re not dairy free, by all means use milk and butter. :)

Vegan Shepherd's Pie for St. Patrick's Day

I found that if I seasoned the mashed potatoes with garlic and herbs, I didn’t miss the cheese either. Truly, I’m having a hard time going without dairy this time around, so whenever I can find a good substitute, I’m happy! I keep the skins on because who has time to peel potatoes? No, actually they are healthier that way too. But it is a time-saver when there are hungry children waiting for their dinner.

This vegetarian shepherd’s pie is now a favorite of my family. I thought my husband and kids would reject it for its lack of meat, but not so. The next time we make it, we’re going to use dried mushroom broth and add the dried mushrooms plus a bunch of fresh ones. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

A hearty, richly flavored vegetarian filling topped with creamy garlic herb mashed potatoes.

  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds golden potatoes
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 tablespoons fresh snipped chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 parsnips, sliced
  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • 12 Tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot) mixed with water to make a thin paste
  • salt and pepper
  • herbs – rosemary and thyme
  • chives, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place unpeeled potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain water and carefully peel, if desired.
  3. Return potatoes to pan and mash well. Add the olive oil and almond milk. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chives and one of the minced garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to assemble the pie.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Let heat for 30 seconds or so and add onions, garlic, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetable start to soften. Add the other veggies (except the peas0, vegetable broth, and herbs. Bring to a simmer. Cook until the carrots and parsnips are barely tender.
  5. If the liquid has evaporated, add a little water. Bring back to a simmer and slowly add the cornstarch slurry. Cook, while stirring constantly, until thickened. If the gravy is too thin, make a little more slurry with cornstarch and water.
  6. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Stir in the peas. Transfer to a 3-quart casserole or baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes evenly over the top.
  7. Place in oven and let bake 20-25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling the top has started to brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes then serve.


Depending on the size of your casserole dish, the mashed potato layer may be thinner, or not cover the filling completely.

  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Main, Casserole


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  1. This is on my list. Every year we do corned beef and cabbage, maybe I’ll brand out next year. Or better yet, I can just make this anytime. Shephard’s Pie has always been a favorite it was one of three dishes I’d ask my mom to make on my birthday!

    And…I want that baking dish and spoon…and plate!

    Love teaming up with you. :)

  2. Did this. It seems like instructions on what to do with peas, herbs and broth is missing? Also not enough potatoes to cover stew. Will probably still be delicious but wanted you to know.

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’m sorry for the confusing instructions. When I read through them again, I was confused myself! They’ve been rewritten for clarity. All of the veggies were to be added in (except for the peas) AND the broth and herbs. But my use of commas made that unclear. In regards to the potatoes, I’ve added a note about the size of the baking dish used. Mine is fairly narrow, but deeper. If I had used a 9- by 13-inch baking dish, then I probably wouldn’t have had enough potatoes. Thanks for your comment – I really do appreciate you catching those items. How did it turn out?

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