Shepherd’s Pie

I made this vegan pie for my brother’s 21st birthday and despite the initial turned-up noses to a vegan dish the guests returned for seconds. I keep trying to tell people that healthy, nutritious food can taste good but the test is in the eating!

My favourite version of this recipe is to use sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes.

Recipe preparation tips
I find that this recipe requires a lot of preparation especially since I make my own almond milk and cashew cream cheese. If you do this then soak the almonds and cashews overnight the day before use (or first thing in the morning if cooking the dish in the evening).

If you use dry lentils you’ll need to make sure they are cooked. I find 1/2 cup of dried lentils yields about 1.5 cups which can all be used in the recipe. Put the lentils to cook the same time as the potatoes.

Cashew Cheese
I found this cashew cheese recipe from and reduced the quantity specifically for use in the Shepherd’s Pie recipe as follows:


  • 1/4 Cup of cashews soaked overnight
  • 1/8 lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp of thyme
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch of good salt
  • 1/4 tsp of freshly chopped garlic (or powder)
  • 1/8 Cup of water


  1. In a food processor blend all ingredients together until a smooth consistency
  2. Use as required in the recipe below

almond-milk-3Almond Milk

This is the required amount for the Shepherd’s Pie recipe. For full notes on making almond milk (and what to do with the leftover meal) see the post on Almond Milk and Almond Meal/Flour


  • 1/2 Cup raw almonds, preferably organic
  • 1 Cup water, plus more for soaking


  1. Cover the almonds with water and soak in a bowl overnight.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the almonds under cold running water.
  3. Place the almonds with 1/2 Cup water in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Strain the almonds.
  5. Use as required in the recipe below

Shepherd’s Pie Serving Suggestion

Vegan shepherd’s pie with spinach and chopped red bell pepper. In this version (also shown as the main image) I used 3 large baked potatoes and added cayenne pepper to the mash.



Shepherd's Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • Mashed Potatoes (top layer):
  • 5 russet potatoes (white all purpose eg King Edward)
  • ½ Cup plain unsweetened almond milk (hemp milk for nut alternative)
  • ¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Himalayan salt (or good sea salt)
  • ½ Cup coconut oil or grapeseed oil
  • 3 Tbsp vegan cashew cream cheese
  • Bottom Portion:
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • ½ Cup peas
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, basil, marjoram)
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped finely
  • 1 Cup Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 Cup lentils (pre-cooked)/ ½ Cup uncooked
  1. Heat oven to 200ºC
  2. Rinse ½ cup dry lentils and cooked as instructed on the packet.
  3. Peel, cut and boil potatoes.
  4. Mash potatoes and mix in all other top layer ingredients
  5. Sauté all bottom portion ingredients together (except lentils) until thoroughly cooked.
  6. Add cooked lentils towards the end.
  7. For Shepherd’s Pie:
  8. Put bottom portion in an oven safe dish.
  9. Put mashed potato layer on top.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes
If the cocnut oil isn't already melted then add about 3 tbsp of solid form to the mashed potatoes and leave a few minutes to melt before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Try sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes.
Spice up the mashed potato by adding paprika or cayenne pepper


The bottom portion (without peas)



With white potato



With sweet potato


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