Hearty and filling Vegan Shepherd’s pie, packed with veggies and topped with creamy mashed potatoes. Cozy comfort food at its finest! This recipe is in partnership with ALDI.
It’s high time for pie.
No, not apple crumb pie. Shepherd’s Pie! The cozy, casserole-ish stuff that wintery dinner dreams are made of. The word that I Google and spell incorrectly 110% of the time. Shepard?
I had a stint on this blog where every other recipe was a muffin or a bar. Or soup. Do you remember? I mean soup can totally be dinner, but we definitely had a dry spell when it came to main meals. I blame the baby in my belly and his incessant muffin cravings!
Now it’s December and we’re all bundled up inside with our hot cocoa and slippers wanting to bake cookies and watch Elf and make all the hearty things for dinner.
Oh yes, the holidays are upon us. And while they may look a little different this year (hello, I’ll be celebrating from my hospital bed), the warm spirit of the season shall prevail. I just know it!
This Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is the epitome of a meal in a bowl. Or plate. She’s loaded to the brim with all the texture and flavor notes your heart could desire, from savory shrooms heightened with umami-packed soy sauce to the dreamy layer of mashed potatoes on top. Dinner does not get much more satisfying than this!
I snagged everything I needed for this plant-powered recipe at ALDI! I appreciate the super low prices on fresh, organic produce, frozen goodies, and pantry staples now more than ever.
Given the times, I’m especially grateful for the smaller footprint of the store and how quickly I can get in and out since everything is so easy to find. But if you don’t want to venture out, you can also easily order your ALDI groceries online via Instacart to make holiday shopping a breeze from the comfort of your own home.
Key ingredients and substitutions
I like to cook this in my 3.5 qt cast iron braiser, but if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can use whatever pan you have and then transfer it to an 8×8 inch baking dish prior to baking.
Frozen veggies: Because it doesn’t get much better than pre-chopped veggies. The only veggie you have to chop is an onion and some garlic. You could totally use whatever combo of fresh or frozen carrots, green beans, corn, and peas you fancy.
Mushrooms: I used pre-sliced white mushrooms that you can dump right into the pan. They help bulk up this dish and add delicious meaty flavor and texture since this version is sans meat. Cremini or shiitake would be amazing, too.
Chickpeas: For a boost of plant protein. You could also use lentils or even omit these entirely.
Vegetable broth: A lot of shepherd’s pie recipes call for red wine. I know a lot of people don’t often have this on hand, so I emulated that rich flavor with a combo of concentrated flavors like tomato paste, soy sauce, and vegetable broth. If you have some red wine to use up, you can add a splash for a portion of the broth for even richer flavor!
Flour: This helps to thicken the mixture for a gravy-like consistency. Steer clear of almond or coconut flour as they will not work properly here. A tablespoon of corn starch will also get the job done.
Potatoes: I love mini gold potatoes (ALDI has a great 24oz bag) because they’re so naturally creamy. Plus, you don’t have to peel or chop them! Any potato you like for mashed potatoes will work here. You could even do half cauliflower like mashed potatoes and cauliflower recipe.
Almond milk: Any unsweetened and unflavored milk works here, like soy, cashew, or oat. I would not use coconut because the flavor is pretty strong. If you’re not vegan, yogurt and cow’s milk or cream also work great.
Olive oil: To keep this baby vegan, we’re using olive oil in the potatoes, which definitely has a more pronounced flavor. Go ahead and use good old butter if you please!
To refrigerate: Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To freeze: Freeze the cooled and tightly covered casserole for up to two months. You can cook from frozen for about 1 hour (keep it covered with foil).
Make ahead: You can store prepared casserole in the refrigerator for up to two days prior to cooking.
1–15oz can Simply Nature Organic Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp Baker’s Corner All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp fine sea salt + lots of freshly ground black pepper
For the mashed potatoes:
24oz Tasteful Selections Honey Gold Potatoes* (4 cups, no need to peel)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp Stonemill Garlic Powder
1/2 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
2 tbsp Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or butter if not vegan)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (optional)
Place potatoes in a medium pot. Add cold water until they’re covered by a couple inches. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low and boil for about 18 minutes, or until very fork tender. Drain and return to pot. Add milk, oil, salt, garlic powder and a few grinds of pepper. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Stir in green onions, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed (I added another 1/4 tsp salt).
Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a very large oven-proof skillet** (I used a 3.5 qt braiser) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add mushrooms and cook for 13 minutes, stirring often, until very soft and starting to brown.
Stir in frozen veggies and tomato paste stir until warmed through. Stir in broth, soy sauce, rosemary and thyme.
Preheat oven to 375F. Sprinkle mixture with flour and simmer for a few more minutes, or until thickened. Lightly mash chickpeas with your hands or a potato masher and add to pan. Season liberally to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon potatoes onto veggie mixture and use a spatula to smooth it out. Sprinkle with thyme and bake for 15 minutes. You can broil it at the end for extra browning, if you like!
*I prefer baby gold potatoes because they’re so creamy and you don’t have to chop or peel them; however you can use russet potatoes also. You may need more butter for creaminess.
**I like to cook this in my 3.5 qt cast iron braiser, but if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you can use whatever pan you have and then transfer it to an 8×8 inch baking dish prior to baking.
GLUTEN FREE: Use gluten free all purpose flour and tamari for the soy sauce.