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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This is a dairy-rich vegetarian pie. The topping is creamy mashed potato topped with grated cheese that turns into lovely golden brown bubbling patches as it bakes.

One of the earliest recipes I added here was a recipe for vegan shepherd’s pie. I made that topping with potato mashed with almond milk topped with a herb-breadcrumb crust. Being honest I prefer the dairy-rich topping here. With this I made a small vegan alternative using a topping of a few slices of boiled potatoes drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with some herbs, salt and pepper. It works quite well – but I think it would work better with some herbed breadcrumbs over it.

vegan shepherd's pie
The vegan option.

So the topping of the old vegan shepherd’s pie recipe wasn’t gluten-free and neither was the base because I used Marmite to give a dark gravy flavour. Marmite is yeast-extract – I’m not sure if it definitely contains gluten or not, but here is what say about it. It’s a pity because adding a little of it really does give a dish a sort of beef gravy flavour – while still being totally vegetarian.

What I use instead here is tamari sauce with mustard and red wine vinegar. This does not create any gravy-like consistency but it adds a nice savoury flavour. If you’re not worried about gluten though I’d advise adding a 1 teaspoon of yeast extract instead of the tamari sauce. You might need to add just a little tomato purée also just to lighten the bitterness of the yeast extract. If you’re looking for something gluten-free though hopefully you’ll like the flavour of this as much as I do.

veg in blender
It’s just so much quicker this way.

The old recipe took ages as well. But this you can prepare in 45 minutes – with baking time of 30 minutes after that. But in order to get it made in this time you have to prepare the ingredients in a certain order. And I cut down the prep time by just throwing the carrot, onion and celery in the blender.

I’ve listed mixed herbs in the ingredients. I didn’t have any to hand when I made this so I used some Herbes de Provence mix with some oregano. Use whatever mix you like – I think some mix with oregano goes really well in this type of dish.

Too many ingredients to fit into one shot – Puy lentils, carrots, celery, onion, leek, mushrooms, herbs, mustard, tamari sauce, red wine vinegar, potatoes, milk, butter, cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil.
puy lentils on to boil
Boil lentils in twice their volume of water with herbs and with garlic cloves. You can discard the cloves when the lentils are done.
potato ready for mashing
Drain the boiled potato slices into a bowl. Add in a good splash of milk and a good slice of butter.
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie and a small vegan alternative.
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie and a small vegan alternative.
plate of shepherd's pie with salad
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with a little salad. A filling but healthy start to the new year. Hope it’s a good one for us all!

Get the full recipe here >>

More recipes for Hearty & Filling Vegetarian Dishes from around the web

Vegetarian layered winter bake from

The photo reeled me in and the simplicity of the recipe hooked me. It seems like a medley of gratins of different root vegetables in one dish. First you parboil the veg in some stock and dairy, then you bake them with some cheese and herbs. Comfort in a deep dish. Who says eating vegetarian is about being healthy?

Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato Crusts (vegan) from The First Mess

Again the photo is what drew me to these. I don’t think you can find a gluten-free version of stout – which is a real shame – but it’s suggested you can substitute red wine instead and I think I may just have to try that because these look really good.

In 2015 Guinness announced all its stout would be vegan going forward – so this seems to be a good option for a great vegan hot pot.

If gluten isn’t a problem for you can I suggest trying Stout and Treacle Bread? It’s so good with a thick layer of salty butter. Seriously tasty. I miss soda breads so much.

Tian Provencal With Polenta from Martha Stewart

I’ve never made polenta. I’ve eaten it. I’ve also bought it with the intention of making it … but then ended up having to throw it out at it was long long past the use-by date. I have to stop doing that.

This looks gorgeous and it’s the kind of flavours I love. Also, even though it’s a bake I think this would be great at any time of year. The comments are very positive too.

OK now I’ve got a recipe I’ve no excuse.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Quinoa Tabbouleh from Lauren Caris Cooks

I don’t think I will ever come across any loaded potatoes that are this healthy and look this tasty. Does this require a fair bit of preparation and cooking? Well, it definitely requires some. But just look at the results.

Twice baked potatoes from Jono & Jules do food & wine

Sometimes of course you just want something simple and full of all the stuff you should only have now and again. A simple recipe for twice baked potatoes using sour cream or crème fraîche, cheddar cheese and butter. I know I shouldn’t … but go on so.