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Jamie Oliver’s vegan shepherd’s pie is really great healthy comfort food for fall and winter. It’s full of beautiful flavors and colors, easy to transport, and nourishing in all the right ways for your vegan and vegetarian Thanksgiving buddies.

jamie oliver's vegan shepherd's pie
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Why we love this recipe

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is among our very favorite comfort foods, period. It’s also a beautiful way to make vegan and vegetarian guests feel cared for at the holidays. I’ve made this dish a centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, served it at cozy fall and winter dinner parties, and occasionally worked it into the family dinner routine when time is a bit more abundant.

This recipe:

  • Is full of deep, savory flavors
  • Walks the line between comforting and special
  • Will make you feel satisfied but not weighed down
  • Honestly, is just so good that you won’t want to miss it.

Reasons to need vegan comfort food

Like everyone ever, I could definitely stop drinking coffee whenever I want. Definitely. This morning, though, I had to get some fasting blood work done in advance of an annual physical. So instead of my usual beautiful ritual of rolling out of bed, feeding the cats, and then toting a strong, steamy cup of brewed world peace with me as I wake up the girls, make their lunch, and set my intentions for the day, I had to wait a few hours. 

It was fine. It was great. I realized while chopping celery for tuna salad sandwiches that I was quietly singing the devastating song “Maybe” from Annie and ever so slightly weeping. Weeping into my nothing. Because there was no cup. It was fine.

A Great Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dish 

It’s all over now, and I’m thankful. Which brings me to the purpose of today’s post: Thanksgiving. That wasn’t a good segue. I know it. And that photo up there? Not the best. But this recipe conforms to a much higher standard. You’ll have to go against your better judgment and trust me. Jamie Oliver’s vegan shepherd’s pie is really great healthy comfort food for fall and winter. It’s full of beautiful flavors and colors, easy to transport, and nourishing in all the right ways for your vegan and vegetarian Thanksgiving buddies.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. It’s kind of a long list, but there’s nothing fancy.

ingredients in bowls
  • A combination of Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes makes a beautiful creamy top layer with lots of well-balanced flavor
  • You can quickly whiz up some fresh breadcrumbs in any food processor. I made the ones pictured here with some leftover potato rolls. Any day-old bread that you like is fine. To make this recipe gluten-free, simply use gluten-free bread.
  • Choose any dry red wine you like to drink. If you’re not into cooking with wine, sub in an equal amount of additional veggie broth.
  • Cremini mushrooms are also called baby bella. They release less moisture than white mushrooms, which makes them perfect for this recipe.

How to make it

Here’s what you’ll do to make Jamie Oliver’s vegan shepherd’s pie. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. First, get started on the creamy topping. Boil the potatoes in well-salted water until tender, then drain. When they’re ready, you’ll mash them with a little bit of olive oil.
  2. Prep the crunchy topping by mixing together the rosemary, bread crumbs, lemon zest, and olive oil with your fingers.
  3. While the potatoes cook, you’ll sauté the vegetables, thyme, and coriander, and gradually layer in the broth, wine, and legumes.
  4. Spread the mashed potatoes over the filling and then sprinkle on the seasoned breadcrumbs. Bake and serve!

Expert tips and FAQs

What is shepherd’s pie, and where does it come from?

In England, a pie made with meat and topped with mashed potato has traditionally been called cottage pie. Shepherd’s pie is a cottage pie made with ground lamb. (These days cottage pie is usually made with ground beef.)

In this vegan shepherd’s pie, the lamb is replaced with a savory mixture of lentils and chickpeas, and the mashed potato layer incorporates some sweet potatoes for extra color and flavor.

What if I don’t cook with wine?

You can substitute additional vegetable broth for the wine if you like.

Can I make this dish in advance?

You can! Make it earlier in the day and leave at room temperature in a cool kitchen, then reheat — or assemble the day before and bake until browned and bubbly just before serving.

How do you store leftovers?

You can keep leftovers tightly sealed in a nice, cold fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to a year. Reheat in the oven or microwave (after defrosting, if frozen) before serving.

More favorite vegan Thanksgiving dishes

jamie oliver's vegan shepherd's pie

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vegan shepherd's pie
4.55 from 71 votes

Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
This satisfying meal makes a great vegan main dish for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. I've adapted it just slightly from Jamie Oliver.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 2 ribs celery, diced small
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 12 ounces crimini mushrooms
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 cup good vegetable stock
  • 1 15- ounce can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15- ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Peel the Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a medium pot and cover by an inch with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well, then return to pot and mash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a few good grinds of pepper.
  • Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. If you have a shallow Dutch oven or other attractive stovetop-to-oven cookware, you can use it from this point and bring it all the way to the table. Add the onion, carrot, celery, about 3/4 of the chopped garlic, the ground coriander and thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring from time to time, until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • While the onion mixture cooks, chop the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes together into a rough dice. Add to the pan along with the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the wine, turn up the heat to bring to a boil for a minute. Add the stock, lentils and chickpeas (along with some more salt if those ingredients are unsalted) and simmer briskly until the stock creates a slightly thickened sauce, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove the thyme stems, stir in the chopped parsley and taste for salt and pepper.
  • Transfer to a baking dish (or don’t if you’ve used oven-proof cookware). Spread the mashed potatoes overtop, creating some texture with the back of a spoon.
  • Pick the rosemary needles off the stems into a small bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs, remaining chopped garlic, lemon zest and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the seasoned crumbs over the mashed potatoes and slide the whole thing into the oven for 10 to 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Finish under the broiler for two minutes, until breadcrumbs are lightly golden.

Notes

  1. A combination of Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes makes a beautiful creamy top layer with lots of well-balanced flavor.
  2. You can quickly whiz up some fresh breadcrumbs in any food processor. I made the ones pictured here with some leftover potato rolls. Any day-old bread that you like is fine.
  3. Choose any dry red wine you like to drink. If you’re not into cooking with wine, sub in an equal amount of additional veggie broth.
  4. Cremini mushrooms are also called baby bella. They release less moisture than white mushrooms, which makes them perfect for this recipe.
  5. You can prep this dish in advance (even the day before) and take it straight from fridge to oven to bake before serving. You’ll need to add some baking time if you’re starting from cold.
  6. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for up to a year.

Nutrition

Calories: 278kcal, Carbohydrates: 40.1g, Protein: 8.1g, Fat: 10.2g, Fiber: 7.9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Vegetarian Bakes
Cuisine: English
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.55 from 71 votes (71 ratings without comment)

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5 Comments

  1. Wow. This recipe is beyond delicious. From the wine vinegar reduction to the special breadcrumb topping. Wow! Just. Wow! Perfect post-workout food too! Protein-carb rich!

  2. Finding myself slightly weeping while singing “Maybe” over the lunches? That’s not something that would ever happen to me. Ahem.