Vegan cottage pie - this vegan shepherd's pie is the ultimate vegan comfort food! A meat-free mushroom and lentil base is topped with a cloud of fluffy mashed potato making a hearty, filling, healthy meal.
Cottage pie or shepherd's pie? Traditionally cottage pie is made with beef and shepherd's pie with lamb, but given that this vegan version obviously contains neither of those I guess that either name will do!
Call it what you will, this vegan cottage/shepherd's pie is the ultimate in hearty comfort food meals. I used a mixture of finely chopped chestnut mushrooms and tinned lentils to replace the usual meat, making it both filling and healthy.
Sundried tomatoes, red wine, herbs, soy sauce and vegetable stock give the sauce tonnes of flavour, I also add some nutritional yeast to the mashed potato for even more flavour (and extra vitamins!).
How To Make Vegan Cottage Pie:
(For ingredients and full instructions see the recipe card below)
Start by gently frying finely chopped red onion, leek, celery and carrots in some of the oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes. This is a great, umami-packed ingredient that is so often thrown away; save your sundried tomato oil people!
Add in finely chopped chestnut mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, crushed garlic and dried rosemary and thyme and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft and all of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Pour in some red wine (check it's vegan friendly, lots aren't) and stir until it has mostly evaporated then add tinned tomatoes, soy sauce, vegetable stock, a pinch of sugar and a tin of drained green or brown lentils.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced to a thick sauce then season to taste with salt and pepper.
While the sauce is cooking, peel and chop your potatoes, place them in a pan of cold salted water and bring up to a simmer, cook until tender then drain.
Mash the potatoes with some vegan butter/spread, milk (I use oat), nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.
Pour the cooked filling into a large baking dish and spoon the mashed potato in dollops on top. Spread the potato level then rough up the surface, either with the back of a spoon to create swirls or drag the tines of a fork through it in lines. This helps the top become crisp and delicious.
Bake for about half an hour until golden then serve. (I like to serve it with some steamed broccoli on the side).
Can I Freeze It?:
Yes. Either the whole pie or potions thereof can be frozen in an airtight container. Allow to defrost then reheat in the oven or microwave.
More Vegan Comfort Food Recipes:
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Vegan Cottage Pie
- 2 Tbsp oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes
- 1 large red onion peeled and diced
- 1 large leek finely chopped
- 3 sticks celery finely chopped
- 3 large carrots finely chopped
- 300 g (10 ½ oz) chestnut mushrooms very finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 8 sundried tomatoes finely chopped
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 180 ml (¾ cup) vegan red wine
- 1 400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 120 ml (½ cup) water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 400 g (14 oz) tin green or brown lentils drained
- salt and pepper
- 1.5 kg (3 lb) potatoes (I use Maris Piper) peeled and cut into chunks
- 60 g (¼ cup) vegan butter/spread
- 15 g (4 Tbsp) nutritional yeast
- 120-180 ml (½-¾ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use oat)
- salt and pepper
- Heat the sundried tomato oil in a large pan over a low heat and add the onion, leek, celery and carrot. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft.
- Add the chopped mushrooms, crushed garlic, sundried tomatoes, dried rosemary and thyme and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft and all of the excess liquid has evaporated.
- Add the red wine and stir until it has mostly evaporated then add the tinned tomatoes, soy sauce, vegetable stock cube, water, sugar and drained lentils.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced to a thick sauce then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
- While the sauce is cooking, place the chopped potatoes in a large pan of cold water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a simmer. Cook until tender then drain well.
- Mash the potatoes with the vegan butter/spread, nutritional yeast and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour the cooked filling into a large baking dish (mine is 32 x 25 x 7cm / 12 ½ x 10 x 2 ¾ inches) and spoon the mashed potato in dollops on top. Spread the potato level then rough up the surface, either with the back of a spoon to create swirls or drag the tines of a fork through it in lines.
- Bake for about half an hour until deep golden brown then serve.