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Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie is a savory, comfort-food classic, packed with protein, fiber and robust flavor. Red wine adds depth to the earthy mushroom and lentils, and tahini creates a creamy texture infused with umami. Coconut milk replaces the oil and butter usually required. Very healthy. And very satisfying.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • 24 ounces potatoes or 2-3 large potatoes
  • 16 ounces riced cauliflower substitute one small head of chopped cauliflower
  • 1 Yellow Onion chopped into half moons
  • 10 ounces mushrooms
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine substitute vegetable broth
  • 6 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils ~ 1 pound
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce of choice substitute tamari if gluten free
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 14 ounce coconut milk (full fat) substitute any unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. rosemary substitute Italian seasoning, thyme or oregano
  • 1.5 tsp. sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chopped potatoes and cauliflower on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes (until potatoes are soft). You can drizzle some olive oil and dash with salt and pepper. But I didn't. We add plenty of flavor later.
  • Add chopped onion to a large stock pot. Sauté on medium heat, adding splashes of water to prevent sticking. Next add diced mushrooms, minced garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until onions and mushrooms are soft.
  • Deglaze the onions and mushrooms with red wine. Sauté until most of the liquid is evaporated. (No worries, the alcohol evaporates.)
  • Add vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves and paprika. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until most of the liquid is evaporated and the lentils are soft. (This is not an exact science. Cook time and liquid amount can vary with the type of lentils. If liquid is gone before lentils are done, add a bit more water and cook until texture is as desired.)
  • Once lentils are done, remove from heat. Add tahini, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Taste for flavor. Add more salt, black pepper or other as needed.
  • Remove potatoes and cauliflower from oven. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add coconut milk, yeast flakes, onion powder, rosemary and salt. Cream with a hand mixer or immersion blender.
  • In a 9x13 casserole dish, layer the potatoes and cauliflower over the lentil mixture. Return to oven and bake until lentil liquid is bubbling up (15-20 minutes).


This recipe does make a LOT of servings. If you don't have a big family, consider parsing into two casserole dishes. Skip the final bake and freeze the second for another time or pay it forward to a friend (What a gift!). You could also cut the recipe in half—the seasonings don't have to be exact.