Vegan Cottage Pie (shepherds pie)

I know this dish, for many is the ultimate comfort dish. A stick-to- the-ribs winters warmer. The sort of meal that is good to come home to after a long day at work or school.

It has never been that dish for me and has always been one of my least favourite meals. I knew this contained some good ingredients, but would it convert me?

I have set myself a bit of a challenge this January and that is to use up the food in my freezer and store cupboard without buying any groceries apart from staples.

This is for a couple of reasons, which are

  • To try and save some money due to the cost of rocketing prices
  • To cut down on my food waste.

I wanted a dish that could feed a family of 4 or be perfect for batch cooking. I also wanted a meal that could be cooked on the hob, a slow cooker or an instant pot. I did not want to have to use the main oven.

The dish was

  • Delicious
  • Savoury
  • Filling
  • Satisfying

It certainly did convert me and will be a recipe I will make again.

Can this be frozen?

Yes, this can be done in a few ways. You could either freeze the filling individually if you are batch cooking, you could dish them up in individual dishes, cover and freeze them before grilling. They will need to be defrosted and reheated in a low oven when you need them.

You could keep the filling in the fridge for 3-5 days.

The Mince

This time I used Beyond mince for this recipe. You could also use

  • Vegan Quorn or frozen mince
  • TVP mince

Make sure you follow the instructions for these ingredients.

The Mash potato

This time I used potato and carrot for my mash. To ring the changes and up the vegetable content, you could add a combination of the following.

  • Sweet potato
  • Parsnip
  • Swede
  • Carrot

I always sprinkle the mash with cheese as this provides a nice cheesy golden crust on top.

Cottage Pie

vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and wheat-free

  • Serves 4
  • Preparation Time 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time 45 Minutes

Filling Ingredients

  • Potato topping


  1. Place a large deep-sided onto a medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once this is hot add the onions and the celery and then season. Cook for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add the carrots and the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the beyond mince and break it down in the pan while it is cooking. Continue to cook this until it begins to colour.
  3. Next, add the tomato puree, cumin and marmite and stir through.
  4. Pour in the stock and the tin of tomatoes and add the bay leaves, thyme and sugar. Stir it and turn it down to a low simmer. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes and then add the lentils. Once cooked remove the bay leaf.
  5. While this is cooking add the cut potatoes and the carrots to a large lidded saucepan along with some salted water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the can be pierced with a knife easily. Drain them of water and add the butter, milk and seasoning and mash.
  6. Check your filling and season to taste. If it is too thick then add a little water and if you need to thicken it either add 1 tbsp of gravy granules or a heaped tsp of cornflour blended with a little water. Pour into a casserole dish and tumble over your fluffy mash, ensuring the filling is roughly covered,
  7. If you are using cheese then sprinkle over the top and place under a hot grill and cook for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove it from the heat and leave it for 5 minutes and then serve.

PS: If you like this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page I love seeing your versions of my recipes. Or I would love to hear your comments

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