Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Gravy

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Mug

I’m very happy to announce that we raised $7,234 dollars (and climbing!) for the Japan Disaster Fundraiser!! I am absolutely blown away and touched by your generosity. I never dreamed that this much money was possible in just over a day’s time. This money is going to help many in need!

I’m currently working on the Excel document for the giveaway (it’s taking me longer than planned!) and I will be sure to update this post later today when I have the winners selected, so be sure to check back.

UPDATE: The winners can be found on this page.


To me, St. Patty’s Day is the final hurrah of comfort food for the Winter season. Spring is right around the corner (4 days, but who’s counting?), and after today, we will gradually shift to lighter fare in hopes that the weather follows suit.

We are actually being blessed with beautiful Spring weather too! I’m hoping the snow will be gone by tomorrow.


But, today, it’s all about the warm comfort food to bid farewell to Old Man Winter.

Last night we paid tribute to our Irish roots with this delicious vegan shepherd’s pie with gravy. I wonder what our Irish relatives would think of a vegan shepherd’s pie? I’ll have to make it for them if we make it to Ireland this year! Eric was actually happy to have a vegan version because he is not a fan of ground meat, which is traditionally used in this dish.

It was not only the first time I have made a vegan version of this classic dish, but it was also the first time I have ever made a shepherd’s pie, period! It turns out that it isn’t so scary after all, unless of course you are afraid of using a knife. I’m not going to sugar coat this, this recipe requires a lot of peeling and chopping so be warned.

But, it was worth the effort, resulting in an extremely comforting and delicious dish.



Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Gravy

Adapted from Choosing Raw.

Yield: 6 generous servings


Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 lb. potatoes (I used a bag of organic red potatoes), peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance, or equivalent
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


Vegetable Filling:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled & small dice
  • 2 parsnips (or other root vegetable), peeled & small dice
  • 4 celery stalks, small dice
  • 1 cup, full sodium vegetable broth (or more as needed)
  • 1/4 cup red wine (or more broth)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste + black pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)


Suggestion: Serve with All-Purpose Vegan Gravy


1. Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a 2.5 quart/2.3 litre casserole dish. Place peeled and chopped potatoes into a large pot and add water, 2 inches above potatoes. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 30 minutes until very tender.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable filling. Chop the onion and mince the garlic and add to a skillet along with the oil. Cook on low for about 5-7 minutes. Now add in the chopped carrots, parsnip, and celery. Cook on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.

3. When the potatoes are done cooking, drain and add back to the pot. Add the Earth Balance (or butter), milk, and seasonings and mash well. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients (broth, red wine (optional), thyme, and flour). Add this liquid mixture to the vegetables in the skillet and stir well. Add your salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until thickened. Season to taste.

5. Scoop vegetable mixture into casserole dish. Spread on the mashed potato mixture and garnish with paprika, ground pepper, and Thyme. Bake at 425F for about 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Mixture will be very hot in the middle so be careful! I suggest serving this with  All-Purpose Vegan Gravy. Makes 6 generous servings.


I adapted this recipe from the lovely Gena over at Choosing Raw. Her version is a bit different than mine, using mushrooms, so be sure to check out her recipe too! I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand (grocery store was out of them!), so I made do without.


Again, lots of chopping for this recipe…but keep your eye on the prize! You could always make this process go faster by using a food processor too.


Add the the oil, onion, and garlic into the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on low heat.

IMG_2808 IMG_2815

Now add in the carrots, parsnips, and celery and cook on low for about 10 minutes or so.


Make the boozy broth. It wouldn’t be a St Patty’s Day meal with out a little booze!


After mixing the seasonings, flour, broth, and wine together in a bowl, add it into the veggie mixture and cook on medium for another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes and set aside.

IMG_2824 IMG_2826

By this point, your veggie filling will have thickened up nicely. It shouldn’t have too much liquid in it at this point. If for some reason your mixture is dried out, you can add a bit more broth as needed.


Pour it into a 2.5 quart/2.3 litre casserole dish.


Spread mashed potatoes on top and garnish with paprika, Thyme, and black pepper.


Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden, at 425F. The veggie mixture will bubble around the edges!


And it will be SUPER HOT, so please cool for about 10-15 minutes before serving…tongues will burn. Trust me on this one. ;)


I highly recommend making the vegan gravy to go along with it as it complemented this dish really well.


I think this was a good first attempt at making a vegan shepherd’s pie. When I make it next time, I might add in a layer of my ‘veggie meat’ made with mashed beans, chopped walnuts, and seasonings, similar to the one used in my taco salad. I think it would give it a great texture!


Tonight we enjoy leftovers!


I’ll leave you with some fun Irish proverbs to kick off St. Patty’s Day…

Never bolt the door with a boiled carrot. (hahah)

Man is incomplete until he marries. After that, he is finished.

It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.

Don’t break your shin on a stool that is not in your way.

If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

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Katie October 30, 2013 at 12:15 pm

This is another dish I don’t mind raving about! I used a different gravy, but followed the shepherd’s pie recipe almost exactly (I rarely measure things) and it is incredible. I can’t wait to make it for the English guy I’m seeing. :)


Melaina November 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Finally made this after eyeing it for a fee months now! I had LOTS of parsnips and some radishes and 1 carrot, broccoli, and cabbage from the CSA I belong to so that all went in, also some organic frozen corn. It was fantastic!!!!! I also used red potatoes from the CSA and left the skins on, yum!!!! So it was delicious and very purple from the cabbage :) also made your vegan gravy which was also delicious! Thanks for all of the great food!!!!
Melaina (2 years vegan) from NJ


CF December 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

Earth Balance WHAT? They make a bunch of products.


talia December 20, 2013 at 9:30 pm

can i use white wine instead of red?


rachel September 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I used white wine as that was all I had, fabulous.


Ginger February 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Hi, Angela —

Do you think that I could use cauliflower instead of potatoes for a “mashed potato” layer? I can’t do nightshades, and I’ve heard of cauliflower mashed potatoes (although, admittedly, I haven’t tried them before), but I just thought I’d ask your opinion.



Kris March 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm

This shepherd’s pie is so full of flavor! I used turnips instead of parsnips because I couldn’t find any at the supermarkets. The gravy is perfect with this. Although my gravy doesn’t look as dark as yours, maybe because I used brown sugar instead of blackstrap molasses? I live in France so it’s hard to find a lot of ingredients we’d use in North America. Still, the gravy was great with brown sugar. Will definitely make this again!


kim March 17, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Just wanted to say that I made this today and I was very skeptical of how it would taste! Ive never had shepherds pie before and never had a parsnip in my life but it turned out so unbelievably tasty! I didnt use red wine since the husband and I dont drink but everything else I followed (although I did end up adding a little Worcestershire sauce to the veggie mix while cooking, I know I know its not vegan ). Thank you for this tasty, healthy amazing recipe…I will be adding to my book of favorite recipes.


Shannon April 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Just made this for dinner! it is delicious! I added peas and corn to mine. It’s very filling and I have tonnes of leftovers for the week


ashley August 18, 2014 at 4:14 pm

So pumped to make this for my boyfriend when he gets home from his camp job he loves shepard pie I need to get him into this new vegan lifestyle, and it’s so easy compared to all the other ones I’ve looked at.


rachel September 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm

just made this for tea and it was a big hit with the family. Going to be a regular. Thank you :)


Janay September 18, 2014 at 11:53 pm

This shepherd’s pie was SO good and helped me feel better about trying a plant based diet. The vegan gravy was also DELISH!


rachel November 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm

This looks like an awesome recipe! I’m trying to cook something for Thanksgiving that is healthy and vegan but also where the non-vegans won’t notice any unfamiliar ingredients. Do you have any ideas for sneaking protein into this? What about silken tofu in the sauce? or nutritional yeast?
Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!


Laura November 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Wow, I made this (with various veggies I got in my CSA such as fennel, rutabaga, etc) and am eating leftovers today for lunch.. just had to leave a comment and say how good it is! At first we weren’t sure about the gravy, but paired with the pie, it is a fabulous flavor combination!


Lianna December 9, 2014 at 3:47 pm

since i went vegan, i haven’t had shepherd’s pie! making this for my little christmas dinner :)


Jamie December 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Do you think you could sub a GF flour mix (like Bob’s Red Mill) for the 3 tbs flour?


Megan December 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

I’m going to make this, it looks great! Do you think it’d be OK to make a day in advance (get it all prepared in the casserole dish, but not cook it until the following day?)


Wireliz January 2, 2015 at 8:36 pm

It is the bleak midwinter ( okay… It is just after New Years)… I made this for supper tonight and it was really, really good. The snow is blowing outside and we are warm and cozy inside, and now well fed. I didn’t have any parsnips and substituted rutabaga instead, and it turned out great. Thank you for all of your recipes, your cookbook and website. We are new to this type of eating and you are helping us tremendously along the way.. Stay warm!


alicia January 19, 2015 at 11:55 am

Wow! I’m late to the Oh She Glows party but if this is my invitation to join please consider me a lifetime member. I was out of celery so I rough chopped a head of savoy cabbage and sauteed it for 5 minutes. I also used steamed, pureed cauliflower (with a soupcon of veg broth) instead of potatoes and a handful of sharp cheddar for the ‘crust’. Finally, I tossed in a handful of peas because… peas and pie. I also made the vegan gravy and hands down, the boyfriend and I agree this was a ridiculously delish meal. We’re confirmed bison eaters, but this is our new house Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Thank you!


Jodi March 12, 2015 at 8:10 am

Did anyone ever try this with the “taco meat” option? I’ve been put in charge of cooking for our vegetarians at the work St Patty’s Day celebration… but the coworkers have tried my vegan tacos before and was hoping I could do something like that with this dish? I’m sure the spice balance would need to change though and I’m just not that creative in the kitchen (which is why I LOVE this site and cookbook!)



Kimberly March 16, 2015 at 12:13 pm

I think this shepherd’s pie may also be a nice addition to an Easter potluck. :)


Tracy March 18, 2015 at 7:07 am

This recipe received the highest compliment my husband could give: ” that was great. It didn’t taste vegan at all!”. This will definitely become a family staple. Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) March 18, 2015 at 9:27 am

So happy to hear this Tracy!


Kittyluffagus March 18, 2015 at 11:43 am

Hi!! I made this recipe last night for St. Patrick’s Day and it was really really delicious!! But I did make a few modifications. I added 1 cup Boca soy crumbles, 1 cup of frozen peas, 1 cup diced fresh mushrooms, and I scraped the kernels off one fresh ear of corn (I added these things because they seemed traditional and needed). I also ended up doubling the liquid broth part of the recipe. So the veggie filling almost had it’s own gravy, made the dish a little harder to plate up, but the taste was amazing!! I’m glad I did this, because unfortunately my husband and I did not like the Homemade Vegan Recipe that there was a link for. But by making the dish a little saucier we didn’t need the gravy! = )


Dennis April 17, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Made it today. The gravy is what really adds the flavor. Next time I plan to reduce the potatoes and double the veggie filling.

Thanks for posting this!


Brittany May 8, 2015 at 11:47 pm

You have no idea how amazing this was for us!! We are new to being fully vegan, and we have had a few meals this week that were making me feel a little helpless in the kitchen… but oh my goodness, I would make this everyday if I were only cooking for myself lol! Thanks so much!


Mary May 11, 2015 at 8:25 pm

The Shepards Pie was yummy!!!!! I did add mushrooms & some fennel (bulb) because I had somebody. I think I ate 1/3 of the potatoes before they made it on the pie. I did also make the gravy, the consistency was perfect but the molasses was just to overpowering for me. Can I leave out the molasses or sub it with something else? Thanks soooo much for an awesome dinner


Ashley August 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

Even though it’s ridiculously hot in the midwest, I made the shepherd’s pie and gravy with rolls for dinner Monday night because my husband and I wanted comfort food. This hit the spot. It was soooooo good. And still good. Eating left overs for lunch!


Angela Fitton August 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Made this and had it last night for dinner. It was……. amazing! I added sweet potato to the mash and peas and corn to the pie. My family loved it too. Will def be a favourite at our house! Thank you so much!


Hillary September 27, 2015 at 11:04 am

This looks awesome. I think it would be great to see you make a version of a Beef Bourguignon or a Coq Au Vin.


Symone December 6, 2015 at 3:07 am

I love this website so much the recipes are amazing i can’t wait to try this one with my family. I wish i seen it on Paddys day so i could have made it sooner.
Lots of love from a fellow irish woman :)


Aoife December 7, 2015 at 9:31 am

Recipe looks great, will definitely try this out. As an Irish person living in Ireland I have to say that no one here uses the term “St. Patty”, it is so wrong! Paddy’s day is more commonly used. Patty is short for Patricia or a burger patty.


Robin January 4, 2016 at 5:27 pm

I made this last night and it was a huge hit! I didn’t have parsnips on hand but will add those and also throw in some mushrooms next time. I wasn’t going to bother with the addition of the vegan gravy but decided to mix it up at the last minute as a treat because my son is down from Portland. So incredibly delicious!!


Tara Leigh March 9, 2016 at 9:27 am

Hello Angela,
Love your food!
What is an alternative to wine in this yummy Shepard’s Pie? I stopped drinking alcohol when I went all healthy and clean vegan : )


Angela Liddon March 25, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Thanks, Tara! If you want to avoid using wine in the recipe, feel free to replace it with more vegetable broth. Enjoy!


Elyse March 18, 2016 at 7:23 am

Thank you for this recipe! I made it last night for myself and my boyfriend after a day of St. Patrick’s Day festivities and it was perfect comfort food! I added some chopped up portabello mushrooms to the veggie mix and topped the whole thing with lots of frozen peas before adding the mashed potatoes at the end. (My mom always adds peas to hers so it tasted like home.) Also made your All-Purpose Gravy for the side and it was amazing. Thanks again!


sarah May 14, 2016 at 4:41 am

What is Earth Balance?? Can you please explain, because I still don’t get it, even though a couple of people asked it already… is it like butter? or chips? heeeeeelp :(


jasra February 12, 2017 at 7:50 pm

i would also like to know this


plasterers bristol May 16, 2016 at 11:22 am

This sounds so good. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Can’t wait to give this a go.



Heather September 21, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Hi! I was wondering if it makes a difference if I bake it covered or uncovered? Thanks!


Nathalie October 19, 2016 at 1:37 am

This is so delicious! I had some leftover cauliflower and added that to the potato mash, and instead of the earth balance I added in 2 tbsp olive oil.


Inés December 4, 2016 at 2:15 pm

Thank you! FYI, yours is the best vegan Shepherd Pie I’ve seen in the whole Internet. My boyfriend finds it very difficult to eat vegan (he’s Greek and he’s used to strong tastes and simple meals), so I’m constantly searching new ideas that will feed him and keep him happy.
I just made the pie for dinner, and added some quinoa, that made it taste like real mincemeat and he loved it. Try it and tell me!


Kesondra August 4, 2017 at 10:56 pm

I made this! It was delicious. However, I changed quite a few things. I used Fettle Vegan’s miso gravy (didn’t have nutritional yeast), I made my own veggie broth (in my pressure cooker, 15min!), and since I’m not super crazy about italian seasoning, I used a little sake/aminos in the veggies when they were cooking. I also sauteed mushrooms, garlic, onion and used sake/aminos in the gravy as well. It has an interesting sweet taste from the parsnips (never had them before) but overall it was a hit.


Angela Liddon August 8, 2017 at 10:23 am

That sounds great! Thanks for sharing :)


Barbara September 15, 2017 at 5:09 pm

I love this recipe.
But please..
It’s St Patrick’s or St Paddys day..
PATTY is what you call a female named Patricia.. or maybe what you put in your burger.


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