Saturday, March 2, 2024

Shepherds Pie with Vegan Beef!

A vegetarian version that gives up nothing but the meat!  

(based on the Basics with Babish recipe)

Treat yourself to this easy, tasty comforting classic – it just replaces the beef or lamb with vegan ground.  

It does use cheese, so it’s vegetarian, not 100% vegan. But it’s a flavorful planet-friendly dish!

Yield: 2 shepherd pies + 1 small shepherd pie


For the Stew

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large onions
8-10 carrots
½ Tsp dried rosemary (or equivalent fresh)
½ Tsp dried thyme (or equivalent fresh)
6 cloves garlic (peeled, and chopped/crushed)
2 lbs Beyond Beef “Plant Based Ground”
1  6 oz. can Tomato paste
3 Tbsp flour
2 tsp salt
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Dark Irish Stout (or 1 add’l cup of veg broth)
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Madeira wine (optional)
1 lb frozen peas

For the Mashed Potatoes

3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes (or subst. white potatoes )
3-4 oz aged white cheddar
½ cup plant-based spread (Smart Balance) (or unsalted butter)
3 tsp salt
White or black pepper
½ cup soymilk or cow’s milk
1 egg 
½ cup chopped chives (optional) 


Mashed Potatoes

  • Start by peeling and cutting 3 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes in half. Put them in a large sauce pot and cover with cold water.
  • Boil for about 20 minutes, or until a paring knife cuts through with no resistance. Drain and place back in the warm pot.
  • Place over medium-low heat, stir around and cook gently for about 1 minute.
  • Kill the heat and add 3-4 ounces (depending on how cheesy you like your potatoes) aged Irish white cheddar, ½ cup Smart Balance spread (or unsalted butter), and ½ cup chives (optional).
  • Using a masher, mash everything together. Add 3 tsp salt and white or black pepper to season.
  • Add 1 egg to ½ cup of soymilk and beat together. Add to the now-kind-of-cooled-down potatoes and give it one more mix and mash.


  • In a large skillet, cook the 2 lbs of Beyond Beef “Plant Based Ground” and put aside. The vegan beef is cooked separately and added at the end.
  • Finely chop 2 large onions. Peel and cut 8-10 carrots bite size. Peel and finely chop/crush 4 cloves of garlic.
  • In a separate large skillet (we use a 13” stainless steel skillet), add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft and translucent around the edges.
  • Add the carrots and the chopped/crushed garlic and sauté them for 2-3 min.
  • Add 1  6 oz. can of tomato paste and ½ tsp rosemary and ½ tsp thyme. Mix together and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 3 Tbsp flour to the mixture and mix until the raw flour is thoroughly mixed in.
  • Add 2 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup of dark Irish Stout (or 1 cup of vegetable broth if add’l liquid needed)
  • Add 2 tsp salt
  • Add 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: add 2 Tbsp Madeira wine if available
  • Add the previously cooked vegan beef.  Mix thoroughly and cook for at least 4-5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Add 1 lb frozen peas. Mix thoroughly and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Shepherd’s Pie Assembly

Spray 2 standard size 12" pie plates with non-stick spray. Spoon the stew mixture onto a pie plate. Lastly, top with a layer of the mashed potatoes. Drop spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes onto stew to make a layer, and then smooth out the potatoes with a spatula. If you pile the mashed potatoes in one place they won’t spread without disturbing the stew. Use a fork to rough up the potatoes to make sure there are enough nooks and crannies that will brown and get crispy. 

There is usually enough extra stew and potatoes to make 1 more small pie.

Set the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in a 350°F oven for about 25 minutes. Remove at the 15 minute mark to top with more grated cheddar (optional) and place back in the oven for the remaining 10 minutes. You can also broil it the last 2-3 minutes for extra brown and crispy.



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