Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Are you in need of more #KentWellbeingIdeas to get you through lockdown? Well, how about this rich, hearty vegan shepherd’s pie, topped with fluffy sweet potato and herby breadcrumbs?

Not only is this pie veg-packed and delicious, but it’s also full of plant-based protein thanks to the lentils and beans. Legumes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and dietary fibre, they’re also full of B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals.

For this recipe you’re going to need two very large saucepans and one large oven-proof casserole dish (it serves a lot of people!) – it’s a great dish to cook and share with your housemates. Alternatively, you can cook it for yourself and store any leftovers in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Serves: 8


• 600g Maris Piper potatoes, cut into rough 3cm chunks
• 600g sweet potatoes, cut into rough 3cm, chunks
• 40g dairy-free margarine
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 2 carrots, finely chopped
• 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1 tsp ground coriander
• ½ a bunch of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from tthe stalks
• 350g mushrooms (button or chestnut work well)
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
• vegan red wine (optional)
• 100ml vegetable stock
• 1 x 400g tin of lentils
• 1 x 400g tin of flageolet beans (or chickpeas)
• 1 tsp marmite
• 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, stalks removed and leaves roughly chopped
• 30 g fresh breadcrumbs


1. Prepare the onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms, and potatoes and have them ready in front of you – it will make cooking much easier.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
3. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil (large enough to fit 1.2kg of potatoes). Add the Maris Piper potatoes and boil for about 15 minutes or until tender, adding the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes.
4. Drain and leave to steam dry, then return to the pan (off the heat) with the margarine and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mash until smooth, then set aside.
5. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, or until soft, stirring regularly.
6. Add the chopped mushrooms, ground coriander, thyme leaves and balsamic vinegar (if using) to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes.
7. Add a splash of wine (roughly 120ml, if using), turn up the heat, and allow to bubble for a few minutes.
8. Add the stock, lentils, flageolet beans (juice and all) and marmite, and allow to bubble for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced. You might want to add extra stock if you didn’t add the wine.
9. Season to taste, then transfer to a baking dish (roughly 25cm x 30cm).
10. Spread the mash potato over the top, scuffing it up with the back of a fork.
11. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and chopped rosemary over the mash, then place in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, or until piping hot through.
12. Place under the grill for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.

Top tip: You can make fresh breadcrumbs using toast or very stale bread. Simply grate the dry bread using a cheese grater or put in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin. Just remember to let the bread fully cool if you’re using toast.

Did you have a go at this recipe? If yes, high five! Well done you! Why not share your attempt on Instagram and tag us @unikentfood?

And finally, don’t forget the Student Support and Wellbeing team are on hand to support you if you’re experiencing distress arising from psychological, emotional or mental health issues. Visit their website for more information and advice. Alternatively, follow @UniKentSSW on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for bitesize guidance and information to help you keep calm during lockdown.