How to Make Shepherd’s Pie with Plant-Based ‘Beef’

Vegan shepard's pie
Photo by Sarah Anne Ward / Prop Styling by Paola Andrea / Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Technically, a shepherd’s pie made with beef instead of lamb is a “cottage pie,” and we’re not sure what a vegan version would be called. Regardless, it’s absolutely delicious when made with one of the plant-based beef substitutes like the Beyond or Impossible brands. Top with your favorite mashed potato recipe, or substitute part or all of the potatoes with mashed cauliflower.

How to Make Beyond the Impossible Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground plant-based beef substitute (such as Beyond or Impossible brands), thawed if frozen
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup dry red wine
1½ cups of broth
1 tablespoon flour
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups mashed potatoes or cauliflower

Directions

Heat oil in a medium stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef substitute and cook, breaking with a wood spoon as you cook, until crumbly and starting to brown. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery and cook until vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then add red wine, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan and stir until liquid almost evaporates.

Whisk broth with flour, thyme and cinnamon (this will help prevent flour from clumping) and stir into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt, if necessary. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Heat oven to 425°F.

Transfer mixture to an 8-inch baking dish or ovenproof skillet. Top with potatoes or cauliflower. Bake until heated through and topping starts to brown, 25 to 35 minutes. Place briefly under broiler to brown topping further, if desired. Serves 4.

Wine Pairing

J. Lohr 2020 Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir (Monterey County). Plant-based beef substitutes have less than half the saturated fat than beef. This is the fat that is solid at room temperature and gives meat its rich mouthfeel. The ideal wine pairing, then, is less about tannins to cut through the fat and more about introducing a soft and juicy element. Pinot Noir has the structure to pair with “beefy” dishes without overwhelming these less-hefty beef substitutes. This J. Lohr bottling is a terrific value, offering exuberant red-berry flavors, spice and a savory umami quality that both complements and adds depth to the pie’s filling.

Published on May 5, 2022