Shepherdless Pie

I created this recipe off the cuff one day when I was staying with my Auntie on a theatre job in Northampton. I made a big batch of it then when my Mum and Nan came to visit and everyone loved it! I’ve added a few things in as I’ve experimented with it since and I’m finally posting this for my Nan (Bunny) because she has asked me many times for the recipe! This is an easy and delicious, plant based version of Shepherd’s Pie (no sheep or shepherd’s involved) that can be flexible depending on what ingredients you have in the cupboard.

I added celeriac into the mash to bring out a hint of sweetness and celery-like freshness. We have a regular veg box delivery from the company ODDBOX, maybe you’ve heard of them? We think they are fantastic. They essentially save and deliver fruit and veg that would have been wasted if not collected, due to it not fitting with supermarket standards whatever that may be – usually shape or size. In our experience this is often because something is too big! I’ll have it! Many items are in the box due to just being surplus. You get a variety of different items in each week depending on whats been saved and that’s one of the things I love best about it – occasionally you get items you wouldn’t ordinarily pick out and sometimes things you’ve never even heard of! It means that you end up being more creative with what you cook, making sure to use everything up. So this brings me back to the celeriac! I figured it works great in a mash and adds a lovely flavour. Celeriac is high in fibre and helps to lower cholesterol, it is also a great choice if you’re looking to cut calories as they are less calorific than potatoes. Of course if you don’t have celeriac you can just use potatoes, or even sweet potatoes. Ooh I love sweet potatoes.

This is a great dish for a cold winter evening or when you just need some comfort food to warm you and your belly up. You can make a big batch and freeze the rest in portions to re-heat when you need a quick tasty dinner. It goes really well with a crispy green salad on the side, or a side of veggies such as green beans or broccoli. Nan, sorry it’s taken me so long to get the recipe up! Enjoy.

Shepherdless Pie

A plant based version of a Shepherd's pie with a potato and celeriac mash topping.

Course Dinner
Keyword celeriac, mash, pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrot
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 250 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes optional
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin pinto beans
  • 1 tin green lentils
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 5 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 5 tsp vegan Worcester sauce I use Chippa brand
  • 1 tsp sugar or agave nectar
  • 1 handful frozen peas
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 knob vegan butter/spread to taste
  • 1 splash Plant based milk
  • 100 ml vegan red wine optional
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Start by prepping all your veggies. Dice the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Roughly chop the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and set to one side.

  2. Peel the potatoes and celeriac, cut into chunks and place into a deep saucepan, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt and heat until boiling, then simmer for around 25 minutes or until soft all the way through.

  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and when it's hot add the onions, carrot and celery and cook until they begin to soften (about 8 minutes).

  4. Next add the garlic, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, thyme and a little salt and pepper and stir through. Add a splash of water if everything starts to stick. Cook the mixture for a few more minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften. If you have some, you can add a splash of red wine at this stage, it's not essential but will enhance the flavours.

  5. Once the mushrooms are soft, add the chilli flakes and tomato puree and stir through. Drain and rinse the green lentils and tinned beans and add them to the pan.

  6. Next add the tinned tomatoes, then refill half the tin with water and add that too, then stir through the beany mixture. Once incorporated add the marmite, balsamic vinegar, vegan Worcester sauce and sugar/agave nectar. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add in a big handful of frozen peas and cook for a further 5 minutes.

  7. Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan).

  8. When the potatoes and celeriac are tender, drain the water and add the vegan butter and milk to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and mash until soft and fluffy.

  9. Check the seasoning in the beany mixture and add a dash more salt and pepper to your taste if needed. Pour the mixture into an oven dish and scoop the mash on top creating a smooth top mash layer covering all the mixture.

  10. Pop in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the top starts to brown slightly. Then removed from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

  11. Serve up and enjoy! This will go beautifully with a crisp side salad or some steamed green beans.