This filling, vegan and gluten-free shepherds pie is made with delicious veggie-packed soy mince and topped with a cloud of fluffy mashed potatoes and melted smoked vegan cheese.
My gluten-free shepherd’s pie is comforting, wholesome, less fattening than the meat version, and perfect for a hearty vegan dinner.
If you haven’t got time to read this gluten-free shepherd’s pie recipe, then PIN it for later
What’s the difference between shepherd’s pie and cottage pie?
There is something very wintry, autumnal and very comforting about Shepherd’s Pie.
The Irish and British both claim the origination of this hearty meal. It’s thought to have developed in the mid 19th century from cottage pie which is a similar dish but made with a different type of meat.
Traditionally, you make Shepherd’s pie with minced lamb and cottage pie with minced beef. The following is my plant-based take on the concept.
How have I made this shepherd’s pie vegan and gluten-free?
I’ve more or less kept to traditional methods and seasoning. However, I have swapped the meat for soy mince which packs in equivalent amounts of protein. Plus, it cooks up nicely while your potatoes boil, making the whole process relatively seamless.
If you suffer a dietary intolerance to soy, then a mixture of mushrooms and lentils will work too. Just add a bit more water for the lentils to soak up and cook well.
In place of dairy, I have used dairy-free milk (oat) and vegan butter for the mashed potato.
Some vegetable stock cubes contain wheat, so I have used a gluten-free vegetable stock cube, and a gluten-free soy sauce (a.k.a tamari sauce) for extra flavour.
What is soy, and is it healthy?
Soy (i.e. soybean) is a standard high-protein meat replacement in vegan cooking and vegan meats. For this recipe, I’ve used soy mince which absorbs flavour well, and it can be used in place of ground beef in just about any recipe
Tofu, tempeh and edamame all originate from soybeans too.
Soybeans are a whole source of protein a.k.a ‘complete protein’, meaning it provides your body with all the essential amino acids it needs. Therefore, making all forms of soy protein a very healthy plant-based alternative to eating meat.
Plus, eating plant-based allows you to make a positive impact on the environment, and skip out the saturated fat content found in meat which benefits your health. You can read more about the benefits of going meat-free here.
Edamame beans are young soybeans which need to be steamed/boiled before consumption. I first tried them when I travelled, and ruddy loved them. They’re high in protein and rich in folate, vitamin K and fibre.
Soy is often criticised as many rainforests around the world have been destroyed to make room for more soy crops. However, it’s important to note that over 70% of the world’s soy is fed directly to livestock in the form of protein-enriched feed. Only 6% is used for human consumption, which provides more motive for living life without meat.
As the soy industry grows, a lot of soy is genetically modified and treated with pesticides. Therefore, look out for organic and GMO-free brands, or even make your own to decrease your environmental impact.
Just 1 hour from start to finish, this vegan and gluten-free shepherds pie is simple and has comfort written all over it. I feel it’ll be a popular choice for an easy weeknight meal in colder months ahead.
My partner and I love the flavour, consistency and simple nature of this dish.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments once you’ve tried it. I’m sure you will adore the taste and be delighted by how yummy a Life Without Meat can be.
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The 'mince' filling:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 200g soy mince
- 1 x gluten-free vegetable stock cube
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Generous grinding of black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of mixed herbs
- 1/4 tsp of bay leaf powder or 1-2 leaves
- 1 tsp tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce)
- Half a tin of chopped tomatoes
- 100g petit pois peas
- 2 medium carrots, grated
The fluffy mash:
- 900g Maris piper potatoes
- 2-3 tbsp dairy-free butter
- 3 tbsp oat milk
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Black pepper
- Applewood's Smoked Vegan Cheese
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Wash and peel your potatoes. Cut them up - quarter the large ones, and half the smaller ones. Put them in a large pot and cover with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring them to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile, make your mince filling. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add your onion and garlic. Crumble over your stock with a dash of water and fry off for a few minutes. Then add your soy mince, and fry off a further few minutes.
- Next add in a pinch of salt, a good grinding of black pepper, mixed herbs, chopped tomatoes, soy sauce, bay leaf powder. Combine well and let it simmer for 5 mins on a lower heat. Use this 5 mins to weigh out your peas and grate your carrot.
- Add your peas and carrot to the pan. Then allow your mince filling to simmer on a low heat for approx 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Use the simmer time to prepare your mashed potato. Drain your potatoes once they're cooked, and 'chuff' them in the sieve. Place them back in their pot along with the dairy-free butter, dairy-free milk, mustard, salt and a grinding of black pepper. Mash them up well - use some elbow grease. Once mashed, use a wooden spoon to mix it up more - this will incorporate some air which will encourage a light fluffy mash.
- Split your mince between to mini-oven dishes if serving for 2, or put the whole lot in one oven dish if serving with other sides. Dollop over your mashed potato and spread it around with a fork - it doesn't have to be perfect. Then sprinkle over some smoked vegan cheese.
- Place it in the oven for 20 minutes which will give a crispy top to the mash and melt all the vegan cheese. Mmmmmmhm!