Vegan Shepard’s Pie with Protein Mashed Cauliflower


vegan shepard's pie

What is it about fall that screams comfort food? Longer nights, frequent family holiday gatherings, or colder temperatures? (Probably a mix of all three.) Shepard’s Pie is quintessential comfort food, usually filled with ground beef or lamb, a heavy gravy sauce, and topped with butter-filled potatoes.

I came up with a gluten-free, vegan recipe makeover for this classic dish, replacing the meat with a hearty dose of veggies. The gravy is light, containing just veggie broth, oat flour, and spices. I swapped the white potato topping with mashed cauliflower and added kidney beans for a extra punch of protein. I was surprised and excited by how well this recipe dupe turned out. It would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table!

And now for the delicious recipe… 

Vegan Shepard’s Pie with Protein Mashed Cauliflower
Author: Lauren Vacula,
Serves: 6 servings
A gluten-free, healthy Vegan Shepard’s Pie topped with Protein Mashed Cauliflower
  • Vegetable Mix:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Veggie Mix (feel free to substitute veggies with whatever you have- including rutabaga, lima beans, sweet potatoes, etc- just be sure to adjust cooking time so veggies are soft before baking):
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1¼ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup oat flour
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Protein Mashed Cauliflower
  • 1 head cauliflower florets, chopped
  • 1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp vegan margarine (ex: Earth Balance, optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
  2. Heat 1″ of water in a large pot over high heat. Place steamer basket in pot.*
  3. Once water is boiling, add cauliflower florets to steamer basket. Cover with a lid. Steam for 5-10 minutes until cauliflower can easily be pierced with a fork.
  4. While cauliflower is boiling, heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions, saute for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add garlic cloves to onions, saute another 2 minutes.
  6. Add green beans, peas, corn, parsnips, and carrot to onion mixture. Saute for another 5-10 minutes until parsnips and carrots are soft. Decrease heat to low.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk vegetable broth and oat flour together.
  8. Add broth mixture to veggie mix. Stir to combine. Next add thyme, garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried basil to mix. Saute veggie mixture for another 5-7 minutes over low heat until broth mix thickens and veggies are soft.
  9. Season veggie mix with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. While veggie mix is cooking, add (drained) steamed cauliflower, drained navy beans, vegan margarine, and fresh thyme to a food processor.
  11. Pulse cauliflower mixture in food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Pour sauteed veggies in prepared baking dish. Smooth mashed cauliflower over top of veggies.
  13. Bake for 40-45 minutes in preheated oven, until mixture is bubbly and mashed cauliflower topping begins to lightly brown. Let dish cool for 10 minutes prior to serving.*
*If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can add cauliflower directly into 1″ boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam/boil for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to drain the cauliflower well.[br]*You could make this dish a day ahead, store in refrigerator, and bake when ready to serve.

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  1. Cauliflower mash on the top? GENIUS. I’m not even vegan but I’m totally stealing this tip for the next time I make the meat version. Thanks!

    Naomi x

  2. Rachel says:

    The cauliflower looks like a delicious way to get rid of the carby potatoes! Will definitely have to try and make this! Have you ever used cauliflower to make pizza bases?
    You’ve got a gorgeous blog!
    Rachel x

    Pillarbox Post

  3. Thanks Naomi! Yes love the cauliflower mash- add some beans and it’s a great protein hit! Hope you like it.

  4. Interested lady says:

    Looks and sounds good. I know someone who really likes shepherds pie.

  5. Interested lady says:

    The cherry cocoa oatmeal sounds wonderful. I’d like to try it. Such delicious ideas.

  6. […] Vegan Shepard’s Pie with Protein Mashed Cauliflower […]

  7. Thank you Naomi! Hope you like it.

  8. Hope you like it Rachel! I have also wanted to do a cauliflower pizza crust but still have yet to try it. Have you had success with it?

    Thank you for your kinds words!!! xo, lauren

  9. […] Vegetable Casserole: Vegan Sheppard’s Pie with Protein Mashed Cauliflower via A Lovely Side Project […]

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