Vegan Shepherd's Pie


TOTAL TIME: 90 mins      

MAKES: 4-5 servings

“The thought of a shepherd’s pie (cottage pie) is so comforting in the winter months. Originally made with some kind of minced meat or meat leftovers (lamb or mutton in case of a shepherd’s pie) and mashed potatoes, it’s a wholesome meal in itself. And so I just wanted to re-create a vegan/vegetarian recipe of this classic dish.


  • 2 cups of pinto beans (soaked overnight and drained)
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2-3 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen green peas
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 green Thai pepper (optional)
  • Juice of half a lime/lemon
  • 3-4 tbsp. of coconut milk cream (when you open up the can the thickest cream on the top)
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder (or flour )
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ tsp. of sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ cup of melted vegan butter
  • Few sprigs of pea shoots for garnish


  • Soak the dried beans overnight or for at least for 8 hours (this takes care of gassiness that beans are notoriously known for) and then cook them with thrice the amount of water and a tsp of salt, for about 45 mins or in a pressure cooker for about 4-5 whistles. Once the beans are cooked, strain and set aside.
  • While the beans are cooking, boil your potatoes alongside until they are soft enough for a fork to go through, about 30-40 mins. Then drain and set aside.
  • In a separate dish, heat some oil, and sauté the chopped onions, celery and green Thai pepper and half the chopped garlic.
  • Once the onions are soft and translucent, add the chopped tomatoes a pinch of salt and half the arrowroot powder and cook for another 2 mins. Adding the salt at this point helps draw the water out of the tomatoes and allows for them to become really soft and can be mashed for a thicker gravy consistency.
  • Now add in all the spices, paprika, cumin and coriander powder, turmeric and cook for a minute.
  • Now add the vegetable broth and let it dissolve the tomato and arrowroot (flour) mixture that may have coated the bottom of the dish. Let this come to a simmer and it will slowly start thickening.
  • Next add in the cooked and drained beans and mix to coat well with all the spices.
  • Now add in the green peas and let it all cook for about another 10-15 minutes on medium heat.
  • During this time, peel the cooked potatoes and mash them up.
  • Heat and melt some vegan butter and sauté the rest of the garlic and a pinch of paprika in the warm butter and add the mix along with the thyme and rest of the arrowroot powder to the potatoes and mix it all up.
  • Once the beans and peas are all cooked, add in the coconut cream, chopped cilantro, lime juice and sugar and stir to mix well. Cook for another minute or so and then take it off the stove.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree F. Empty the beans mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish or skillet if its oven safe. Spread the sweet potato mash over the beans and using a fork or spatula make a decorative pattern if desired. 
  • Bake for 15 mins, so that everything heats through evenly and then switch the oven to broiler mode, to achieve that nice browned surface, watch closely and remove once desired browning is reached.
  • Serve warm with a garnish of fresh pea shoots on top.


Pinto Beans are high in fiber and protein (though it is not a complete protein) while being low in fat. Hence it is excellent to include for those with heart issues as you continue to get your protein source without the fat. The fiber helps relieve constipation and reduces chances of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. In comparison with black beans it almost provides three times more Vitamin B6 which is essential for women, especially in relieving PMS symptoms.

Sweet Potato, HELLO! Sweet potato just has so many health benefits and is so great in taste that it a must to find ways to incorporate this nutrient dense power food into our diets. They are high in fiber, vitamin A vitamin B6, and other B vitamins. They contribute to healthy gums, connective tissue, and eye tissue, promote bone and tooth development. Sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates that initiate production of the brain-chemical serotonin that helps fight depression and helps promote healthy sleep patterns. They also contain magnesium which is the #1 de-stress mineral.