Festive & Soul-Nurturing Shepherds Pie (with sweet mapled parsnips)

I can’t wait to tell you about this recipe – because I wanted to create something festive that embraced the taste of Xmas in some way – whilst also doubling up for all the roasted veges and some of the trimmings that go with it – again, all served from one dish.  The exception being some fresh veges of your choice – I recommend my “Lemon Zesty Cauliflower with Garlic Basil” recipe (see separate post), which is very fast and easy to prepare. This dish has just the right flavour to warm and embrace the Xmas spirit.

Serves 3-4


  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups of vegan mince (Linda McCartney or the equivalent available in your country)
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 4 mushrooms finely chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen petit pois (frozen peas)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 cup of vegetable (or mushroom) stock
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 zucchini (courgette) finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cornstarch, mixed with ¼ cup of water


  • extra olive oil for drizzling
  • 190g sliced vegan cheese of your choice, suitable for melting (I used Redwoods Pepper Jack)
  • enough mashed potatoes to serve 4 people for the topping (use vegan ingredients) – approx 2lbs/900gms raw potato, or 180g of dehydrated instant potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup hot soya milk
  • 2 tbps vegan butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 medium-sized parsnips, sliced lengthways (steam them till softish)
  • maple syrup for drizzling onto parsnips
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg for dusting


In a non-stick pan, fry the onions until transparent, then add the courgettes and mushrooms and fry for a few minutes.  Now add the garlic, continue to mix for a further couple of minutes, making sure that all the ingredients cook well.

Now add your vegan mince  (hydrate the soya first, if that’s what you are using), mix and add the tomato puree and a little more olive oil.  Allow to cook for a few more minutes.

Now add the stock, peas and the remaining filling ingredients except for the cornstarch and water.

Simmer for half an hour on a low heat.  Then finally add the cornstarch and stir.  You should be left with a nice thickish sauce.  If it is too runny, allow to simmer a while longer until some of the liquids evaporate.  Then pour it into a pyrex or glass oven dish that serves 4 (spread evenly).


Whilst the sauce is cooking, you can make your mashed potatoes (I have been known to use the packet Mash, but fresh is always better).  If you are using fresh potatoes,first boil them in water until they are very soft.  Drain, and add 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, a teaspoon of salt, and, whilst mashing, slowly add in a little hot soya milk at a time.   Keep on mashing until smooth, making sure that no lumps are left.  If you are using instant mashed potato, then follow the directions on the packet.

Now add the vegan cheese on top of the sauce before you add the mash.  Next add the mashed potatoes on top, and then even it out with a plastic spatula until it looks smooth.

Finally, add the parsnips to the edges of the dish.  Sprinkle/dust some ground nutmeg on top, and then drizzle some olive oil first onto the parsnips at the edges, and follow that by drizzling some maple syrup.

Place in a hot oven for around an hour until crispy and delightful in colour on the top.  Serve hot with veges of your choice (or even a salad if you prefer). Do enjoy, indulge and celebrate your taste buds !

All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell www.mouthwateringvegan.com 2010

These are free recipes for your pleasure – all we ask in return is that you take a few moments to leave us a constructive comment !



  1. I tried this recently and it was absolutely delicious – many thanks for sharing the recipe. The maple syrup parsnips around the edge is a great finishing touch.

  2. Hi Andy, glad you enjoyed it.

  3. Melissa Vegan-Keller

    My dear Miriam: I am wondering if you can tell me what vegan mince is??

  4. I also would love to know what the Vegan mince is.. I am in the US and hope that it’s not Seitan as I don’t really like it.. Thanks.

  5. I agree – what is mince and can I leave it out if necessary, or is it vital to the dish?

  6. Hi there Anchalee, here we use Redwoods vegan mince or another brand with vegetable textured protein. I don’t know what brands you have in the States, but you can always use vegan ‘burgers’ which you process in your food processor (use the quantity that I suggest) just don’t over process. We don’t get Seitan here, so I have not used it in any of my recipes. Hope this helps. P.S. Also google and see what is available and sold in your area.

  7. Christie, Hi there, I am afraid it is totally vital to the dish. ‘Normal’ mince is what omnivores eat, minced-meat which is also used in burgers. VEGAN MINCE however is either a vegetable or soya based texture designed to resemble the texture of meat in order to be used in the same way, but without the need for any animal produce. So, I suggest that you use either soya mince which is sold in most health food stores. Otherwise, you can use some cooked brown lentils and crushed pecan nuts to make up the quantity that I ask for in this recipe. The choice is yours. Hope this helps !

  8. This looks delicious. I think I’ll try making this for our US Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  9. Miriam.. what do you recommend as a substitute meat in this dish apart from soy?

  10. Miriam, you mentioned redwoods… we dont have that in Australia.. we have Hydrolysed vegetable protein in most of the Sanitarium and other veg products. Is that okay health wise… i may be mistaken but i thought i read that they affect the nervous system.

  11. Kate Hi there, thanks for your comment. You know this will be awesome for Thanksgiving – serve with steamed veggies of your own choice. Let me know how it goes as and when. Thanks and cheers to you !.

  12. Hi there Angela, you could use 1 cup of chopped pecan nuts that you first roast (don’t burn them) and one cup of cooked quinoa (boil according to the instructions on the packet) – this should be a good vegan substitute. Let me know how it goes as and when – I have made this with pecans before and we love it ! Best to you.

  13. what does hydrating the mince mean Miriam ?

  14. Hi there Helen – ok, to answer your question, you must take the amount of soya mince that I suggested and pour over a little hot water, mix with a fork until it is fluffy and hydrated (what you don’t want is any separate water), add a little more if it’s not quite there yet – then your vegan mince is ready to use in just about any sauce you desire. Hope this helps. Cheers and let me know how it goes !.

  15. Angela Hi there – right you are my dear. Now regarding the mince for this recipe you will probably need soya mince – we use it once a fortnight on average, you will of course come across a black and white situation with soya, people love it or fear it with a vengeance – myself from all my research, I believe that it’s fine, but like everything, I use it in moderation – the Japanese seem to be doing well eating it for so many years. Here is a link about soya, http://zenhabits.net/soy/ – if you are in any doubt use crushed up pecan nuts (I sometimes use a mixture of both because I love the texture of them together) – be sure to toast them a little first (you will need just over a cup of them if so). Hope this helps. Best to you !.

  16. yayy!!!!-finally i made this last night and i just want to say it was as delicious as it looks in the picture-thank you so much Miriam-thank you for this and the generosity thats behind all your recipes <3

  17. Hi there Helen, great to hear from you, thanks for your compliments – so glad this recipe was much enjoyed and hope you try many more and look forward to your future comments on my blog. Best to you !.

  18. One of my favorite ever meals!♥♥

  19. WOW!! Miriam, you’re amazing & lt <3

  20. Hi there FLI – What a wonderful thing to say ! Cheers to you !. (can I refer to a name here also ?).

  21. Alma Hi – I do hope you manage to make this recipe as I would appreciate your comment/s as and when. Cheers & best to you !.

  22. Ruth Brunotte-Tsavousis

    Loved it, easy to make, cannot wait for your cookbook!! thks

  23. Dear Ruth, many thanks to you for your wonderful concise comment. Best to you !

  24. hi Miriam, what temperature should the oven be at? I am making this dish for Thanksgiving.

  25. what are the measurements of the pyrex or glass dish that you used?

  26. Hi Deborah, the measurements were 7 inches wide and 11 inches long and 2 and a half inches deep. These are not strict measures, not everybody’s dishes will be the same, so hope this gives a rough estimate – you could use a 5 by 10 that’s a little deeper – or an 8 by 12 that’s less deep. Best to you.

  27. 200 degrees celsius – just below your highest setting for an hour or so, but please what matters mostly here is that it is golden on top with a little crunch. Enjoy & Happy Thanksgiving in advance.

  28. Hi Miriam this recipe looks great. I have made a traditional shepherd’s pie using vegan mince (Sanitarium brand in Australia, looks like cooked beef mince) and it turned out scrumptious the whole family loved it. This recipe has added flavours which I cannot wait to try YUMMMM !! thanks 🙂

  29. LOVED IT!!!

  30. This recipe looks absolutively phenomenal!

  31. Hi there Alma, thanks for your wonderful words and hope you manage to try it soon. Cheers !

  32. Hi there Deborah, thanks for your brief but beautiful comment – am thrilled you loved it ! Do visit again and comment as and when. Cheers to you !

  33. Hi there Enisa, thanks for your comment and hope you do try mine with that wonderful sounding mince you managed to buy – I think you will like it ! Let me know as and when. Cheers to you !

  34. love the recipe thank x

  35. Hi there Gillian and welcome to my blog – am so glad you love this recipe. Drop by and comment on my other recipes to as and when. Best to you !

  36. Just made this.. Ohh it’s gorgeous, deinately putting this in my receipt book!x

  37. Hi there Beccatina and welcome here. I am delighted that you have made and enjoyed my Shepherd’s Pie. What is a receipt book (pardon me for asking), am I right in saying a book where you collect your favourite recipes ? I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog and hope you enjoy many more recipes from here. Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  38. Made this today with one or two changes and it was fabulous! Used carrots instead of mushrooms, left out the cheese and used marmite in rehydrating the mince. Lovely.

  39. Thea Hi there and welcome here. I am glad that you made my shepherds pie and enjoyed it. Carrots go very well with it and the cheese is fine to omit too – if one is using soya mince, it is ideal to hydrate using hot water and marmite – so what you did sounds perfect. I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! Best to you !

  40. Michael (from Facebook)

    Shared on Facebook! 🙂

    Mmmm, shepherd’s pie! 🙂

  41. Thanks for sharing on FB dear Michael ! 🙂

  42. ooooh i just made this – wow! amazing! i would have got most of it together myself – but the finishing touch of the maple parsnips MADE it! culinary genius as always, thanks again!

  43. I made this last night! Was fantastic – the whole family loved it (even the meat eaters) 🙂 Lovely flavours, very filling and satisfying. Thank-you Miriam

  44. Hi there Lauren and thanks for dropping by here with your comment. I am glad that you and your non-vegan guests enjoyed my Shepherd’s Pie – that’s awesome news and kudos to you for making and sharing my recipe. I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog ! 🙂

  45. Eibhlin Hi there and thanks for your comment. The mapled parsnips really are something else I have to agree with you there ! I look forward to your future comments on my blog and best wishes your way in the meantime !

  46. Hi Miriam, Just made this and it is so yummy. I put a mixture of sweet potato and normal potato mash on the top and it worked really well. One to definitely do again and again. 😀

  47. Sharron Hi there and thanks for dropping by here with your comment. I urge you now to try out my sweet potato lasagna, which will be posted up soon. It is even more delicious than this – did I say that ? 🙂

  48. LOL – oh I have been patiently waiting for you to post that recipe since you posted the pic on FB. Definitely be making it. 😀

  49. Hi Sharron, you are in the UK, so be sure to get your hands on all the ingredients I have mentioned, such as the Linda McCartney mince, because it’s the best mince for this recipe. Enjoy & come back with your feedback. 🙂

  50. The last time I tried a shepherds pie was when I was a kid(so quite some time ago) and I didn’t really enjoy it. However I LOVED this recipe. It has completely changed my mind on these types of pies and the vegan one is far more delicious than the meat one I tried years ago.
    A recipe I will be using again and again and telling everyone about mouthwatering vegan recipes! 😀 I had been vegan for quite some time before finding this blog and I can say since I have found it my food has been so much yummier.

  51. Why Thank you so much Kelly-Michelle. Welcome to my blog and am so glad you made and enjoyed this. By all means try as many of my recipes and come back with your feedback. Best your way in the meantime. 🙂

  52. Calories on recipes would be helpful too

  53. Sorry Julie we don’t include this service.


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