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Guest Recipe: Laura's Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Guest Recipe: Laura's Vegan Shepherd's Pie

If you're expecting vegans round the table this Christmas, you'll find Laura's vegan-friendly version of a classic shepherd’s pie recipe – with a festive twist of warming chestnut, sage and mushroom – will keep everyone happy!

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 mins

Serves: 8

Category: Vegetarian,Healthy Eating,Dinner,Christmas


  • 6-8 chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 120g baby chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • ½ cup brown lentils
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ cup red wine (vegan friendly)
  • 1.3kg Maris Piper potatoes
  • 3 tbsp dairy free butter
  • Salt and pepper
For the Optional Gravy
  • 3-4 tbsp Bisto Original gravy granules
  • 500ml water
  • 2 tbsp red wine (vegan friendly)


  1. Score an ‘x’ in the bottom of each chestnut and boil them in a pan of water for 8 minutes
  2. Remove the chestnuts from the water 3 or 4 at a time and carefully peel them whilst still hot. Chop the nuts and leave them to one side.
  3. Peel and quarter the potatoes and add them to a large pan of water. Bring this to the boil and then leave them to simmer for 25-30 minutes until a knife slides through easily
  4. Meanwhile dice the onion, crush the garlic, finely chop the sage and chop the mushrooms and carrots into small pieces. Add the oil, onion and garlic to a large based pan over a medium heat and cook for 5 mins until lightly brown.
  5. Stir in the sage, lentils, mushrooms and red wine to give them a good coating and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce it to a simmer, add a pinch of salt and pepper then cover and leave for 25 minutes.
  7. By now your potatoes should be done. Drain them thoroughly, add the butter and mash until smooth (you can add extra butter at this stage if you’re feeling decadent!). Season with salt and pepper and then set aside for later.
  8. When your lentils are ready, add in the diced carrot and leave to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes. Your lentils should have soaked up most of the liquid but should still be moist and bubbling. If at any stage the lentils dry out, add some more water/stock. At this stage, preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  9. Stir through the chestnuts and transfer the mixture to a large oven proof baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Top with the mash and add a pinch more salt and pepper.
  10. Cook in the centre of the oven for 10-15 minutes until the top is beginning to brown.
  11. Remove and leave to sit for at least 10 minutes (this will help the mix to firm up and make it easier to serve).
  12. Although the filling is rich enough on its own, I like to serve it with an extra lashing of gravy! You can make one from scratch, but for ease I normally just add a dash of red wine to Bisto (made to packet instructions) and leave this on a low heat until the wine has cooked fully into the sauce.
  13. For an extra finishing touch, heat a knob of butter in a pan until bubbling and add in some sage leaves, use a spoon to continuously baste them with the butter until they go crispy. Add these to the top of your dish.

Laura is a blogger and podcaster from Cambridgeshire with a passion for plant based cooking. She shares her journey to becoming fully vegan on her food and lifestyle blog Loved By Laura. Visit her website for more great recipes and lifestyle tips!

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