A header shot of a skillet full of impossible shepherd's pie.

Impossible Shepherd’s Pie (Vegetarian)

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I love a good shepherd’s pie. It’s such a comforting dish. Basically a hug you can eat. I’ve seen many versions of vegetarian shepherd’s pie out there. Lots of them use lentils in place of meat. But while I’m sure that’s delicious, I liked the idea of replicating the meaty taste and texture of beef a bit more. And with Impossible meat, that’s easy as pie!

What exactly is shepherd’s pie?

Shepherd’s pie in its simplest form is minced meat topped with mashed potatoes. Historically, it was a way to repurpose leftovers. Which makes complete sense. It’s basically a fancier version of the Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Though this dish originated in England, it’s become quite popular for St. Patrick’s Day (at least here in the US), so I thought this was the perfect time to unleash this recipe.

As I mentioned earlier, my version of the shepherd’s pie is vegetarian. And because I believe in celebrating vegetables, I’ve included a good amount of them here. In addition to Impossible meat, the base of this pie contains onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peas, and corn. I think they really boost the flavor profile (the onion caramelizes so nicely). Plus, they’re healthy, which is always lovely.

Does the brand of the “meat” really matter?!

In short, yes. I’m very particular when it comes to fake meat. I honestly really dislike a lot of brands. But as far as I’m concerned, Impossible is perfect. I have no idea what witchcraft went into making it, but it really, truly tastes like beef. The texture is also spot on. I’ve ordered Impossible burgers at restaurants and gotten nervous that I was eating actual meat. That’s how good it is.

If you can’t find Impossible meat or have another brand of plant based ground beef that you like, feel free to use it. But I can’t promise that the results will be quite as delicious. You can also feel free to make this with actual ground beef if you’d like. I figure if you’re here you’re probably interested in veggie options, but hey, you do you. Just know that if you do use real beef you may need to pour off some excess liquid after browning it.

Can I veganize this?

Sure! I included some dairy in the mashed potatoes, but you definitely don’t have to. Replace the milk and butter with your favorite dairy free versions. I also added some shredded white cheddar to the mashed potatoes. If you’d like, you can add your favorite shredded vegan cheddar. Or you can just omit the cheese entirely. It’s up to you.

A note on worcestershire sauce:

Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian, as it contains anchovies. If this doesn’t bother you, skip this section. But if it does, know that you can get vegan versions of it! *Note: The above link is an affiliate link. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting me in this small way!

Check out this video to see the whole cooking process:

Also, if you love the Milo by Kana Dutch Oven or the Milo by Kana 10 inch Enameled Cast Iron Skillet I used to make this as much as I do, click through to buy one of your own. You can use my affiliate code LEISUREFANCLUB15 for 15% off.

Impossible Shepherd’s Pie (Vegetarian)

Course dinner, entree, lunch
Keyword immpossible shepherd’s pie, impossible meat, Impossible Shepherd’s Pie (Vegetarian), st. patrick’s day, vegetarian shepherd’s pie
Servings 1


  • 1 lb Yukon gold potatoes Peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 clove Garlic Chopped
  • 1 Yellow onion Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Celery Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Carrots Chopped
  • 1/2 cup Peas
  • 1/2 cup Corn kernels
  • 12 oz Impossible meat (One package)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt (Divided)
  • 1/4 cup White cheddar Finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Paprika (Plus extra for toping)
  • 2 tbsp Butter (Unsalted)
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper (Freshly ground and divided)
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Italian parsley


  • Add your peeled and chopped potatoes to a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender (about 20 minutes), then remove from heat, pour into a colander and set aside for later.
  • Preheat oven to 400° fahrenheit.
  • While the potatoes cook, add 2 tbsp olive oil to a 10 inch oven safe skillet and cook over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant (this should take about 5-7 minutes), stirring every so often to prevent burning. Then add the chopped carrots and celery to the skillet and cook for another 5-7 minutes (stirring occasionally). Finally, add the corn and peas to the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the Impossible meat. Break up the meat with a spatula and cook (stirring occasionally) until no longer pink. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, vegetable stock, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and let simmer on low for about 5 minutes. When it's done, adjust seasoning to your liking and set to the side.
  • Now make the mashed potatoes. Mash or rice the cooked potatoes (using a potato ricer or masher). Then add the white cheddar, milk, garlic powder, paprika, butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Mix with a spatula to combine.
  • Top the "meat" and veggies in the skillet with mashed potatoes. Fluff them up or carve a little design into them with a fork if you'd like (though let's be honest, this is just not going to be a beautiful dish). Then sprinkle extra paprika on top and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the top is a nice golden brown color. Let the dish cool for about 10 minutes, sprinkle parsley on top and enjoy!

And that’s it! If you make this, I hope you love it. Of course, if you do, let me know your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram. Seeing your creations and hearing from you always makes my day.

Looking for more St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Try my vegan colcannon with confit garlic! My guacamole, though in no way Irish, is also both green and delicious.

2 thoughts on “Impossible Shepherd’s Pie (Vegetarian)”

  1. 5 stars
    My husband and I LOVED this recipe – super yum! We belatedly realized it was Pi Day and were getting a huge snowstorm in the area, so were delighted that we could make a Pi-themed dinner with what we had on hand.

    Did a few substitutions – used an unsweetened coconut/almond-based creamer instead of milk and homemade chicken bone broth (not vegetarian but works for us). Used fresh greenbeans instead of celery. Used a plant-based butter. This recipe is one of those really easy to substitute ingredients/clean out the fridge-type recipes, which are appreciated in our house.

    And I agree with you, the impossible burger meat worked really well with this recipe. Some meat substitutes just don’t have the right texture (though I was wondering if it might work with Quorn granules?)

    1. Hey Lisa! I’m so glad you and your husband liked this recipe so much. It’s awesome to hear that you were able to make it work for you with those substitutions. That’s one of the things I like so much about this recipe – it’s super easy to switch up. I’ve actually never tried Quorn before, so I’m not sure, but I’d love to hear how it turns out if you do try it!

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