Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie – A lighter alternative to a classic dish

Spread the love

Students are preparing themselves to return home for Thanksgiving break, which they know will be accompanied with endless questions about their relationship status and plans after graduation. It’s the thought of a hearty, home cooked meal after months and months of Ramen that draws people home. However, not everyone looks forward to traditional turkey and mashed potatoes.

The idea of the holidays is normally associated with family time and copious amounts of food. For people trying to eat healthier or even just avoid the annual holiday weight gain, the overload of food can be a struggle. If you fall into this category, then you may find that this Veggie Shepherd’s Pie is the recipe for you! With all the comfort and flavor of traditional Shepherd’s Pie, this recipe won’t leave you feeling like you’ve just gained 15 pounds. This is also a great recipe for vegetarians who want to avoid the usual Tofurky. It can easily be altered for vegan and gluten-free diets as well.

With the delicious smell of cooked veggies and bright orange sweet potatoes on top, this dish is begging to be included in your Thanksgiving spread. Don’t worry about your family’s carnivores; they won’t even miss the meat!



  • • ½ cup shredded Romano cheese (or vegan cheese substitute)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups chopped carrots
  • 1 ½ cups chopped onions
  • 1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 ½ cups sliced celery
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen corn
  • 1 package (12 oz.) Morningstar Farms crumbles (or substitute tofu or beans of choice)
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes


  1. Peel sweet potatoes and boil until soft. Mix in cheese and mash together, then set aside
  2. In large saucepan, combine broth, carrots, onions, mushrooms, celery, corn, pepper, bay leaves and cloves. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender
  3. Add Morningstar Farms crumbles (or substitute) and mix well
  4. Remove ½ cup of the broth, mix with flour and slowly add back to the vegetable/crumble mixture. Simmer until thickened
  5. Remove the bay leaves
  6. Transfer the vegetable/crumble mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray
  7. Top with sweet potato mixture
  8. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown

Yields 8 Servings

To save leftovers, package in an airtight container and freeze! Enjoy!


Em McCullough is a junior studying professional writing and environmental studies and sustainability. She’s a member of the MSU Women’s Water Polo team and works at the MSU Writing Center and the Journal for the Study of Radicalism. On a normal day, you can find her with a book in hand, cat on her lap, drinking a cup of tea. You can follow her cat on Instagram @bennetthecat.