Casserole/ Thanksgiving/ Vegetarian

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

On the Menu Tonight – Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie!

For Thanksgiving dinner, I always make the standard turkey, ham, and some side dishes, but Audrey doesn’t eat meat. I wanted to make her a special dish as well, so we agreed on Shepherd’s Pie, a vegetarian version.

This dish is so hearty and delicious! It’s packed with two different kinds of mushrooms, parsnips, onions, butternut squash… SO many things and then topped with the most delicious mashed potatoes.

Often times when I’ve had shepherd’s pie, the mashed potatoes taste like they were an afterthought… “oh yeah! We need to put some mashed potatoes on top….” Not in this dish. I took the time to make classic mashed potatoes you would be proud to serve on their own.

The shepherd’s pie was so good, we decided to try it for breakfast. I heated a plate in the microwave and while that was going, I fried a couple of eggs. WOW! OMG, it was SO good! This picture almost didn’t happen, that’s how good it was.

Shepherds Pie with egg

While I made this for Thanksgiving, it would be great anytime of the year. Don’t let the vegetarian bit in the title turn you off. There is plenty of flavor in this dish and you won’t be left wanting to go back for anything other than seconds! I hope you will try my vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 12
Prep Time: 35 minutes Cooking Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie


  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, torn into large pieces
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 parsnips, diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 cup vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Mashed Potatoes:
  • 2-2.5 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 4-6 Tbsp of butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of milk, warmed
  • 3-6 Tbsp of cream cheese
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 chives, finely chopped (greens only please, save the white part for another dish)



Start with the mashed potatoes


Prepare a large pot of water on the stove, but don't turn it on yet


Peel the potatoes and cut them to relatively equal size - I go for quarters. Don't cut them too small, but you want them to cook evenly


As you cut the potatoes, add them to the pot so they don't oxidize


Once you have them all in the pot, THEN turn it on high and bring to a boil


As the water is boiling, add a couple of tablespoons of salt, like you would when cooking pasta


After about 8-10 minutes, test if you can easily pierce the potato with a knife or fork (depending on your application, you may WANT them to be al dente. If you are putting the mashed potatoes on a shepherds pie as an example


Once cooked to your liking, drain in a colander


Add the butter to the pot along with the milk, then add the potatoes back to the pot and begin mashing. If you are going to use a ricer, have a large bowl ready and start ricing.


Add the cream cheese and mix that in along with your first bit of salt and pepper


Taste and adjust seasoning


Cover and set aside so you can start on the filling


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees


In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoon oil


Add mushrooms and cook until deeply brown, remove from skillet


Lower heat to medium and add remaining oil


Add onion, celery, parsnips, and butternut squash, cook until starting to become browned, about 12 minutes


Stir in tomato paste and garlic, stirring often, about 2 minutes


Stir in miso paste, immediately deglaze with wine, and cook 1 minute more


Add the mushrooms back in and stir in the lentils


Sprinkle in the flour and stir until well incorporated


Add the vegetable stock


Season with salt and pepper


Bring to a simmer and cook until the lentils are al dente, about 15 minutes




Add the veggie mixture to a 13x9 baking dish


Carefully spread the mashed potatoes on top


Bake for about 35 minutes. You want the mashed potatoes to have some golden brown points on top


If the potatoes aren't browned after 35-40 minutes, feel free to use the broiler to get the look you want


After baking, cover and let it rest at least 15-20 minutes


You could easily take this dish vegan by using vegan butter and omitting the cream cheese and milk

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