Warm and comforting, this dairy-free shepherd’s pie will leave you feeling satisfied. This recipe is perfect for a cold winter day. The best part is it’s easy to make and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients. Whether you’re serving a large group or just want something comforting to eat yourself, this dairy-free shepherd’s pie is sure to hit the spot.
What Is Shepherd’s Pie?
Shepherd’s pie is a traditional British dish made with ground meat (often lamb), vegetables, and a mashed potato topping. It is sometimes referred to as “cottage pie” when made with beef instead of lamb.
The dish can be baked or cooked on the stove top and is often served with a side of peas or another green vegetable. In this recipe, the peas are baked into the pie.
Some variations of the dish include adding cheese to the mashed potato topping, using sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, or adding herbs and spices to the meat mixture. Shepherd’s pie is a comfort food favorite and makes for an easy one-dish meal.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Dairy-Free Shepherd’s Pie
- Ground beef and pork mix
- White or yellow onion
- Celery sticks
- Frozen green peas
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh thyme
- Worcestershire sauce
- Brandy or cognac (optional)
- Tomato paste
- Mixed pepper (or black pepper)
- Olive oil
How to Make Dairy-Free Shepherd’s Pie
- Finely chop the onion and carrots and set aside.
- Chop the celery sticks and set aside.
- To make the mashed potatoes, peel and cube the potatoes and boil them until they are soft.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until there are no potato chunks left.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Set the mashed potatoes aside.
- Mince the garlic cloves and saute them in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil until the garlic is fragrant.
- Cook the ground meat on medium heat until it is browned. While the meat is cooking, add the thyme. You can add the whole sprigs and remove them before baking, or you can add only the leaves and discard the stems.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and mix well. Remove the meat mixture from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add a bit more olive oil. Cook the carrots, onion, celery, and a pinch of salt on medium heat until the veggies are soft.
- Add the frozen peas to the pan and mix well. If you are using brandy, add it now.
- Add the cooked meat mixture back to the pan and mix well. Cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Pour the meat and veggies filling into the baking dish and cover with the mashed potatoes.
- Cook in the preheated oven (392 degrees F/200 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until brown.
- Serve with chopped parsley for garnish.
Tips for the Best Shepherd’s Pie
Here are a few tips to make your shepherd’s pie the best around:
- If you are not following a dairy-free diet, top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese before baking for a gooey, melted topping.
- If you are short on time, you can use store-bought mashed potatoes.
- Use ground lamb instead of beef for a more authentic taste.
- Let the pie cool before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve with a side of crusty bread or a green salad to round out the meal.
Shepherd’s Pie FAQs
What type of meat should I use in shepherd’s pie?
According to tradition, shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb or mutton. But you can use ground beef, chicken, or turkey as a substitute.
Can I add shredded cheese on top of the mashed potatoes?
Yes, you can add cheese to the top, but the recipe will no longer be dairy free. I recommend shredded sharp cheddar cheese for the most flavor.
How do I store leftovers?
Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap. You can store it in the fridge for up to 6 days.
Can I freeze this recipe?
I do not recommend freezing this dish because potatoes don’t freeze and reheat well.
Other Ground Beef Recipes
- Ground Beef Stroganoff
- French Onion Skillet Beef Casserole
- Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
- Beef and Noodles (Beef Lombardi)
Dairy-free shepherd’s pie is a tasty and comforting dish that is easy to adapt to suit your dietary needs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of meat or add in extra veggies for added nutrition. Give this recipe a try for your next family dinner or potluck event.
- 1 pound ground beef and pork mix
- 1 white or yellow onion
- 4 medium potatoes
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 carrots
- 1 ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup brandy or cognac (optional)
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon mixed peppers (or black pepper)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
Peel and chop finely the onion and carrots and set aside.
Chop the celery sticks and reserve.
Let’s make the mashed potatoes:
- Peel and
cube the potatoes and boil them until soft.
- With a potato
masher, mash them well until there are no remaining potato chunks
- Dress with 2 tablespoons olive
oil, salt, and freshly cracked pepper.
Mince the garlic cloves and sautee them in the pan with a drizzle of olive oil until fragrant.
Add the ground meat and cook on medium heat until brown. At this point add the thyme sprigs, if you want add them whole and remove them towards the end (before baking) or add only the leaves discarding the stems.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and the tomato paste and mix well. Once the meat is cooked, set aside.
In the same pan add a bit more olive oil and add carrots, onion, and celery and add a pinch of salt. Let cook on medium heat until soft.
Add the frozen peas to the pan and mix well. At this point add the brandy (if using)
Add the cooked meat back and mix well. Cook all the filling together for 5 minutes on medium heat.
In the baking dish add the meat and veggies filling and cover with the mashed potatoes.
Bring to the oven (preheated) and cook for 15 minutes or until brown on 392F /200 C
Serve with some chopped parsley for garnish.
This dairy-free Shepperd’s pie is equally delicious as the classic, but to make sure it’s not bland, make sure to dress well the mashed potatoes with enough olive oil, salt, and pepper. It can be made with ground chicken or turkey too.
This dish can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 days covered in plastic. I would not recommend freezing it since potatoes do not freeze well.