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A Lighter Summertime Shepherd’s Pie with a Rainbow of Veggies

Shepherd’s pie is a classic English pub-style dish. A traditional version is a casserole with a layer of cooked meat and vegetables on the bottom, a layer of mashed potatoes, and then cheese on top. The pie is then baked until the mashed potatoes and cheese are toasted. It’s true comfort food.

Haven’t we all turned to comfort food before, only to feel worse afterward? That unpleasant stuffed feeling in your stomach, which typically comes after consuming significant amounts of high-fat animal products.

Good news: This plant-based shepherd's pie is much lighter with no added fats.

It's full of beautiful veggies of every color of the rainbow: red bell peppers, orange carrots, yellow corn, green zucchini, and purple from red onions. All these vibrant colors are an indication of health-promoting plant pigments. It’s important for every meal to be as colorful as possible so you can get as many of these important phytochemicals as possible.

No more boring, bland plates filled with twenty shades of tan! Instead of the unattractive standard Shepherd's Pie lacks good nutrition we can fill out plates with the Summertime Shepherd's Pie and reap all of the life-promoting benefits.

It's just as comforting – without the guilt!

Lighter Plant-based Shepherd’s Pie

By Chef Katie Mae

Makes twelve 3x3-inch pieces | Ready in 40 minutes



  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 14oz can cannellini beans with the liquid
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced



  • 10 medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened, non-dairy milk
  • 1–2 sandwich tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)



  1. In a large pot with the lid on, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil. While the water heats, chop potatoes. Add a steam basket to the pot and fill it with potatoes. Steam potatoes for about 20 minutes, until they split nicely using a fork. Turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Note, it is fully cooked before it goes in the oven so baking the pie is an optional step. Baking will increase and concentrate the flavor, as well as reduce the moisture so that when the pieces are served, they hold together better.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, add the carrots, onions, garlic, salt-free seasoning, dried herbs, and black pepper to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Keep the pan covered and stir frequently. If the veggies start to stick to the pan, then add a little water.
  4. Once the onions are translucent, stir in the beans with the liquid, corn, zucchini, and bell pepper. Turn off the heat. Pour the bean-veggie mix into a 9x13 inch casserole pan.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl. Add water, non-dairy milk, and black pepper. Mash potatoes until they are creamy. Layer mashed potatoes over the veggies and beans, and layer the tomato slices over the potatoes. Lastly, sprinkle on the nutritional yeast.
  6. Put the pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then move it to the top rack, set the oven to broil, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, careful not to go too long.

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