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Vegan Cottage Pie Feature

Vegan Cottage Pie (Gluten-Free)

The Pesky Vegan
Featuring protein-packed green lentils and portobello mushrooms done two ways, this vegan cottage pie ticks all the boxes when it comes to flavour, texture, and downright moreish-ness.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine British, Gluten-free, Vegan
Servings 6
Calories 419 kcal



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped into small chunks
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 portobello mushrooms, 6 chopped into larger chunks and 2 finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2x 400 g tins green lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Marmite (or other yeast extract if GF)
  • 2 tablespoons Henderson's Relish (or half the amount of red wine vinegar, see notes)
  • 400 ml vegan stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mashed potatoes

  • 1.2 kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into roughly 2-inch chunks
  • 100 ml unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 50 g plant-based butter (plus extra to dot across the mash)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover entirely with water. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for around 15 minutes or until you can cut through them easily with a knife.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and carrot and soften for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Next, stir in the chopped garlic and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the chopped mushrooms (both the larger chunks and finer pieces). Stir well and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning up the heat if necessary.
  • After 5-6 minutes, stir in the tomato puree, green lentils, Marmite, Henderson's Relish, vegan stock, bay leaves, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. Mix well, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and return to the pot. Add the plant-based butter, unsweetened plant-based milk, salt, and pepper, as well as the nutritional yeast and/or wholegrain mustard if including these. Mash the potatoes with a masher until they are smooth and fluffy, adding more of any ingredient you like.
  • After simmering the sauce uncovered for 10-15 minutes, it should mean that there's no need for any thickening agent. If it looks too thin, you can stir a spoonful of the mash through the sauce to thicken it. (You want the filling to be quite thick so that the mashed potatoes sit on top of it without sinking).
  • Adjust the seasoning if necessary, before transferring the filling to a large oven dish and spreading evenly. Carefully spoon the mashed potatoes on top, starting at the corners and edges and working your way in. Smooth out with a spoon or spatula and then make small marks all across the surface using a fork.
  • Add some small dots of plant-based butter on top of the mash and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes. To get it even crispier, you can switch to the grill for the last 5-10 minutes.
  • The cottage pie should be golden on top, with some of the sauce making its way to the surface. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and greens of your choice.


Mince: If you don't like mushrooms or lentils, you could try swapping these out for approx. 500 grams of plant-based mince (gluten-free if necessary). 
Mashed potatoes: If you want a run-down of tips and tricks for the perfect plant-based mash, check out my guide to the Ultimate Vegan Mashed Potatoes. For an interesting twist on this dish, try swapping out the potatoes for sweet potato mash. 
Thicker sauce: If the sauce isn’t thick enough for your liking, stir in some of the mashed potatoes until you get the consistency you want. 
Dried lentils: This recipe uses tinned green lentils, but you can easily swap these for dried. You'll want to pre-cook the lentils (approx. 250 grams dried) by simmering them in water for around 40 minutes or until tender, before draining and using in this recipe. To dive deeper into the world of pulses, check out my Beginner's Guide to Pulses.
Henderson's Relish: This famous Sheffield product can be found in eateries and households throughout the city, but I appreciate it may not be available where you are. Feel free to swap it out for vegan Worcestershire sauce or half the amount of red wine vinegar (just be aware that this is not always strictly vegan). 
Herbs: If you don't have dried mixed herbs, you could substitute a mix of thyme, oregano, rosemary, or sage. 
Cheese: I’m never too bothered about topping the pie with cheese, but by all means add a layer of grated vegan cheese to the mashed potatoes. 
Gluten-free: If you need to ensure that this recipe is 100% gluten-free, use a vegan stock, yeast extract, and plant-based milk that are certified or labelled as such. 
Less fat: If you really want to cut down on the fat, you can use less plant-based butter in the mash and replace the olive oil with a splash of water or vegetable stock. 
Storage: You can store this vegan cottage pie in the fridge for up to four days or freezer for up to six months. 
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* The nutrition info below is for one serving, based on a total of six servings.


Calories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 70gProtein: 18gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 518mgPotassium: 1917mgFiber: 16gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 3944IUVitamin C: 46mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 6mg
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cottage Pie (Gluten-Free)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 419 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 518mg23%
Potassium 1917mg55%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 16g67%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 3944IU79%
Vitamin C 46mg56%
Calcium 102mg10%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword lentils, vegan dinner, vegan shepherd's pie
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