Vegan Mushroom and Buckwheat Shepherd’s Pie

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Hearty veg, nourishing buckwheat, and creamy mashed potato make my vegan mushroom and buckwheat shepherd’s pie a deliciously comforting dish, whatever the weather!

Why is it that whenever I think of autumn and winter comfort food, I think of my Gran? And in particular, her amazing casseroles and shepherd’s pies? If we’d known about hygge back then, that’s exactly how I would have described them.

My mushroom and buckwheat shepherd’s pie is totally hygge!


How many shepherds are we talking about? Do they all have pies? Or does only one have a pie, which he shares with his fellow sheepy watchers? Answers in the comments section, if you would. Ta muchly.


I grew up absolutely loving casseroles and stews, pies and puddings, and my Gran’s were THE best! Her shepherd’s pies though… they were rich, creamy, full of veggies, and so delicious.

They set the benchmark for all my future shepherd’s pies.

Traditional shepherd’s pie

Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with minced lamb or mutton (hence it being called a shepherd’s pie, and not, say, a cowboy pie), vegetables, lots of gravy, and topped with mashed potato.

By the way, if it’s made with minced beef, it’s a cottage pie (still not a cowboy pie). And if the mashed potato has breadcrumbs sprinkled over the top, it’s a Cumberland pie.

Now you know.

I suspect, although I have no proof, that shepherd’s pie may be to British households what meatloaf is to their American counterparts – that is to say that it’s a frugal dish which goes far, and is very filling.

When I was a child, we often had shepherd’s pie on Monday evenings because my Gran would make it with leftovers from Sunday dinner. And yes, she minced her own meat – not with a food processor, either. She used one of those metal meat grinders that you clamp to the table top.

I suspect that lots of people of my generation have similar memories.

Vegan shepherd’s pie

Since giving up meat several decades ago, I’ve made a gazillion vegetarian shepherd’s pies (or shepherdess/shepherdless pies, as they are sometimes called) – some have been great, some not so much.

I’ve made shepherd’s pie with lentils, pearl barley, a ton of veggies, just mushrooms and onions, and once, with walnuts. That one wasn’t so good.

This one, with buckwheat (AKA kasha… which simply means ‘mash’) is my favourite, and does not rely on veggie or soya mince, or seitan crumbles to give it substance. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those – I’m more than happy to have something plant-based which resembles meat – however, this is something I can make pretty much anywhere in central/eastern Europe, without having to make seitan, or having to trawl the health food stores in search of a mince replacer. And paying a small fortune for it.

(It may be mainstream in Britain and the US but veggie/soy mince is still ‘new’ enough here to carry a premium price tag.)

Besides, buckwheat is low in fat, and high in protein and fibre (around 20% of our daily needs for both), plus it’s rich in complex carbohydrates and B vitamins.

Also, it’s a staple food here, so is really easy to come by, and it’s incredibly cheap. In fact, this entire dish is pretty frugal. And it’s really filling too.

This vegan shepherd’s pie doesn’t have much in the way of gravy – just the natural juices from cooking the veggies – but that doesn’t mean it’s in any way dry. Quite the contrary. Were I to add gravy to this, the buckwheat would just be a horrible mush, and it really wouldn’t be very nice at all.

vegan mushroom and buckwheat shepherd’s pie


  • filling
  • comforting
  • hearty
  • herby
  • full of goodness
  • gluten-free
  • soy-free (depending on which vegan butter/marg you use)
  • really easy to make
  • frugal
  • great for weeknight meals
  • totally hygge!

As ever, I hope you love this as much as we do. Enjoy!

Do you like shepherd’s pie? Tell me your shepherd’s pie stories in the comments below!

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