Vegan Cottage Pie Recipe

In my quest to make more interesting and (anything but brown) colourful vegan meals, whilst keeping the protein content high, I adapted this BBC Good Food recipe for a good old comforting Cottage Pie (link to original recipe at the bottom of page).

I made the following substitutions :

For the pie :

  • olive oil – for rapeseed oil, not for vegan purposes but because it is better to cook with
  • beef mince – for soya mince (my first time using!)
  • plain flour – for brown rice flour, just healthier
  • red wine (optional) – I left this out, sober for October
  • beef stock – for Bouillon vegetable stock
  • Worcestershire sauce (not vegan FYI) – for balsamic vinegar
  • Neal's Yard Soya Protein Mince
    Neal’s Yard Soya Protein Mince

For the mash :

  • potatoes – for sweet potatoes, they are a superfood after all
  • milk – for unsweetened almond milk
  • butter – for Pure dairy free olive spread
  • strong cheddar – didn’t use or substitute (I’m not a fan of vegan cheeses)

I also added a layer of Heinz reduced sugar and salt baked beans – any excuse to add in some extra vegan protein, plus it keeps the whole dish lovely and moist.

The full amended recipe :

Vegan "cottage pie" using savoury soya mince!
Vegan “cottage pie” using savoury soya mince!

For the pie :

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1¼kg soya mince (312.5g unsoaked)
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • handful frozen peas
  • handful frozen broad beans
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 850ml Bouillon vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • few thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to season

For the mash :

  • 1.8kg sweet potatoes, chopped
  • 150ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 25g olive butter
  •  salt and pepper to season

And the method :

  1. Soak the soya mince as instructed on packet. Heat the oil into the pan, add the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 20 mins. Add the garlic, brown rice flour and tomato purée, increase the heat and cook for a few mins, then add the soya mince to the pan. Pour over the wine, if using, and boil to reduce it slightly before adding the stock, balsamic vinegar and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the mince & veg. Check after about 30 mins – if a lot of liquid remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaves and thyme stalks.
  2. Meanwhile, make the mash. In a large saucepan, cover the sweet potatoes in cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. Drain well, then allow to steam-dry for a few mins. Mash well with the almond milk and olive butter, season with some salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon meat into ovenproof dish. Add a layer of baked beans, if using, pipe or spoon on the mash to cover. If eating straight away, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 25-30 mins, or until the topping is golden. Or allow to cool and then freeze.


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