Celeriac vegan shepherd’s pie

Celeriac vegan shepherd’s pie

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie plating

Aaaaaaand it’s the weekend again at last! Hope you are doing things that make you relax and smile. I’ve had a pretty good week myself and my newly found (I’ve lost it more times than I can count) routine of yoga, meditation, running and eating mindfully has certainly played a major part in that.

Why is it that despite the fact that we all know what makes us feel good, we have such a hard time sticking to it? Surely, there should be a part of your brain that makes you crave things that do you good, right? Yes, I know, it’s all about creating new neurological pathways (which is hard work for your inherently lazy brain) and eventually turning them into long lasting habits before your brain becomes your ally in the pursuit of things that make you feel good, not in the moment, but in the long term. Well, I’m working on making these pathways…

As it’s the season for all things cosy, I’ve concocted a super cosy oven bake based on a British classic – shepherd’s pie. I already have a shepherd’s pie recipe up on the blog so if you are after a traditional taste, check it out. This one is a bit different as instead of a potato mash, it is crowned with a creamy layer of celeriac mash. Being possibly the ugliest vegetable on Earth, celeriac doesn’t get much attention as it’s so easy for curvaceous, orange pumpkins to steal the show, but I don’t think that’s entirely fair as it tastes better than it looks. Once you cut through the ugly, knobbly and hairy exterior, a lots of delicious possibilities await.

It may be because I grew up on it, but I am rather fond of it. My mum used to turn it into a delicious raw celeriac, apple and walnut salad that I used to enjoy but when I started cooking for myself, I discovered that celeriac is even more beautiful when baked – I find celeriac ‘chips’ dusted with smoked paprika most addictive – and that it also makes a mean mash (like in this recipe, which I love). It’s great in soups and hash browns too, which I don’t have any recipes for yet, but I am planning to rectify that at some point.

In my celeriac shepherd’s pie, a silky smooth and creamy celeriac layer hides away a beautiful, umami-rich vegan ‘mince’. I packed it with deliciously savoury mushrooms, roasted walnuts, miso, mushroom stock and tomatoes and bulked it up with hearty and protein rich lentils. It’s delicious, full of texture and filling. The slight sweetness of the base complements the deeply savoury celeriac pillow above.

Not only is celeriac super healthy, rich in blood and bone healthy vitamin K, it is also a great alternative to carbs. While I am a big proponent of carbs (I could live on pasta!), if you are after a low-carb alternative to mash, this recipe won’t disappoint you, promise. This dish, like most dishes of this type, requires some effort, but (unless you live with a hungry horse-type person like I do, who can demolish half a tray in one sitting), it will keep you fed and nourished for days.

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie ingredients

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie layering

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie topping

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie cut texture

celeriac vegan sherpherds pie side

1 large tray
30 min
120 min
1 large tray
30 min
120 min

  • 2 tbsp / 30 ml olive oil
  • 2 large banana shallots OR 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 large garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 250 g / 8¾ oz chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped finely
  • 8 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 mushroom stock cube (or homemade porcini stock*)
  • 1 tbsp red miso
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • a good pinch of chilli (optional)
  • salt, adjust to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 120 ml / ½ cup vegan red wine (or stock)
  • 1 x 400 g / 7 oz tins quality peeled plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste / concentrate
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100 g / 1 cup (ideally roasted*) walnuts, chopped
  • 225 g / 1½ cups cooked firm lentils
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp quality balsamic vinegar
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp date syrup or sugar (optional)


  • 1 kg / 35 oz celeriac
  • a head of roasted garlic*
  • 2 tbsp white miso
  • approx. 80 ml / 1/3 cup plant milk
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter
  • 120 ml / ½ cup vegan cream
  • 1/3 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, adjust to taste
  • fine sea salt, more to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat up the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the diced shallots and sauté on a low heat until they are almost translucent, but not browned.
  2. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Next add in diced mushrooms and herbs. Sauté, stirring frequently, until all the water cooks out (about 10 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, dilute mushroom stock cube and miso paste in 240 ml / 1 cup of warm water. Set aside.
  5. Next add in diced carrots and celery and sauté until they both soften.
  6. Stir smoked paprika, chilli (if using) and a good pinch of salt and pepper into the vegetables.
  7. Add the wine and allow it to bubble gently for a few minutes so that the taste of alcohol cooks out.
  8. Next, add in tomatoes, their juices, tomato paste and bay leaves.
  9. Gently squash the tomatoes with a wooden spoon before adding dissolved mushroom-miso stock and another ½ cup (120 ml) of water to the pan.
  10. Allow the mixture to bubble on a low-medium heat until the tomatoes have broken down fully (about 30 minutes).
  11. Once the tomatoes have broken down, take the lid off and start reducing the sauce on a low-medium heat. If the pan is starting to look a bit too dry, add a bit more water and cook until you achieve the desired consistency – lentils and and walnuts will absorb some of the moisture as will the baking time so leave it a little loose. Give the sauce a good stir from time to time to ensure that it does not catch.
  12. Stir in chopped walnuts and cooked lentils towards the end of the cooking time. Season the mixture with more salt, black pepper, balsamic and a touch of date syrup / sugar (to offer a contrast with bitter tasting celeriac). If the mixture is looking too dry, add a few tablespoons of water to compensate.


  1. Peel and cut the celeriac into 2 cm / ¾” dice.
  2. Steam it, boil it or roast it until soft. If roasting, coat it in olive oil and spread on a baking tray. Roast at 200° C / 390° F for about 30 minutes. Steaming takes 30 minutes and boiling approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer hot celeriac to a large mixing bowl or place it in a blender, together with squeezed out garlic cloves.
  4. Dilute miso paste in the plant milk and work it into the celeriac and garlic mixture using a potato masher or in a blender.
  5. Finally, work olive oil and vegan cream into the celeriac to help create a creamy mash. Add a touch more milk if the mash is too dry as it will lose some of the moisture in the oven.
  6. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 225° C / 435° F.
  2. Spread mince layer at the bottom of a baking dish and dot with the mashed celeriac mixture. Spread the mash evenly, brush the top with an extra tablespoon of olive oil (if liked) and then using the back of a fork, make grooves all over the mash in whatever pattern you see fit (no rules here).
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes, then switch the oven to the grill / broil function and allow the top to brown further for another 10 minutes or so. For neater-looking slices allow the bake to cool a little before cutting.

*ROASTED WALNUTS – spread walnuts on a large baking tray and roast in a 180° C / 355° F until golden (8-10 minutes). If not using walnuts, sub them with more lentils.

*ROASTED GARLIC – you can use 1-2 (minced) garlic cloves instead. To roast a garlic head, cut the top off, drizzle exposed cloves with a small amount of olive oil, wrap the entire head in kitchen foil / baking parchment and roast at 200° C / 390° F for about 30 minutes.

*MUSHROOM STOCK – what works even nicer than a mushroom stock cube is a cup (240 ml) of porcini stock, which cane be made by soaking cleaned dry porcini mushrooms (about 12 g / 0.4 oz) in hot water for at least a hour (or several if you can).

*BAKING DISH SIZE: I used a 25 cm / 10″ square baking dish, a standard rectangular lasagne dish will work just as well.

8 g
16 g
2 g
9 g
26 g
*per serving
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13 reviews, 19 comments
How many might this serve? and/or what size pan did you use? I don't see this info anywhere, did miss it? It looks and sounds delicious.
    Hi CQ,
    I made it in a square lasagna dish measuring 25 cm / 10", but a more common rectangular (30 cm / 12" by 20 cm / 8") one will also work well. Hope this helps. Ania
Just devoured this dish, reasonable amount of work involved but sooo worth it. My omnivore hubby gave it 10/10 , I would too. Will be making this again for sure. Thank you.
    Thank you, Marese. I am delighted to hear that both you and your, non-vegan, husband loved it so much and that you found it worth the effort - that makes me really happy to hear. Ania
Love it. Made it a couple of times now and I’m getting better. The first I did celeriac mash and this week I substituted with potatoes. I use a little less lentils for more carrot, shiitake mushrooms mixed with chestnut and vegan crème fraiche in place of cream. The depth of flavour is so good. I’m passing it on to another friend today!
    Aw thank you Yvonne, I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish so much and thank you for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Delicious recipe and pretty simple to make .. my husband and I love it! Healthy, wholesome tasty recipe. I’ve made it several times and it just gets better.. thanks lazycatkitchen.
Ps my lazy cat was in the kitchen whilst I made this so I think that also helped with the flavour!
    Aw thanks Ellie, I am so happy to hear that this recipe is such a staple in your house. Ha, yes, cat's presence definitely helps with flavour development, FACT! x Ania
Dees Wilgehof-Sodaar:
This is a winner. It’s so well suited for when it’s cold outside and you need a warm dish to forget about that. I swapped the walnuts with pepitas because of a nut allergy and it did add just that extra bit of bite in this dish. There’s only the two of us, so we will have an easy leftover meal soon. Can’t wait.
    I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish so much, Dees! Great thinking on using pepitas instead of nuts and yes, I imagine they must add even more texture! And thank you so much for taking the time to review, I am so grateful as reviews help my recipes to be found. x Ania
A great substitute for traditional Shepherds pie - my family loved this. I did make vegan mashed potatoes to the top (per request from my husband) but the flavor and texture of the walnut/lentil mixture was wonderful - this has been added to our dinner rotation!
    Thanks Tara, I am really pleased that you enjoyed it and plan to make it again. And I really appreciate you taking the time to review, thanks so much. x Ania
Thank you so much for this recipe! We made it this evening and it was *so* yummy. We loved the complex flavours, and the walnuts provided a nice texture.
    Thank you so much, Susan! I am delighted that you and your family enjoyed this dish and thank you for taking the time to review – I really appreciate it! x Ania
One of the BEST vegan dishes I have ever tried and cooked! It's a bit of a lengthy process but worth it!
    Aw, thank you Amie - that's some compliment indeed! I am delighted to hear that and thank you for letting me know. x Ania
A delicious and hearty weekend meal that won't leave you feeling heavy! I made a half portion with a few adjustments to accommodate food intolerances. It made plenty for 2 people with left overs for lunches. I second another reviewers' comment - my omnivore spouse also enjoyed the dish!
    Thank you so much for your kind words, JP! I am delighted to hear that this dish went down so well, including your omni spouse. I really appreciate you returning to review - thank you! x Ania
Looking forward to making this. Is there a weight value for the amount of cooked lentils? I noticed you have only specified a cup and a half. Thanks in advance.
    Hi Jackie,
    It's equivalent to approximately 225 g of lentils. Hope that helps! Ania
Amazing flavours, substituted the lentils for plant based mince and didnt have miso but turned out yummy!!
    Thanks Jenny, I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and many thanks for taking the time to review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
I made this last night, but used potatoes instead of celeriac. So amazing! Worth the work. My omnivore husband loved it too. Well done! ❤️👏🏻
    Thank you for your kind words, Heather! I'm so happy to hear that both you and your meat-loving husband enjoyed it and many thanks for taking the time to review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
This was really popular with everyone. Some of us can't eat nightshade plants and we really appreciated how tasty you made the celeriac topping. I substituted the tomato with a puree of cooked carrot, beetroot and lemon juice and it worked fine. It looks set to become a regular - thank you!
    Thanks Helen, I am really happy to hear that you and your family enjoyed this recipe. Great thinking on your feet re: substitutions. x Ania
Your recipes seem good except the ads on your site nearly blew up my computers speakers and gave me the fright of my life. I was listening to some gentle music and those freaking ads busted over so loadly it is unreal! Thought you might want to know so you could (hopefully) tell whoever set that up for you...
    Sorry to hear about that. Unfortunately I don't have any control over this and if not for the ads, I would not be able to continue to offer new recipes for free! Ania
Just made it, insane how good, thank you so much xx
    Really happy to hear that, Monika! Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed it! x Ania
Oh this looks simply delicious. I cant wait to give this a try!
    Thank you and I hope you'll enjoy it! x Ania
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