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Barbecue shepherd’s pie is a delicious twist on a classic

Living with a vegetarian can be challenging when it is dinnertime, but it allows me to get really creative. Being from the South, we love our barbecue and potatoes, so I had to think of a way to create a dish that combines the two and is both tasty and vegetarian. Since we are also big fans of casserole-type dishes, I decided to re-create something I ate often while growing up: shepherd’s pie.

Traditionally it is made with ground beef, gravy and other vegetables, then topped with potatoes. In this version, I used ground meatless burger crumbles, sweet onions and barbecue sauce, then gave it a topping of decadent cream cheese mashed potatoes. As you can imagine, this smells heavenly. It’s very filling and even freezes well if you want to enjoy it later.

Vegetarian barbecue shepherd’s pie recipe

Meat-free crumbles, sweet onions and barbecue sauce are simmered and then baked with a thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes on top.

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 50 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 3 large russet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (12 ounce) package veggie meat crumbles, such as Beyond Beef
  • 1 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 cup favorite bottled barbecue sauce
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, and set it aside.
  2. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes, then add them to the boiling water. Cover, and simmer the potatoes on medium heat for 20 minutes or until very tender.
  3. Meanwhile, to a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil, veggie crumbles and the onions, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to soften.
  4. Remove from the heat, and stir in the mustard and barbecue sauce. Transfer the veggie burger mixture to the casserole dish, and set it aside.
  5. Once the potatoes are tender, drain and mash them with a potato masher.
  6. To the potatoes, add the butter, softened cream cheese and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Continue to mash, adding buttermilk when needed to help with the mashing process.
  7. Spoon the potatoes on top of the veggie crumbles, and bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the top is starting to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven, and let cool slightly. Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve warm.

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