Vegetarian Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

This Vegetarian Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie with it’s mushroom, beans and veggie filling and generous layer of pumpkin mash, makes for a healthy and comforting autumnal spin on the classic Shepherd’s Pie.

20 Mins 60 Mins Easy Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 small pumpkin, weighing about 1.2kg
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 300g mushrooms, chopped (chestnut, oyster, shiitake, are more flavoursome than button ones)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 200ml sherry (an amontillado or an oloroso)
  • 2 x 400g tins of haricot beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200g bag of frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
  • 250g spinach leaves
  • 25g strong cheese (e.g. Cheddar, Gruyère), grated
  • 25g breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel and deseed the pumpkin/squash, then cut it into chunks. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks too.
  2. Place pumpkin and sweet potatoes in a pan with salted water to cover and cook over a low heat until the pumpkins and sweet potatoes are soft and mashable (about 15 minutes).
  3. Drain, then mash with a fork. Crush 1 clove of garlic and stir it in, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, then add the onion and fry slowly until it’s coloured as brown as you like it.
  5. Chop the remaining cloves of garlic and add to the pan with the mushrooms, thyme, sherry and beans.
  6. Season well with salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer away until the sherry has reduced – about 10 minutes or so (you don’t want the filling to be too sloppy).
  7. In the meantime, heat the frozen mixed veggies in the microwave, drain away any excess water.
  8. At the last moment stir in the mixed veggies, and the spinach leaves to wilt.
  9. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  10. Place the filling in a casserole dish and spoon the pumpkin mash on top.
  11. Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top, then give it a light drizzle of olive oil.
  12. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the topping starts to brown.

About this recipe

Vegetarian Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Recipe notes by Elizabeth Gibbs

  • This vegetarian pumpkin & sweet potato shepherd’s pie recipe is my pumpkin take on the classic shepherd pie recipe.
  • This dish is based on a simple pumpkin gratin, the idea is to cook all the ingredients you might like to eat with your gratin in your gratin.
  • In the recipe, you simply cooking the pumpkin and sweet potatoes in a large pot filled with salted water. If, however, you have time and want to add more flavour and personality to the dish, you could roast the pumpkin and sweet potato in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil all over. Then mash using a potato masher as you would normally.


More from The Oxford Magazine