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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Shepherd’s Pie

Years ago, my husband and I were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at a traditional Irish pub. He had recently eliminated gluten, dairy and soy from his diet, and wasn’t able to eat any of the celebratory fare, from the pints of Guinness to the Corned Beef and Cabbage, to the soda bread and Colcannon.

Despite the name, traditional Shepherd’s Pie does not contain a crust, so we thought that’d be a good option – but the potato layer was full of heavy cream and cheese, and the ground beef was sautéed in soybean oil.

I promised to try to make him an allergen-free version at home, and I’ve made this on St. Patrick’s Day every year since. Converting the recipe to be gluten-free was easy (as pie), and I replaced heavy cream with oat milk and conventional parmesan cheese with vegan. Perfectly spiced, comforting and nostalgic, it’s just as good as the original.

Get yourself a gluten-free stout and enjoy!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Shepherd’s Pie

Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Large saute pan
  • Large stock pot
  • Colander
  • Casserole crock or baking dish



  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 or 5 medium potatoes), peeled, rinsed and cubed into one-inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp soy-free, nut-free butter substitute, such as Soy-Free Earth Balance
  • cup full-fat oat milk
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup parmesan substitute, such as Violife Just Like Parmesan (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the filling:

  • Place olive oil into a large saute pan and turn burner to medium heat.
  • Add diced onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and mixture is fragrant but not brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground meat. Break it apart with a wooden spoon and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add parsley, rosemary and thyme and stir to evenly distribute throughout the meat mixture. Cook until the meat is browned, about 8 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat meat evenly, then add tomato paste and stir until incorporated.
  • Add broth and frozen vegetables, and bring liquid to a boil.
  • Lower heat to simmer and set timer for 5 minutes, then turn off heat.

Make the mashed potato topping:

  • Note: You can get started cooking the potatoes while cooking the filling to save time.
  • Place the peeled, cubed potatoes into a large stock pot and cover with water.
  • Place the stock pot on the stove and bring the heat to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to cook until the potatoes break apart when removed from the water and pressed with a fork (this will take about 10-15 minutes).
  • Drain potatoes, then return them to the hot pot.
  • Add vegan butter, oat milk and garlic salt, then use a hand mixer to whip until smooth.
  • Taste and season with more salt and pepper if desired.
  • Add vegan parm if using and stir to combine.

Assemble Shepherd's Pie:

  • Pour the meat mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish, and spead it out to create an even layer.
  • Top with mashed potatoes and spread to create an even layer.
  • Place in the oven and bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown.
  • Serve!
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Liz Fetchin.

Hey there, I'm Liz!

As a former food editor and everyday home cook, I’ve spent the past 15+ years testing, tasting and saving delicious, Octofree recipes for my family. It’s with lots of love that I share the best of the bunch with you, along with tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.

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