Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie Topped with 
Cauliflower-Potato Mash

This Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie Topped with Cauliflower-Potato Mash was a quasi planned holiday meal made to use up items as our refrigerator broke down over the holiday weekend.  I had originally planned to make a Shepherd's Pie for Christmas day with mom, or, if not that, I had definitely planned to make more of the Cauliflower-Potato Mash from Kirsten Kaminski's Vegan Holiday Cooking Cookbook, which were a hit over Thanksgiving.  

Since I had made a big batch of chickpeas to make hummus for a family holiday gathering on Christmas Eve, and I had some Lightlife Gimme Lean Plant-Based sausage that had softened in the freezer, I decided to make this Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie using both.  The result was a delicious, savory dish that was a very satisfying blend of flavors and textures.  The thick layer of soft, slightly browned and crusty Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower on top, along with the meaty bite and spiced flavors from the sausage made for a hearty meal.  

Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie is a great dish to make when you want to do some extra meal prep, or as I like to say, cook once, eat several times.  Leftovers reheat well in a 350-370º oven, tasting fresh made, if not even better the next day.  If you want to warm up with a warming plate of comfort food during the cooler months, this may be your new go-to dish!

Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie with Potato-Cauliflower Mash

Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie ~ Customizable!

My Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie is not made with peas, nor lentils as I had originally planned to use.  i didn't follow any recipe, and just cooked up some items I needed to use, and added as few seasonings as I thought I could get away with to keep it as simple as possible.

Feel free to conjure up your own variation, with vegetables and spices you love, and have on hand.

I did not use any tomato products for this dish, however, I would guess that stirring in a little tomato paste would also be delicious.

Here is my Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower recipe, a slightly modified version of Kaminski's Cauliflower-Potato Mash.  It's really delicious, and made this Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie simply amazing.  

You can use your own mashed potato recipe, or open that recipe up in a new tab.  I combined Yukon golds potatoes with one sweet potato and half of a head of a medium to large cauliflower in mine, along with the recommended garlic, shallots, nutritional yeast, soy milk and some of the vegan butter all as recommended in the original Cauliflower-Potato Mash recipe from Vegan Holiday Cooking.

Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie with Greens and Carrot Beet Salad
Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie with Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

Vegan Chickpea Shepherds Pie Recipe + Steps


  • 2 teaspoons of better quality cooking oil (or cook oil-free)
  • 1 small to medium sweet or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery, finely diced
  • 1-2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2+ cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15 oz. can (425g), drained and rinsed, reserving the liquid (aquafaba)
  • 1/2 14 oz. pkg. of Lightlife Gimme Lean Vegan / Plant-Based bulk sausage
  • 1+ teaspoon each sweet and smoked paprika
  • Cracked black pepper
  • A bit of Vegan Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Follow the steps for making the Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower, here, or in Vegan Holiday Cooking if you have her cookbook.
  3. Heat a large, oven-proof (stainless steel or ceramic enamel) frying pan, and add oil.  If cooking oil-free, see note, below.  
  4. Add onion, and let cook a couple minutes before adding carrot, celery and shallots.  Once vegetables begin to soften, add garlic and cumin seeds, and stir, cooking another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add chickpeas, and Lightlife sausage.  Use a wooden spatula to break up the sausage.  Cook several minutes until the meat begins to brown.  Add seasoning, and up to a 1/4 cup of the aquafaba to make a sauce.  
  6. Add hot sauce if using.  Cover and simmer a couple minutes.
  7. Spread Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower on thick!   Make a nice swirling pattern using the back of a spoon.  
  8. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, or add thin pats of vegan butter all around the top of the mashed potatoes to create a nice crusty, slightly brown topping.
  9. Bake uncovered in oven around 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are slightly browned on top, and the chickpea mixture is nice and hot.
  10. Serve with salad, steamed vegetable, or Quick Boiled Greens as desired.


  • To pan fry, oil-free, first heat the pan.  Once hot, add onion, stirring as they cook.  Once they begin to soften a bit, add carrots, celery, and shallots, and cook about 4-5 minutes, adding 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to prevent sticking.  Add garlic and cumin seeds, and proceed as above.  Ideally, the onion will brown a bit, just as if cooking with oil.  Alternatively, you can start by adding a couple tablespoons of water first, whichever way you are more comfortable cooking.
  • I happened to purchase the Lightlife Gimme Lean plant-based sausage while on sale to give it a try.  We use some plant-based sausages on occasion, typically either Field Roast or Trader Joe's brands.  I suggest trying an Italian flavored, or apple sage flavored like the Field Roast for this recipe.  That said, use whichever are your favorites.  If using link sausage, two should work.  Remove casing and crumble into the pan with the chickpeas.  

Vegan Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower

I encourage you to check out the entire recipe, and recipe notes on my blog, here.  

As a quick summary, in a pot, add 6-8 peeled and chopped Yukon gold potatoes, plus 1 medium sized peeled and chopped sweet potato, and 1 small, or 1/2 a large head of cauliflower, cut into florets with water to cover, and bring to a boil.  Turn to medium and simmer until very soft.  For extra flavor, add 1 Edward & Sons low-sodium Garden Veggie bouillon cube.

Separately, sauté 2 finely diced shallots, and 2 cloves of garlic, minced, in 1 Tbsp. vegan butter, or good quality vegetable oil (like rice bran oil, high oleic sunflower oil, light sesame oil, or extra virgin olive oil) until soft and slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

Drain potato cauliflower mixture, reserving cooking water.  Return mixture to the pot.  

Add sautéed shallots and garlic, and mash with a potato masher, until desired consistency.  They should be light and fluffy, and pretty smooth, however some lumps are fine.  That's personal preference.

Add 2-4 tablespoons of plain, unsweetened soy milk (more or less depending upon how much vegan butter you use.  See notes, below), 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, and 1 teaspoon of optional dried parsley, plus a couple pinches of nutmeg, and cracked black pepper.  Mash or stir until combined.  Adjust seasoning as desired, adding another 1-2 tablespoons of vegan butter if desiring a buttery rich, creamy mashed potatoes.

Notes: If using a salted vegan butter, you may not need to add any salt.  The nutritional yeast will also provide a salty flavor.

If adding 2 more tablespoons vegan butter, use only around 2 tablespoons of soy milk.  Use more soy milk if using less vegan butter.  For a lower-fat version, use some of the cooking broth instead of the additional butter.  Add only a little a time to prevent thinning the potatoes out too much.

Mash with a potato masher.