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Vegan Cottage Pie with Cauliflower and Celeriac Mash

modern food stories cottage pie

Bring on the comfy pants today guys with this easy Vegan Cottage Pie. Topped with a creamy cauliflower and celeriac mash instead of potato making it lighter and less carb heavy.

I contemplated calling it my Best Ever Lentil Cottage Pie because it really is that tasty. Lets just Say Mr B, my harshest critic, thinks he’s John Therode off Masterchef, and even he took me through to the next round with this one! LOL.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

What is this vegan Cottage pie make from?

I used a base of carrot, celery, leek, parsnip, mushrooms and lentils for maximum veggie flavour, plus lots of fresh herbs, coconut aminos and miso. See below for substitutions if you don’t have all the ingredients to hand.


Cooked puy lentils can be replaced with tinned green or brown lentils.

Wild mushrooms can be replaced with brown or white button, but I prefer a mix of wild mushrooms for the best flavour. I used king oyster, shitake and oyster.

Leek can be replaced with 1 medium onion.

Coconut aminos can be replaced with gluten free tamari soy sauce but it will give a different flavour. Coconut aminos is sweeter and less salty. Adjust the seasoning to taste if using soy sauce. You may like to experiment with a little soya sauce + balsamic instead of coconut aminos if you prefer to balance salty and sweet but I haven’t tried this.

Make sure you use sweet white miso and not brown. They’re very diff things and the sweet white misto really gives that umami flavour kick.

What to serve this lentil cottage pie with?

This easy vegan cottage pie is wonderful served with steamed or boiled petit pois, green beans, broccoli or sauteed kale or cavolo nero.

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Vegan Cottage Pie with Cauliflower and Celeriac Mash

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 55 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Serves: 4
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  • 2 small / medium cauliflowers (750g florets)
  • 1/2 small celeriac, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes (150g)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or butter if not dairy free)
  • Salt to taste


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more to serve)
  • 2 medium carrots, 1 cm cubes
  • 2 ribs celery, 1 cm cubes
  • 1 large parsnip, 1 cm cubes
  • 1 small / medium leek, 1 cm cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 150 g wild mushroom mix, sliced (or brown if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or GF tamari soya sauce (I like Coconut Merchant Savoury Sauce)
  • 1 tbsp sweet white miso (I like Clearspring Organic Japanese Sweet White Miso)
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped (or 1.5 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1.5 tsp dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 packet (250g) cooked puy lentils or tin of green or puy, drained + rinsed (I like Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils)
  • 1 cup veggie stock (or chicken if not vegan)



  • Place the cauliflower florets and celeriac in a large soup pan. Cover with boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then reduce to a medium simmer cook for about 30 minutes until soft.


  • Preheat the oven to 190C / 170 fan.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a clean large soup pan. Add the carrots, celery, parsnip and fry for 3 minutes on a medium heat. Add the leeks for 4 minutes and then the garlic and mushrooms for 3 - 4 minutes until all are soft and slightly golden.
  • Add the red wine, tomato puree, coconut aminos, miso, herbs and salt + pepper and cook for 2 minutes until the red wine cooks off a bit.
  • Add the lentils + stock and reduce the heat a touch to a medium / low simmer cooking for about 10 minutes until nice and thick and it looks about right for a filling. It should still have a nice bit of sauce and moisture.
  • Transfer the filling to an 11 x 8 inch baking dish.
  • Drain the mash in a collander. Add back to the pan and dry off for 3 - 4 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn't stick. turn off the eat and really pat the mash with kithcen foil. This is essential to stop it turning to soup when you put in the blender. Add the mash to a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) with the olive oil or butter. Blitz, scraping the sides, several times until super smooth. This may take about 1 minute. Season with salt to taste.
  • Add mash to the filing and smooth with a spatula.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until the filling starts to bubble up the sides. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil and fresh thyme.
  • Serve with sides of choice. I like petit pois, sauteed kale, cavolo nero or green beans.
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