Vegetarian cottage pie [Recipe]


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It’s not news that England often gets a bum rap for its cuisine, particularly from Americans. Anyone who thinks the English fail at food, however, probably has never enjoyed real Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips or cottage pie in ole Blighty.

Cottage pie is a meat pie — beef — with a mashed potato crust. Although it’s sometimes called shepherd’s pie, shepherd’s pie is made with lamb, not beef. Vegetarians who crave this savory delight need not go without.

The following recipe uses Quorn grounds and requires a casserole dish. Two of the ingredients are British imports: the Heinz-brand baked beans and the Bisto-brand gravy granules. Look for these in the imported foods section of your local grocery store or a specialty shop. They are also available online, but watch out for any applicable shipping and handling fees. Of course, you can use regular baked beans and half a bouillon cube in place of both.

It’s a nice alternative for meat-eaters who wish to enjoy the taste of meat on Meatless Mondays.



  • Olive oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
  • 3 large baking potatoes
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 package of Quorn grounds
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons gravy granules
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 can Heinz-brand baked beans (preferably the British import)
  • Salt to taste



  1. Boil the potatoes.
  2. Coat a pan with olive oil and place on low-medium heat.
  3. Add chopped onions and stir until onions are translucent.
  4. Lower the flame and add the grounds, stirring to mix well.
  5. When the grounds turn a pale brown, add the diced tomatoes and stir.
  6. Add the shredded carrots.
  7. Add the tomato paste, gravy granules and water, and stir.
  8. Add the beans, stir for about 1 to 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  9. At this point the potatoes should be ready for mashing. Add milk, butter and salt to taste and mash away.
  10. Scoop some meat filling into your casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. Scrape a nice pattern into the potatoes with a fork. Dab a little bit of butter on top of the potatoes if you like.
  11. Bake at 425°F for 25 to 35 minutes or until the potatoes brown.

This dish pairs nicely with some boiled or steamed peas and corn. Frozen will do just fine.

Serves 4


Nutrition info per serving (with 4 servings per recipe), estimated through SparkPeople's nutrition calculator: 454.7 calories, 15.8 grams of fat, 71.5 grams of carbs, 12.7 grams of protein

Rik Lee has been a vegetarian for 28 years. He originally hails from the North of England and made his way to New York in 2007. Rik shares the kitchen with Vitals editor Vivian Lee and when he makes dinners such as this, he wins. A writer, he just wrapped up a degree in English literature with a 70-page love letter to the dictionary.