Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Vegetarian cottage pie

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegetarian
From Virgin Cooks


  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.

  2. For the topping, place the potatoes and parsnips or swede into a large pan of water. Bring to the boil and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well.

  3. Add the butter to the cooked vegetables and mash using a potato masher or ricer. Add the milk, a little at a time, and continue to mash until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.

  4. For the filling, heat the oil in a large pan over a low to medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until softened.

  5. Add the garlic, carrot, leek and thyme and continue to fry for a further 4-5 minutes, or until softened.

  6. Add the vegetarian mince to the pan and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, or until golden-brown.

  7. Add the drained cannellini beans, chopped tomatoes and tomato purée and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and continue to simmer for as further 4-5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add a little sugar to the mixture if needed.

  8. Spoon the filling mixture into a large ovenproof dish. Spread the mashed potato and parsnip (or swede) mixture over the filling in a smooth, even layer.

  9. Transfer to the oven and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the filling is cooked through.

  10. Serve with steamed green vegetables.


For the topping

  • 500g/1lb 2oz floury potatoes, such as King Edward or Maris Piper, peeled, cut into pieces
  • 300g/10½oz parsnips or swede, peeled, cut into pieces, boiled until tender, drained
  • knob of butter
  • splash milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the filling

  • 1 tbsp rapeseed or groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed to a paste with the edge of a knife
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 300g/10½oz Quorn
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sugar, to taste (optional)
  • steamed green vegetables, to serve

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Vegetarian cottage pie

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