Vegetarian Cottage Pie with a herby cheese crust (recipe)


Is it ok if I have a bit more, please? – JD, going back for his third helping

Perfect for those chilly, dark evenings, this vegetarian cottage pie uses Quorn or soya mince, plenty of veg and a thick gravy for the filling, then it’s all covered with velvety mash, topped off with a herby cheese crust and baked til it’s golden and bubbly. Yum!

Here’s what to do. Should feed a family of four with leftovers.


  • 850-1kg potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion (about 200g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium courgette (about 200g)
  • 3 medium carrots (about 200g)
  • 300g Quorn or soya mince
  • 50ml red wine
  • 2  tins chopped tomatoes
  • 150-20ml whole milk
  • 250g mature cheese
  • a little butter for greasing
  • 100g dried white breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 60g gravy granules (one that’s suitable for vegetarians)
  • 600ml boiling water
  • seasoning to taste


  1. Peel and quarter the potatoes and put them on to boil in plenty of salted water. They should take 15-20 minutes
  2. Warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat and fry the onions and garlic until soft
  3. Add the carrots and fry for a minute, then add the courgette and fry for a further minute
  4. Add the Quorn and fry until heated through, then turn off the heat, add the wine and boil off until the liquid has all gone
  5. Add the tomatoes and heat through, then make up the gravy (60g gravy to 600ml boiling water) and add to the pan, bring to the boil then simmer with the lid off until it thickens down to a rich, thick gravy, stirring occasionally
  6.  When the potatoes are cooked through, drain, return to their pan and mash until very smooth, then beat in the milk and add a little pepper, if liked. Grate in 200g of the cheese and stir through, then cover and set aside
  7. When the mince filling is ready, season to taste then grease your dish and pour the filling into it
  8. Top the filling carefully and evenly with the mashed potato, aiming to avoid leaving any holes
  9. In a small bowl, finely grate the remaining cheese and stir together with the breadcrumbs and herbs, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the mash
  10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbling at the edges

We serve ours with plenty of greens and sweetcorn for extra veggie goodness. Enjoy!

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  1. Sarah Fawcett says

    This sounds delicious, I’m currently trying to shed a few Christmas pounds before my holiday next month so I was looking for some Quorn recipes to help me cut down on the calories, will definitely give this one a try thanks :)

  2. says

    This looks soooo good!! My fiancee is a bit of a luddite when it comes to food, but I know he adores a cheesy crust. I adore quorn – in fact my kids didn’t know that quorn wasn’t ‘chicken’ till they were in double digets and had tried ‘real’ chicken. Bottom line – this is going in my recipes to try folder – and will be nommed in the very near future :-)
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  3. says

    My stomach is rumbling just thinking about it! We have had some frosty mornings here this week and comfort food is just what you need on a wintry day. Thanks for the idea of the crunchy herb crust, my little one hates mash and loves crunch so this could be a new way to try and win him over!
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