Leek and Mushroom Cottage Pie Recipe (2024)



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A tips from London

The secret to getting the topping right is to use cold, leftover mash. If it’s hot when you bake it, it can turn into a sludgy mess. But if it’s cold, this is when it crisps up nicely into a golden brown in the oven.Also a note on veganising recipe, cashew nuts soaked in water and then blitzed make a fine cream replacement.


I haven't made this yet, but when I do, based on the reviews here, I'm going to roast my mushrooms rather than sautee them. Roasting mushrooms at a high heat makes them chewy and meaty-tasting, plus one can do them all at once, so it's less work, and there are fewer pans taking up stove space. I'll slice them, toss them in olive oil, s&p, and a pinch of sugar and roast at 500 for 20-25 minutes, turning once. While they are in the oven, I can get the rest done while mushrooms are cooking.


Tip from a Brit: (A few dashes of) Worcestershire sauce should be as good an addition to a veggie pie as it is traditionally to Shepherd's Pie.

betsy chandler

my friends and I are vegan. this recipe is great for vegetarians, but what would you substitute for cream, etc to make it vegan? it sounds delicious, so don’t want to lose the flavor. thank you.


I’ve lightened up the carbs in my cottage pies by using turnips mashed with butter and a few tbsp of sour cream in place of the traditional potato mash. Different, but great taste!


Going off of other reviews I made a few changes that made it taste out of this world delicious:- Equal parts rutabaga/sweet potato/regular potatoes for the mash topping- Added diced parsnips and frozen peas to the filling- Reduced milk in filling to 1.5 cups- Mixture of shiitake/white button/oyster mushrooms and cooked directly in with leeks and parsnips rather than in their own pan- Melted butter and mixed with breadcrumbs along with half a cup of grated parm

Carol Casey

Any substitutions for the milk and cream?


For Vegans, the author of this recipe additionally has a recipe on the NYTimes website for Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes - it might be worthwhile to check that one out.


I made this essentially exactly as written. (Well, the thyme in our garden turned out to be beyond salvage so I used dried.) It was good, but not great -- in the end, the leek/mushroom stew was fairly bland (even though I ensured it was adequately salted, and did use the miso). Next time I'll play with the flavorings more to brighten it up, or may play with the peas, lima beans and artichokes version to which David Tanis adverts in the article accompanying the recipe.

M Wilson

I tried the peas, lima bean and artichoke heart version. I wasn't at all sure about how it would turn out, but it was great. Next time I'll add small chunks of carrot and maybe some celery root as well. I used tapioca instead of cornstarch. This is real comfort food extraordinaire.

Kathleen Carpenter

Potatoes actually have considerable nutritional value! Vitamin C, B vitamins, minerals!


I'm making this tonight, but subbed in some ground beef for some mushrooms (shiitake) since I had everything else on hand and didn't want to go to the store. I added a little more thickener for the gravy, since it didn't seem quite thick enough to be scoop-able without running all over the place, but was the right amount of gravy all together. Seasonings are great. Maybe a bit too much dairy for the potatoes, I ended up holding some of the milk back, about 3/4 cup too, for the topping. YUMM

Barbara P

@ Carol Casey and @ Betsy Chandler, try substituting mashed cauliflower for the milk and cream. You can thin it with veggie milk or thicken it with a bit of cornstarch to get the consistency you want. It's a low-carb recipe trick that I've used successfully for moussaka and is worth trying here!


Had this for dinner but made the filling and topping earlier in the day, then put it together just before baking. A "pop" of colour would be nice, maybe some pieces of carrot next time? I replaced the mashed potato with cauliflower mash (1 large head) and the bread crumbs with some crumbled goat cheese (as that’s what I had on hand) and broiled at the end. I had no miso, so subbed a tablespoon or so of liquid aminos. We had it as a main, and will probably have the leftovers as a side. Very yum!


I added a can of cooked lentils to make it a full meal. Next time I’ll use small white beans.


Made this last night mostly as written. I did add some carrots and a little chopped red and yellow peppers, and my husband loved it. I thought it was good but while I love mushrooms, not fond of mushroom smell, and with so many mushrooms that is pretty strong! Will make again for sure.


This recipe is perfect as is. Admittedly erring on the side of heavy salt and oil, I have received so many compliments and requests for the recipe.


Added seasoned roasted tofu, diced carrots and diced green beans to the pie to give it a bit more texture and nutrition diversity. Sub 1.5oz dried wild mushroom for the fresh shiitake for more umami. Dialed up the ‘gravy’ with veg stock paste. Worcestershire sauce would have been good too!


Well, this dish did take quite some time to cook, but it turned out good.Used salt, pepper and (dried) thyme to taste. Couldn't resist adding a dash of Grana Padano to the leek mushroom milk mixture. And made the mash my way, with semi skimmed milk and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Resulting in a light but satisfying autumn dish.Ate with garlic pickle (I eat it with almost everything).Plenty of leftovers.


This is SO INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS, I can’t rave about it enough. I have cooked it often and every time am blown away by the delicacy and deliciousness of the flavors.Just some notes: I go slow on carbs so no corn starch, no dry breadcrumbs. I would say the white miso is what really makes the difference, so essential instead of optional.


My first trial with a veggie bake. When I got started on this, I didn't realize I was missing some ingredients, but didn't want to send my other half back to the store. Everything went great up to the thyme, parsley (don't like that or cilantro), miso and milk. The potatoes call for one cup of heavy cream, so I added a bit of water to the remaining half and added a can of cream if potato soup to the leek/onion/mushroom mixture. I added cheddar cheese to the potato mixture and put it all together

Continued from Susan

It was the best thing I ever made. My husband had two helpings.


delicious flavors--as satisfying as shepherd's pie with meat

Catherine Marchant

Super good! I suggest using the miso. This would feed an army, next time I will halve it.


I made this vegan because my friend is lactose intolerant. I used vegetable stock ( also used liquid from soaking the dried mushrooms )in place of the milk, and all olive oil to replace the butter. I added some dried porcini mushrooms I had as well. Olive oil mashed potatoes to top. Waiting to see how it’s received tonight for my Gaylentine/Galentine dinner party. All the components are tasty, so I’m sure it will be delicious!


This was really flavorless, would recommend dressing it up with some more spices and salt.


We loved it. Cooked some garlic with the onions. Added some Worcestershire sauce. Added a rutabaga with a mix of russet and Yukon. I think next time I’ll add some carrots and either white wine or sherry.

Michèle Dextras, Ontario, Canada

I made this for my vegetarian daughter-in-law at Christmas and she loved it. I halved the recipe and used 2 ramekins. She ate one and brought the second one home. Easy to make.

Kevin & Renato

Veganizing this recipe is easy. Use any preferred vegan butter (we used Kite Hill) and substitute plant-based milk for dairy milk (we used NotMilk) and coconut cream for heavy cream. Otherwise we followed the recipe to a T (including adding white miso) and it was delicious!


Made a few additions/changes. Married this with Vegetarian Shepard Pie from NYT. Added Puy lentils, carrot, peas. Used lactose-free sour cream instead of cream. Will try roasting mushrooms next time. Also I had to add half again to fix enough for guests. Served 11 with leftovers. The guests raved.

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Leek and Mushroom Cottage Pie Recipe (2024)
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