Shepherd’s hand pies

You probably already know that we love a good use-it-up recipe here at CLC, and this one dates back a few hundred years! Shepherd’s pies (the French equivalent is called hachis parmentier) came into being in England and Ireland in the late 1700’s as a clever way to make use of leftovers. The British Empire’s austerity left many people, my forebears included, with very few resources–frugality wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity for survival. I’m lucky to be cooking these plant-based Shepherd’s hand pies all for pleasure now. Although typically served in an open-faced pie or casserole, I reached for a truly adorable travel-friendly version. Is wrapping something in dough ever a bad idea?

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shepherds hand-pie ingredients
assembling hand pies

The simple magic of mashed potatoes is no surprise, but the TVP “meat” in this recipe really makes it something special. Textured vegetable protein (a defatted soy flour by-product of extracting soybean oil) is one of my favorite meat alternatives due to its quick cooking and versatility. The protein-packed powerhouse is sold in its dehydrated form (with a shelf life of at least a year) and will soak up whatever seasonings you use during the rehydration process. It comes in many shapes and sizes, with larger varieties often called soya chunks, but the kind I buy comes in a small mince–making it perfect to use in bolognese, tacos, and Sloppy joe-style sandwiches. Available online and also easy to find in natural food and Asian grocery stores, this is a plant-based staple I always stock in the pantry.

I chose a pretty typical flavor profile here, but I encourage you to tap into the original spirit of the recipe by using up what you’ve already got. Try your favorite seasonal veg, trade yellow potatoes for their sweet orange counterparts, or use soy curls, tofu, tempeh, lentils, or walnuts instead of TVP (prep methods will vary). In the end, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts!

I hope these cutie pies make it into your hands very soon. Let us know if you give ’em a shot! #closedloopcooking


Shepherd’s hand pies   by

Comforting meat-free treats featuring the versatile flavor sponge known as TVP, these adorable Shepherd's hand pies are pure magic in golden pockets.

makes: 10 hand pies with 6" diameter | prep time: 60 min | cook time: 50 min | total time: 110 min

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  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup unsalted plant-based butter, ice cold and cubed (or sub refined coconut oil or shortening)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 - 1 cup ice cold water

Mashed potatoes

  • 1 lb potatoes, rinsed and peeled* (about 2 large)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted plant-based butter* (I prefer Miyoko's)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

TVP mix

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil

Mixed veggies

  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion (about ¼ of an onion)
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (about 2 medium stalks)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp plant-based butter, shortening, or refined coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup hemp milk (or other unsweetened plant milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup additional hemp/almond/other plant-based milk + 1/2 tsp maple syrup OR a couple tablespoons melted vegan butter for brushing


Make Dough (optional**)

  1. Sift flour and place in the bowl of a food processor with the S-blade along with salt and baking powder. Pulse once.
  2. Remove cold butter (I like Miyoko’s) from the refrigerator and, handling as little as possible in order to retain cold temperature, add to food processor.
  3. Pulse about 10 times until butter begins to break up and form a crumbly mixture with the flour.***
  4. Continue to pulse, slowly add your ice cold water until a dough just comes together. Be careful not to over-process, as that will create a stiffer dough that may be difficult to handle/roll.
  5. Remove dough, form into a ball and wrap in reusable wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make TVP mix

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together all TVP ingredients except for TVP and oil.
  2. Add TVP to liquid in bowl and set aside for 5 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed.
  3. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and, once hot, add TVP mixture.
  4. Sauté in a single layer for 5-8 minutes, until TVP is thoroughly cooked. Let it sit long enough in one spot before mixing so that it can brown and crisp up. 
  5. Remove from pan and set aside and refrigerate.

Make Mashed Potatoes

  1. Cube potatoes into 1″ pieces and add to a medium pot.
  2. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes uncovered or until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Drain potatoes, then return them to pot.
  5. Mash to desired consistency with a potato masher or fork add remaining mashed potato ingredients, then spread onto a half sheet pan and refrigerate to cool down.

Make Mixed Vegetables

  1. While potatoes are cooking heat oil in a pan that has a lid over medium heat and, once hot, add diced onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add celery, carrots, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan. Put lid on pan and sauté for 7-10 minutes or until carrots are tender, removing lid every few minutes to stir. 
  3. Add frozen peas, garlic powder, and smoked paprika and mix well.
  4. Create space in the middle of the pan to quickly melt your butter, then add flour. Mix well until veggies are covered in flour.
  5. Add hemp milk and vegetable stock and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has thickened. Set aside and refrigerate.

Assemble Hand Pies

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4″ thick, sprinkling more flour on top if necessary. This might take some elbow grease!
  3. Cut out desired shapes from dough using a large cookie cutter, tart pan, etc. I outlined mine with a 6” round glass container + cut out the shape with a knife.
  4. On one half of your dough cutout, add a little bit of each cooled mashed potatoes, tvp, and mixed vegetables. I put roughly 1 tablespoon of each in my 6″ rounds.
  5. With your fingers, brush the rest of the surface of the dough with water and fold dough shape in half over onto the filling. With a fork, crimp the edges to seal. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  6. Place hand pies on a baking sheet. Brush the tops with plant milk + maple syrup or melted vegan butter, then slice a few slits on the top to vent steam.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and enjoy! Serve with creamy cashew vegan cheese sauce, vegan sour cream, or your favorite gravy and fresh herbs.


*Save the skins for another recipe or fry 'em up in some olive oil, salt and pepper.

**You can just use store-bought puff pastry dough! That would make this recipe less time consuming and probably result in a flakier crust. Check the ingredients to ensure it's plant-based, those that aren't usually contain dairy and/or eggs.

***Alternatively, use a pastry cutter to do this step in a large bowl.

To freeze up to one month, stop after step 5 in assembly, freeze first separated (I spread mine out on a baking tray) then store in a freezer-friendly bag. Before baking, thaw at room temperature for 1 hour, then continue with steps 6-8.

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