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This Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is a budget-friendly recipe that is perfect for meal prepping. Plus it’s freezable!
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is a vegan version of a traditional Shepherd’s Pie. It’s so hearty, comforting, and filling you will NOT miss the meat!
What is a Shepherd’s Pie?
Shepherd’s pie is traditionally an Irish meal made with ground beef filling and a mashed potato crust. Technically it’s called a “cottage pie” as a shepherd’s pie refers more to a pie that has a lamb filling (Hence the name “shepherd”). So technically this vegan version would probably be more accurate if we called it a “shepherdless pie.”
What are Lentils?
This is a question I get asked a lot as a lot of people have never heard or ate lentils before.
Lentils are mini-sized legumes. (They are beans basically). There are different varieties but brown lentils are the most common and what is used for this recipe. To learn more about lentils check out this informative article What Are Lentils?
What do you eat with Lentil Shepherd’s Pie?
This is a very hearty meal, so it’s best to eat it with something light and fresh. I like to eat my Lentil Shepherd’s Pie in the following ways:
- I eat it as it is! Some recipes just can stand on their own and this is definitely one of them!
- Pairing this meal with veggies like green beans or steamed lemon pepper broccoli is delicious!
- I love to eat this recipe with a nice garden salad or my Cucumber Chickpea Tomato Salad.
- Now if I’m really feeling hungry and need an extra boost of calories, I will eat this with something heavier like homemade vegan garlic bread!
How to make Lentil Shepherd’s Pie?
*Please read detailed and printable recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions.
Make Mashed Potatoes
- Get water boiling and add in chopped and peeled potatoes. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Drain potatoes and begin to add seasonings and vegan butter. Mash your potatoes until creamy and set aside. (Photos 3 & 4)
Make Lentil Filling
- In your cast iron skillet begin sauteing your veggies. Then add in tomato paste and flour fully incorporating the flour with the vegetables. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Add in vegetable broth and red wine along with lentils and peas. Mix well and allow your sauce to simmer until it slightly thickens. (Photos 3 & 4)
Assemble and Bake
- Once the filling is done, top with mashed potatoes and spread evenly. Use a fork to comb across your mash potatoes to create texture and design to your mash potato crust. (Photos 1 & 2)
- Top with fresh parsley and then bake for 30 minutes until topping is browned. Allow it to cool before you serve. (Photos 3 & 4)
Substitution, Cook, & Storage Tips:
- I like brown lentils for this recipe as they hold their shape but you can substitute for red lentils.
- I wouldn’t use any other bean for this. If you like you can omit the lentils (tho it would no longer be called a lentil shepherd’s pie) but you will lose the additional calories and protein. It will still be tasty!
- If you desire a ground beef texture, use your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles and mince up your mushrooms in advance.
- I made this lentil shepherd’s pie with white potatoes and sweet potatoes and they both work extremely well. You can even do a mixture of both!
- The type of veggies you use is up to you. If you don’t like peas or carrots simply omit them. Use squash, corn, broccoli, etc whatever you like!
- Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator 4-5 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month covered. To reheat, allow thawing in the fridge overnight and put in an oven, or the microwave.
Vegan with Curves Star Ingredient:
Lentils are the Vegan With Curves star of this dish! One cup of cook lentils has 18 grams of plant-based protein.
To make this more weight loss (waste/weight release friendly) you could:
- Instead of using mashed potatoes, use cauliflower mash!
- Serve with a large green salad.
This Lentil Shepherd’s Pie makes for a good hearty comforting dinner. Enjoy!
More Lentil Recipes You’ll Love:
Lentil Shepherd's Pie
- 6-8 cups filtered water
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 5 tablespoon vegan butter
- 3 teaspoon garlic paste (crushed garlic) see notes
- ¼ cup unsweetened plain soy milk see notes
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- ½ medium onions, sliced or chopped see notes
- 1 medium celery stalk, chopped see notes
- 2 medium carrot sticks, peeled and chopped see notes
- 16 ounce sliced mushrooms see notes
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste (crushed garlic) or 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon chickpea flour see notes
- 1½ cup filtered water see notes
- 1½ cube vegetable bouillon see notes
- ½ cup red wine optional
- 2 16 ounce can of lentils or 4 cups of pre-cooked dried lentils
- 1 cup frozen peas see notes
- additional oil and butter enough to drizzle on top
- chopped fresh parsley just to sprinkle on top
- Grab a large pot, pour in water, and bring to a boil. Peel and chop potatoes and add them to a pot of boiling water. Cook until fork-tender (soft and cooked through) for about 20 to 25 minutes
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain add back to the pot and in vegan butter, garlic paste (crushed garlic), soy milk, and salt and pepper. Use a potato masher, large fork, or immersion blender to mash until smooth. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Cover and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). While the potatoes are cooking, start preparing the filling. In a large deep 12-15 inch cast-iron skillet, over medium-high heat, drizzle oil and add in 1 tablespoon of vegan butter.
- Add chopped or sliced onions, chopped celery, and chopped carrots and cook down until softened for 3 minutes. Then add your mushrooms, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until mushrooms are tender. If needed add more oil so that the vegetables don't stick to the pan.
- Next add in garlic paste (crushed garlic), tomato paste, rosemary, sea salt, pepper, and chickpea flour and mix thoroughly completely coating your vegetables with the flour.
- To your vegetables, add in water, vegetable bouillon, and red wine vinegar. Mix to fully combine. Then add in lentils and peas and mix together into your sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 12 minutes until your sauce thickens slightly.
- Once the filling is done, remove from heat. In your cast-iron skillet, carefully top with mashed potatoes. Evenly smooth down with a spoon or rubber spatula. Use a fork to lightly comb over your potatoes creating texture and design to your potato crust.
- NOTE: If you DO NOT have a cast-iron skillet, cook your filling in a large pot or large deep skillet. When done, transfer filling into a lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish or 9x13 baking pan. Then proceed to top with mashed potatoes.
- Drizzle with additional oil or vegan butter to create that browning effect and sprinkle fresh parsley on top (optional).
- Add a baking sheet or pizza pan to your oven and place your cast iron skillet or baking dish on top. This is to catch the overflow of the filling. Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes until top is golden brown.
- Let cool briefly before serving as the longer it sits, the more it will thicken and be easier it will be to see those two layers between potatoes and filling. Serve with my Cucumber Chickpea Tomato Salad or a large green salad. You can even serve with additional steam vegetables.
- Divide evenly into 6 portions storing in individual containers for meal prepping. (Or you can keep it in your baking dish covered). Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator 5-6 days and can be frozen for up to 1 month covered. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or oven.
- GARLIC: I used crushed garlic you can buy in the store (garlic pasted in a tube in the refridrater section.) For mashed potatoes you can subsititute with garlic powder adjusting the how much you use to suit your taste buds.
- PLANT BASED MILK: I used soy milk but you can use whatever plant based milk you like just as long as you ensure it is UNSWEETNED and unflavored. You can use vegetable broth or stock instead.
- VEGETABLES: Onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and peas are all optional vegetables. Omit and swap out what you do not like. Try this with squash, corn, broccoli, etc whatever you like!
- OPTIONAL: Red wine can be omitted from this recipe and it will not lack in flavor. If you can find it, 1 tablespoon of Vegan Worcestershire Sauce added to your filling would be delicious! If you desire a ground beef texture, use your favorite vegan ground beef crumbles and mince up your mushrooms in advance.
- ADDITIONS & OTHER SUBSTITUTIONS: If you don't have chickpea flour use whatever flour you have on hand. I made this lentil shepherd's pie with white potatoes and sweet potatoes and they both work extremely well. I like brown lentils for this recipe as they hold their shape but you can substitute for red lentils.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on October 18, 2018, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and a video on September 30, 2019.
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