Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
This vegan lentil shepherd’s pie is the ultimate plant-based comfort food. Enjoy this hearty, vegetarian main dish during the holidays or any time of year for a hot and delicious meal.
- dietary needs: vegan, can be gluten-free and oil-free
- makes a filling and comforting vegetarian main dish
- family-friendly and perfect for feeding a crowd
- can be made in advance and frozen
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
- mushroom – white, cremini or even portobello work well here
- fresh herbs – recipe calls for fresh thyme and rosemary but if you only have dried herbs on hand, those totally work too!
- peas and corn – recipe calls for frozen but drained and rinsed canned would also be suitable
- lentils – this recipe is specifically for green or brown lentils, I do not recommend red lentils
- tamari – light soy sauce is a suitable substitute
- all-purpose flour – can be substituted with whole-wheat or a gluten-free all-purpose blend
- potatoes – use yellow-fleshed potatoes for best results
- almond milk – can be substituted with any unsweetened plant-based milk, however, the mild flavour of almond milk works best here
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Method
Step 1. Make the lentils. Place the dried lentils in a pot on the stovetop with 3 cups of water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes at a light simmer until the lentils are tender. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
Step 2. Make the potato topping. Add the peeled, chopped potatoes to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork.
Once they’re cooked, drain, add back into the pot and add the milk, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use a masher or immersion blender to mash into a smooth texture.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Step 3. Make the filling. Here’s how:
- Add the mushrooms, onions, garlic, celery and fresh herbs to a pot or skillet on the stovetop with either 2 tbsp olive oil, broth or water.
- Bring to medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes until they’re starting to soften.
- Sprinkle the veggies with the flour and stir well.
- Add the tomato paste, tamari and stock, stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Fold in the cooked lentils, peas and corn and give it another good stir.
- Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 4-5 minutes.
Step 4. Time to assemble! Add the lentil mixture to an approximately 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing over the lentil mixture.
Place the dish on a baking tray, bake for 30 minutes uncovered, let cool briefly then dig in!
Shepherd’s pie is quite hearty so it can definitely stands on its own without any side dishes. Otherwise, serve as a vegetarian main dish alongside holiday sides like brussels sprouts and stuffing or pair with a light salad, steamed vegetables or a dinner roll. It’s good with a little gravy too!
Yes. Shepherd’s pie can be frozen before or after baking. If you’re assembling and freezing to bake later, cover well with foil and freeze for up to 2 months and bake from frozen. If it’s cooked and frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge then reheat in the microwave or oven.
You can! For a variation on this dish, swap the potatoes for sweet potato. The method is the same.
- Fridge: Let cool then store in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: Let cool then store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Can be stored before or after baking.
- Reheating: If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated to your preference.
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 40 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This vegan lentil shepherd’s pie is the ultimate plant-based comfort food. Enjoy this hearty main dish during the holidays or anytime of year for a filling and satisfying meal.
For the Lentil Filling
- 3 cups finely chopped white or crimini mushrooms (225 g approx.)
- 1 medium onion, diced (175 g, 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic (15g)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped (5g) or 1 tsp dry
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped (5g) or 1 tsp dry
- 1 cup frozen peas (130 g)
- 1 cup frozen corn (130 g)
- 3 stalks celery chopped (150 g approx. 2 cup)
- 1 cup dry lentils (225 g or 2 cups cooked)
- 1/4 cup tamari (60 ml)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (28 g)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
For the Potato Topping
- 4 large yellow flesh potato, peeled and chopped (1175 g)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- In a medium pot place 1 cup of dried lentils with 3 cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until lentils are tender, once cooked drain off the water and reserve for later.
- Put peeled potatoes in a large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender to the touch. Once cooked, strain off excess water, add your olive oil, milk, and seasoning. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until smooth in texture, reserve for later.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Over medium, saute the chopped mushrooms, onions, garlic, celery, and fresh herbs until soft with a splash of olive oil for roughly about 2-3 minutes. Once the vegetables are softened, sprinkle 2 tbsp of all purpose flour and stir together.
- Add the tomato paste, tamari and vegetable stock, stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Fold in the cooked lentils from earlier along with the corn and peas.
- Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed with salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Place lentil mixture into a 9x13in baking dish, top with mashed potato mixture from earlier and smooth until you have an even layer of mashed potatoes covering the lentils.
- Place the dish on a baking tray (prevents a mess in case of any spillage) and bake uncovered for 25 – 30 mins at 350 degrees F.
- Optional: broil for 1-2 minutes to achieve more browning and crispiness on top.
- Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken.
- Storing: Let cool then store in a sealed container for up to 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat in the oven or microwave until heated to your preference.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 403
- Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 72 g
- Protein: 13 g
Keywords: lentil shepherds pie, vegan shepherds pie
Good Lawd, this was SAVORY! Such a comforting dish. Thank you!!!
Thanks, Sam!! Glad you liked it.
This turned out perfect! My husband who is very traditional and not really pro-vegan really enjoyed the recipe. It makes a very good sized amount and is very savory. I added a couple different veggies; it’s adaptable too. Thank you for a great, creative recipe!
That’s awesome! So glad it was enjoyed.
I could tell from reading this recipe that it would be exactly what I wanted and it did not disappoint. My husband also really loved it also so as far what to do with leftovers…yeah, there were none.
I’m honoured! Thanks for trying it.
Wonderful dish. Deep flavored and hearty. I love the play of lentils with the mushrooms and vegetables. Mine came out a little salty as I seasoned the lentils with salt too, (not necessary here).
I made this yesterday, and followed your recipe exactly as written. It was really delicious! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.
Thanks for trying it, Jennifer! And for the review, I appreciate that 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
This recipe was so delicious!!!! My entire family including my three daughters (ages 7, 9 and 11) LOVED it. They all had seconds! I have to admit a lot of my vegetarian meals have been flops in that only my husband and I will eat them but the fact that all my girls loved this makes me so happy! I am not vegan so I did use butter and milk for the potatoes but other than that I followed the recipe exactly.
That makes me so happy too! I’m so glad it was enjoyed. Thanks for the review!
In the recipe it says to save the water the lentils were cooked in for later, I don’t see where it is used later, can you clarify please?
It means to reserve the lentils for later. If there is any water left, you can just drain it off and discard.
While labor-intensive, this recipe was absolutely delicious & will be for sure making this again…& again & again!
We loved this! My daughter is quite the carnivore but actually said she preferred this version to the traditional meat one.