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Hearty Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

This mouth-watering Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is packed with chunky vegetables, savory sauce, and fluffy mashed potatoes. Believe me, it’s going to be a hit!

serving of vegan lentil shepherd's pie on white plate

Whether you serve this lentil cottage pie for dinner or even for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the whole family will love it.

You will love this shepherd’s pie because it’s…

  • Comforting
  • Thick & hearty
  • Protein-packed
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Healthy
  • Completely satisfying
  • Savory
  • Filling and delicious

Shepherd’s pie is such a comfort food, and this savory vegan version will not disappoint. It’s loaded with flavor and hearty enough to keep you full for hours.

The traditional recipe is loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol, but this much healthier version uses lentils instead of meat and satisfies every bit as much.

round cast iron pan with vegan lentil cottage pie

How to make vegan shepherd’s pie

If there ever was comfort food, especially on cold winter days, this lentil shepherd’s pie is it for me. Though there are a few steps in making it, thankfully, it’s worth the effort.

You’ll need to begin by washing the veggies and dicing them up. The veggies included in this recipe are garlic, onions, carrots, and celery.

diced onions, garlic, carrots, and celery on brown cutting board

Cooking the lentils

In a large saucepan, saute the veggies in about 1/2 cup veggie broth (or even water) for about 5 minutes to get them slightly tender.

Stir in the tomato paste, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, bay leaf, lentils, and about 3.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-high heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

lentils cooking in stainless pot with tomato paste and spices

While the lentils are cooking, dice up the red potatoes, add them to a stockpot with enough water to cover them up well, and cook until tender, about 20-minutes.

red skinned potatoes cooking in stockpot

When the lentils are done, remove the bay leaf and throw it away. Pour the lentil tomato mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and set it to the side while you work on the mashed potato topping.

cast iron casserole dish with lentils in it

Preheat the oven to 350°F while you prepare the potato topping.

Making the mashed potato topping

Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain the water off. I like to set a colander in my sink and dump the pot to do this.

Place the cooked potato chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add low-fat, oil-free vegan mayo, plant milk, and salt. Blend together with a hand mixer until smooth.

mashed potatoes in stainless steel bowl with mixer wands

The secret ingredient is the Low-Fat Eggless Mayo that packs the mashed potato topping full of flavor and creaminess.

Spread the mashed potatoes over the lentil mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, parsley flakes, and coarse ground pepper.

cast iron casserole pan with lentil cottage pie

Bake at 350°F in the oven for approximately 25-minutes or until nice and bubbly. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it burn, because oven temperatures vary.

Once cooked, allow the lentil shepherd pie to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

cast iron casserole pan with lentil cottage pie and old style blue spoon scooping

*Originally published December 18, 2014

Your Questions Answered:

  • Q: Does it matter what kind of lentils I use? Yes, you’ll want to use either brown or green lentils in this recipe because they don’t get mushy when cooked.
  • Q: Do I have to use red potatoes as called for? Nope, yellow, russet, or most any other potato will work just fine.
  • Q: Should I peel my potatoes? You can peel them, but I don’t. The peelings have lots of fiber and nutrients in them. So, I scrub my potatoes well and leave the skin on.
  • Q: Can I make this ahead of time and bake the next day? This is a great make-ahead dish, so absolutely!
  • Q: Is this freezable? I haven’t frozen it but see no reason it wouldn’t do just fine.

Other vegan main dish recipes

serving of vegan lentil shepherd's pie on white plate

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This mouth-watering vegan shepherd’s pie is packed with chunky vegetables, savory sauce, and fluffy mashed potatoes. Believe me, it’s going to be a hit!

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced (approximately 3/4 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 cup dry/uncooked green or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 8 medium red-skinned potatoes, chopped with skin left on
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk such as almond or soy
  • 1 tablespoon Low-fat eggless mayo
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons parsley flakes

Instructions

  1. You’ll need to begin by washing the veggies and dicing them up. The veggies included in this recipe are garlic, onions, carrots, and celery.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the veggies in about 1/2 cup veggie broth (or even water) for about 5 minutes to get them slightly tender.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, rosemary, garlic powder, salt, bay leaf, lentils, and about 3.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-high heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, dice up the red potatoes, add them to a stockpot with enough water to cover them up well, and cook until tender, about 20-minutes.
  5. When the lentils are done, remove the bay leaf and throw it away. Pour the lentil tomato mixture into a 9 x 13 baking dish, and set it to the side while you work on the mashed potato topping.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F while you prepare the potato topping.
  7. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain the water off. I like to set a colander in my sink and dump the pot to do this.
  8. Place the cooked potato chunks in a large mixing bowl. Add low-fat, oil-free vegan mayo, plant milk, and salt. Blend together with a hand mixer until smooth. The secret ingredient is the Low-Fat Eggless Mayo that packs the mashed potato topping full of flavor and creaminess.
  9. Spread the mashed potatoes over the lentil mixture in the baking dish. Sprinkle with smoked paprika, parsley flakes, and coarse ground pepper.
  10. Bake at 350°F in oven for approximately 25-minutes or until nice and bubbly. Keep an eye on it and don’t let it burn, because oven temperatures vary.
  11. Once cooked, allow the lentil shepherd pie to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 2.2gSaturated Fat: 0gCarbohydrates: 19.5gFiber: 8.7gProtein: 10g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

Please rate and leave a comment because I love hearing from you. Remember SHARING IS CARING!

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Healthy comfort food

Ruth

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

I made this for dinner last night and it was excellent. I’m always looking for a flavorful comfort meal to serve my very supportive husband that eats whatever I cook at home. He went back for seconds and commented on how good it was. Thank you Terri!

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

Hi Ruth- Thanks SO MUCH for the wonderful feedback! I love that your husband went back for seconds. That definitely says a lot! :D

Lilli Morelli

Tuesday 28th of January 2020

My lentil mix was way too watery. Are we supposed to drain them? I followed the directions and covered my lentils by three inches, too. Help!!!! Can I save my Shepherd's pie??? It smells awesome by the way!

Terri Edwards

Tuesday 28th of January 2020

Are the lentils cooked to tenderness? I suggest removing the lid and continuing to cook until the liquid has cooked out. I hope it turns out well for you.

Chad

Friday 23rd of November 2018

This pie was great! Made it for a main dish for Thanksgiving. I took it to the family gathering and even the people that usually only eat turkey and gravy enjoyed it. My brother in law who hates vegetables even took some to save for leftovers! I did add some chopped fresh green beans, mushrooms, and chopped garnet yams to the vegetables, in order to make it into a one dish thanksgiving creation. Thanks so much for creating this recipe it was really fun for me to make something as a plant based eater that the rest of the meat eating family enjoyed.

EatPlant-Based.com

Saturday 24th of November 2018

Oh that sounds fabulous! I love the additions of fresh green beans, mushrooms, and yams. It surely must have been a beautiful table display. Thank you so much for letting me know how much you enjoyed the recipes. I love reading comments like this. Happy Holidays!

Shawn

Sunday 21st of October 2018

Absolutely delicious and easy to prepare. Makes good amount too!!

EatPlant-Based.com

Monday 22nd of October 2018

LOVE hearing this!

Diana

Tuesday 7th of March 2017

What can I substitute for the mayo? Thanks

EatPlant-Based.com

Tuesday 7th of March 2017

You could leave it out completely or substitute almond milk (or other plant milk). Happy cooking!

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