Hearty Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

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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!

white and brown plate with a serving of lentil shepherd pie.

Whether you serve this lentil cottage pie for dinner or even for special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the whole family will love it. We have quite a few recipes that are great for the holidays like our hearty vegan meatloaf and perfect seitan vegan roast.

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

The recipe card at the bottom of the page has the full list of ingredients with measurements and instructions.

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

I am often asked which knives I use personally, and I have to say that it is Victorinox. They are the same company that makes Swiss Army Knives and the quality is excellent.

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.

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

cast iron casserole dish with lentils in it

Making the mashed potato topping

Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain the water. 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 there’s no reason it wouldn’t do just fine.

Other vegan main dish recipes

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serving of vegan lentil shepherd's pie on white plate
4.42 from 39 votes

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!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F while you prepare the 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Once cooked, allow the lentil shepherd pie to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

Your Questions Answered:
  1. 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.
  2. Q: Do I have to use red potatoes as called for? Nope, yellow, russet or almost any other potato will work just fine.
  3. 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.
  4. Q: Can I make this ahead of time and bake the next day? This is a great make-ahead dish, so absolutely!
  5. Q: Is this freezable? I haven’t frozen it but there's no reason it wouldn’t do just fine.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 19.5g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 2.2g | Fiber: 8.7g

Disclaimer

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.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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17 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

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

  4. Fantastic dish!! very tasty. I fast tracked by using two tins of pre cooked lentils. Certainly a great family meal, the kids loved it.

4.42 from 39 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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