Today I am sharing with you guys one of my favorite comfort food recipes! This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie uses lentils instead of the traditional beef or lamb mixture we are all used to…BUT it doesn’t lack any flavor and that I guarantee! My hubby and I started trying to do “meat free” meals at least once a week about this time last year, and this was something I came up with that required little ingredients and could be made on a weeknight for a quick dinner. That being said, you can definitely add in 1/2 lb of ground meat of your choice to this if you want it.
The flavors of this Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie will honestly make you feel like you are eating a hearty meat dish all thanks to the lentils. If you think you don’t like lentils just trust me and make this dish at least once, I am certain it will become a quick favorite. We use canned lentils as they are easier for throwing this dish together, however if you have some extra time or are making it on the weekend you can boil out dried ones instead.
- 1 1/2 lbs Potatoes - we used russet (approx. 8 medium) Peeled and Chopped
- 1/4 c Butter - melted
- 1/4 c Milk
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2 medium Carrots, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 can Lentils (approx. 2 cups) rinsed
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 c Vegetable Broth
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 c Frozen Corn
- 1 c Frozen Peas
- 1 tsp dried Parsley
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large pot bring potatoes to a boil, cook until fork goes through easily (12 mins).
- While potatoes are cooking heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven safe skillet. Saute carrots and onions until soft, add in garlic and cook for 1 minute until it become fragrant (be careful not to burn it).
- Add in your lentils with a pinch of salt and pepper, sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in your broth and Worcestershire sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
- While simmering, drain your potatoes and mash with melted butter and milk. Add egg yolk and a pinch of salt and pepper, stir to combine.
- Remove lentil mixture from heat and stir in peas and corn.
- Add mashed potatoes to the top of your lentil mixture and gently spread to create an even layer.
- Cook in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly golden, top with parsley and serve.
We use russet potatoes, but you can also use white or yellow. If you do not have a large enough skillet, you can assemble in casserole dish instead. Be sure to lightly rinse the canned lentils to remove the liquid which generally contains an excessive amount of sodium.
I love how hearty this dish is, using lots of vegetables to help create a healthy dinner for the entire family. We like to use carrots, peas and corn when making our Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, but you can get creative and add in whatever your family likes. We have added in kale in the past as well as chopped collard greens. Like most of our recipes, we try to make them versatile so you can start with the basic “base” and add in what fits your tastes.
benefits of our lentil vegetarian shepherd’s pie
- This is a ONE SKILLET meal (minus boiling the potatoes!). If there is any way I can save myself some dishes you know I am gonna do it.
- Lentils are high in fibre and protein and are low in fat.
- There is so much flavor in this dish you won’t even notice it has no meat.
- You can make this dish vegan too – just omit the egg yolk (it is in there to help brown your potatoes) and use a dairy free milk instead.
- Make this dish ahead of time and freeze it (up to step #8 in the cooking process) and when you are ready to eat it just add an additional 20 minutes to your cooking time to ensure everything is heated through.
- Lentils are also high in folate, iron and potassium, combining this power legume with the vitamins and minerals from the veggies and this dish really has it all!
want more dinners like this vegetarian shepherd’s pie?
- Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Tortilla Soup with Lentils – Food & Wine
- Warm White Bean and Kale Salad