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This vegan shepherd’s pie is stuffed with hearty vegetables and lentils to make this dish extra filling! It’s also healthy, made with whole foods, so it won’t leave you feeling sluggish afterwards. The perfect dish to serve for the holidays and when you want something extra cozy.

Traditional Shepherd’s pie uses ground meat. We make this vegan and extra hearty by using lentils and green peas. Both are high in protein which make the perfect replacement for meat. Ever had a veggie shepherd’s pie that left you unsatisfied? Not this one!

You can use either dry or canned lentils. I used canned just to save time but you can easily cook the lentils while the potatoes are boiling. Brown or green lentils are best because they hold their shape better to make for a “meatier” texture.

I also went the healthier route and left out the vegan butter. Don’t worry, the mashed potatoes are still creamy and delicious. The key is using the starchy water that the potatoes are cooked in!

I love this vegetable Shepherd’s pie recipe because it’s super flavorful and savory and takes less than an hour start to finish. It’s perfect for serving for the holidays (I make it often for both Thanksgiving and Christmas), that even non-vegans will love. Or if you’re just wanting something warm and comforting for the colder weather, this is a great recipe to meal prep on the weekends since it makes multiple servings that can easily be reheated.

Ingredients

  • brown or green lentils
  • Yukon potatoes—I’ve found that these work best for accomplishing a creamy consistency
  • turmeric—gives the potatoes a nice golden color and of course ups the antioxidant contents
  • garlic powder
  • onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • fresh garlic
  • mushrooms—to make it even “meatier”
  • dried thyme
  • tomato sauce—adds more flavor and makes it even more savory
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • frozen peas
  • salt & pepper to taste

It may seem like a lot of ingredients but many are spices or veggies that can be blitzed in a food processor quickly. You could also opt for a bag of frozen mixed vegetables if you want to instead of the carrots, celery, mushrooms, and peas to save time.

Additional Flavor Variations

  • Top with mashed sweet potatoes
  • Add nutritional yeast to the mashed potatoes for a cheesy flavor
  • Add a splash of liquid smoke to the filling
  • Serve with gravy smothered on top—seriously delicious!

How to make

Cook the lentils with water, according to packaging instructions. Or use canned lentils from the store (preferably low or no sodium) to save time! I used canned and drained and rinsed them.

Slice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. In a large stockpot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover them. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until soft.

When the potatoes are done, drain the water, leaving about 1/2-1 cup of water. Mash the potatoes with a masher or fork. Add the turmeric and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more hot water or vegetable broth if desired to reach a creamier mashed potato consistency.

Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C.

In a pan, sauté the minced garlic, onion, carrots, and celery until soft. About 5 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Then, stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.

Turn off the heat and add the lentils and peas. Stir to evenly combine. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste, then pour into a baking pan that fits the base with extra room on top to hold the potatoes (9×13 inch pan works if making 8 servings).

Spread the mashed potatoes on top.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are browned on top.

How to store

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

Serving suggestions

We often make this for Thanksgiving so we love to serve it with this Easy Vegan Gravy and delicious Cornbread. You can check out everything we make for the holidays in this post.

For a typical weeknight, we love serving it with these Savory Vegan Muffins as a side!

If you enjoyed this recipe please leave a comment below and give it 5 stars! Or on Pinterest (don’t forget to follow me!) you can now add pictures into reviews, too, and be sure to help me share on facebook!

Hearty Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Hearty Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

5 from 1 vote
Author: Rachel
This vegan shepherd's pie is stuffed with hearty vegetables and lentils to make this dish extra filling! It's also healthy, made with whole foods, so it won't leave you feeling sluggish afterwards. The perfect dish to serve for the holidays and when you want something extra cozy.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6

Method

  • oven
  • Stovetop

Ingredients 
 

Mashed Potatoes

  • 7 yukon potatoes chopped, skins on
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Filling

  • 2 cups green lentils cooked
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 4 stalks celery diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ cups no-salt canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen peas

Instructions 

  • Cook the lentils with water, according to packaging instructions. Or use canned lentils from the store (preferably low or no sodium) to save time.
  • Chopped the potatoes in about 1-inch cubes so that they cook faster and evenly. In a large stockpot, add the potatoes and enough water to cover them. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 minutes until soft.
  • When the potatoes are done, drain the water, leaving about 1/2-1 cup of water. Mash the potatoes with a masher or fork. Add the turmeric and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more hot water or vegetable broth if desired to reach a creamier mashed potato consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C.
  • Dice the onion, carrots and celery or use a food processor to save time. In a pan, saute the minced garlic, onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until soft. About 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the mushrooms and thyme and cook for 1 minute. Then, stir in the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the cooked lentils and peas. Stir to evenly combine. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste, then pour into a baking pan that fits the base with extra room on top to hold the potatoes (9×13 inch pan works if making 8 servings). If the pan seems very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet to prevent the filling from bubbling over into your oven.
  • Spread the mashed potatoes on top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are browned on top.

Notes

Makes 6 large servings or 8 medium servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 1718mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4133IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 6mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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