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This vegan lentil shepherd’s pie is flavorful and hearty with a veggie lentil filling topped with fluffy mashed potatoes.
Why you’ll love it
Here is why you'll love this meatless lentil shepherd's pie:
- The ingredients are fairly inexpensive. Great for those on a tight budget.
- It’s comforting and filling.
- It’s vegan.
- It’s gluten-free.
- It’s a well-rounded plant-based meal with veggies, potatoes, and lentils as a good source of protein.
- It’s the perfect holiday recipe. It’s great for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Lentils: Make sure you use brown or green lentils for this recipe. They are a great, hearty replacement for meat in this vegan shepherd’s pie.
Yellow onion, carrot, celery, garlic: These vegetables will be water sautéed in your lentil filling for added flavor and nutrition.
Frozen corn: Frozen corn will also be added to your lentil mix. I use frozen because it’s super easy to use.
Salt, pepper, thyme: These ingredients will add flavor to your lentil filling.
Crushed tomatoes: Canned crushed tomatoes are used for flavor and to thicken your lentil filling.
Tamari: Tamari adds a deep, hearty flavor to many vegan dishes. It is also used in this lentil stew.
Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth is used to cook the lentil filling in this recipe. You can use liquid broth from a carton, make your own, or use a store-bought powder that you mix with water.
Mashed potatoes: I suggest using russet or yellow potatoes for your mashed potatoes. Oat milk will be used to mash them, and some vegan butter is optional.
Step by step photos for making lentil shepherd's pie
To make your vegan lentil shepherd’s pie, start by using a bit of water to sauté the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic.
Then add the frozen corn, crushed tomato, tamari, and seasoning. Mix everything together before adding the broth and lentils.
Cover, then bring the broth to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes. Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Peel and cut your potatoes and boil them in a pot of water until they are soft and easily pierced with a fork. Then drain the water and mash the potatoes with oat milk and vegan butter if desired. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Once the lentils are fully cooked and the liquid in the pot has been cooked off, evenly spread the lentil filling in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Spread the mashed potatoes on top, then bake for 20 minutes.
Tips for making lentil shepherd's pie
- Sift through your lentils before cooking them to make sure there are no rocks or anything else other than lentils. I have bought lentils from many different brands, and I almost always find some small rocks in the bag.
- Make sure your lentil mixture isn’t too wet when you add it to your baking dish. Continue cooking it on the stove until most of the liquid is gone. If your lentil filling is too wet when you place it in your baking dish, your mashed potatoes won’t be able to sit on it as well and they will sink into the filling.
- Instead of dumping the mashed potatoes onto the lentil filling all at once, scoop them out evenly over the filling, then gently spread them out. This will help to prevent them from sinking.
Can I use red lentils? No. You must use green or brown lentils for this recipe because red lentils will be too mushy and won’t taste right.
My lentil filling is too wet. What should I do? If your lentils are cooked and you still have too much liquid left in your pan, remove the lid and continue cooking until most of the water is evaporated. Make sure to stir your lentil mixture to prevent sticking. Once most of the liquid is gone, you can put the lentil filling in your baking dish.
My lentils aren’t cooked enough. What should I do? If you’ve cooked your lentil mixture for 30 minutes and your lentils still seem too hard, continue cooking for about 10 more minutes. Pour in some more water if needed.
What should I serve with lentil shepherd’s pie? I make this meatless shepherd’s pie as a main dish, then serve it with some sides. You can choose whatever sides you’d like, but I usually go with a simple green salad or a veggie side.
More vegan mains
Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 2 celery ribs (diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 cup dry lentils (brown or green)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1300 grams potatoes (russet or yellow)
- ½ cup oat milk
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional)
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a pot or deep pan on the stove and heat on medium for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a splash of water if sticking occurs.
- Next, add the salt, pepper, thyme, corn, crushed tomatoes, and tamari. Mix everything together before adding the broth and lentils.
- Cover your pot, bring the broth to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, then check to see if the lentils are cooked. If they are not soft enough, cook for about 10 more minutes, adding a bit of water if needed. Ensure that most of the liquid is gone before placing the lentil mixture in your baking dish.
- While your lentil mix is cooking, set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and start prepping your mashed potatoes.
- Peel and chop your potatoes, then add to a pot and cover them with water. Boil on the stove for 10 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- When the potatoes are soft, drain the water, then add the oat milk, salt, and pepper. Add some vegan butter if desired, then mash the potatoes and set them aside until your lentil mixture is ready.
- When the lentil mixture is ready, spread it evenly in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly over the lentil filling, then gently spread them out.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Nutrition information is an estimate generated from a nutrition calculator. There may be errors here or variations based on ingredients you use.