Quite possibly the most luxurious and hearty winter meal ever. This Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is made with brown lentils and mushrooms, infused with rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. It has a generous amount of spinach hidden inside, and is topped with a creamy potato and vegan cheese crust.
This winter solstice may have passed, signally slighter longer (and warmer) days ahead, but I’m all about the cozy meals at the moment.
This recipe is the ultimate in plant-based family meals – hearty enough to serve 6 with a fresh salad, it’s a great one to divide into portions and freeze for a convenient mid-week meal on the fly. It’s also packed full of flavour-flav – because, you know me, just a little heavy handed with the herbs and spices (your pantry/spice rack is literally a little home apothecary - so much goodness!).
The beauty of it is that you can totally make this one your own by experimenting with different fillings (try adding different root vegetables, leafy greens and mushroom varieties) and toppings (for example sweet potato or steamed and mashed cauliflower for something a little lighter).
Let’s just ignore the fact that my partner killed this by adding his classic grated cheese and tomato sauce combo to the finished meal (sigh – he will literally put this on everything), and jump straight into the recipe!
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How to Make Lentil Shepherd’s Pie Step by Step
First things first, we want to prep all our vegetables so they're good to go, then pop some potatoes on to boil. Once they're soft - drain and add them back to the pot, with oat milk and olive oil for a good mash. Boiling rather than steaming will give you a much softer texture. Boom.
Next we start on the filling - heat a generous amount of olive oil (don't be shy - think of all those lovely anti-inflammatory phenolic compounds!) and cook your minced shallots till soft. Add in your chopped vegetables (I went with carrot and celery) and cook a further five minutes or so.
Once the vegetables have slightly softened, add all other ingredients - lentils, mushrooms, spinach, herbs, tomato paste, mirin, stock and water - the lot. Stir to combine and let it come to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes. The liquid should reduce down by a cup or so - but please note my photograph here is a little on the dry side (I left it a bit too long while I set up the shot - d'oh).
Time for the best part - a thick slather of creamy mashed potato - just use a spatula to even out the surface. You might like to take a fork and create some texture once you're done for a bit of ooh aah factor, or add a handful of grated vegan cheese.
Bake for a quick 20 minutes and your beautiful Lentil Shepherd's Pie is done! Just be careful taking it out of the oven ok. And remember - yes you can freeze this!
To make this a balanced meal
- Add a generous salad made from fresh herbs (mint, basil, parsley, sage) and leafy greens
- Add a tablespoon of kraut (such as sauerkraut or kimchi) to get a little beneficial bacteria in there
- Make sure that you incorporate that 4 packed cups worth of spinach! Promise the kids won't even notice it
More delicious Plant-based Family Meals
Even more dinner inspiration for you right here:
- Cozy Creamy Mushroom Lentil Stew
- Chickpea Vegetable Tagine
- Chickpea Spinach Curry
- Liver Loving Sprouted Forbidden Rice Salad
That's it my friends! Easy as pie. Soz. Enjoy and see you next week,
If you make and enjoy this recipe, please leave a rating below. And better yet – leave me a comment to tell me how you got on, or just say hi – I LOVE hearing from you. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest to see more of my everyday recipes and wellness tips.
Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
- 600 g potatoes such as Agria variety, about 5 medium
- 3/4 cup oat milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 stick celery
- 1 large carrot
- 300 g brown button mushrooms large punnet
- 4 packed cups spinach
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 cup brown lentils dry
- 4 rounded tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 teaspoons organic vegetable stock powder
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon mirin rice vinegar
- ½ cup or more grated vegan cheese to top with
- Pre-heat oven at 180˚C (360˚F).
- Peel and slice the potatoes, boil (don’t steam) till soft, drain, then add oat milk and olive oil, mash till creamy smooth.
- Prep the vegetables: peel and mince shallots, peel and finely slice garlic, dice the carrot and celery, roughly slice the mushrooms, finely slice the spinach.
- In a skillet, heat olive oil over low-medium heat, add shallots and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the carrot, celery and garlic, cook another five minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients – stir to combine and let it simmer for 15 minutes or more, the liquid should reduce down by at least a cup.
- Remove the skillet from heat, and spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the surface. Use a fork to create a swirled pattern, and if desired, add grated vegan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes then serve and enjoy.
- Try using steamed and mashed cauliflower or sweet potato in place of regular potatoes for variation.
- If you steam the potatoes rather than boil, they won’t be as soft when you go to mash them.
- Any plant milk can be used in place of oat milk.
- You can use frozen spinach in place of fresh.
- Liquid low sodium vegetable stock is an alternative to the water + stock powder.
- I suggest soaking your lentils ahead of time to both enhance nutrition – but if that’s not practical just cook from dried lentils as I have in this recipe. Red lentils would probably work just fine. Green/French lentils may need soaking prior (they generally take longer to cook).
- This recipe is hearty and will serve 4 VERY hungry humans or make 6 regular portions if you were to enjoy with a side salad.