Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

This Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie Recipe boasts a rich lentil sauce with delicious mashed potatoes on top. Perfect winter comfort food.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

We’re in the middle of winter, with snow forecasted for tomorrow, foggy mornings, and chilly days. It’s the perfect time for winter comfort food, such as this Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie!

Now, this is no regular Shepherd’s Pie. This pie is fully plant-based, loaded with vegetables, fiber, and a rich and deep flavor that will leave you feeling happy, warm, and satisfied.

As per tradition, this Vegan Shepherd’s Pie consists of a hearty sauce at the bottom and fluffy, creamy, and crispy mashed potatoes on top.

Read on to see ingredients and preparation!

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

The dish consists of two parts – the lentil sauce and the mashed potatoes, which you then spoon on top of the sauce and bake.

To make this Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie you will need to do 3 steps:

  • make a lentil sauce
  • make the mashed potatoes
  • bake

But all in all, the longest time is the baking time, while you don’t have to cook at all (and you can use this time to make the dishes, for instance).

Ingredients & Substitutions for the lentil sauce

For the lentil sauce you will need:

  • onion
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • lentils. We recommend using brown or green lentils because they hold their shape better once cooked, but we do not recommend using red or yellow lentils in this recipe. We used pre-cooked lentils for this recipe, canned lentils are also OK to use. If you only have dry lentils available, use about 3/4 cup dry lentils, wash them thoroughly, then cooked them in about 2-3 cups of vegetable stock until they are fork-tender.
  • herbs. We used oregano and thyme in this recipe, you could also use other herbs and spices to add other flavors to the dish, such as rosemary, parsley, and similar.
  • flour. This is used to thicken the sauce. You could also use cornstarch, tapioca, or rice flour, to keep this dish gluten-free.
  • soy sauce. This will add saltiness and depth of flavor. You could substitute it with tamari sauce. Choose a gluten-free option if you have a gluten intolerance.
  • tomato pasta sauce. We used a store-bought Italian pasta sauce with herbs, which is already pre-cooked and seasoned. This will shorten your cooking time. You could substitute with canned tomatoes or a passata, but then add the tomatoes to the pan before the lentils, and make sure to cook it down for about 15 minutes, and season to taste.
  • vegetable stock
  • salt, black pepper
  • frozen peas. The peas get added to the sauce in the last step. You could use fresh peas if you have them, but frozen peas are way more available and just as delicious. If you don’t have peas, just skip them, but they do add extra protein and vegetable intake to the dish so we highly recommend using them.

Ingredients & Substitutions for the mashed potatoes

For the mashed potatoes you will need:

  • potatoes (about 4 large). Any starchy potatoes will work, just don’t use baby potatoes or potatoes that are too watery.
  • pinch of salt
  • unsweetened plant-based milk. We like to use milk with little flavor that is unsweetened for cooking purposes. Rice milk, oat milk, or soy milk will all work. I would skip almond milk, as it adds too much nutty flavor.
  •  vegan butter. We like the Naturli brand for this, but any vegan butter or fully plant-based margarine will work.

Possible additions

  • try adding sauteed mushrooms to the sauce for a more earthy taste. I would dice them and add them to the pan while cooking the onions and carrot.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

To make this Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie you will need to do 3 steps:

  • make a lentil sauce
  • make the mashed potatoes
  • bake

But all in all, the longest time is the baking time, while you don’t have to cook at all (and you can use this time to make the dishes, for instance).

How to make the Lentil Sauce

To make the lentil sauce, start by heating vegetable oil in a large pan, then sauteing your diced onion and carrot, until the vegetables soften and start turning a golden color. Then, stir in your minced garlic. Add the cooked lentils, herbs and stir in the flour, mixing it evenly through the vegetables.

Now, pour in the soy sauce and the tomato pasta sauce, stir well and pour in the vegetable stock. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, add your frozen peas and bring to a simmer. When the sauce starts simmering, turn off the heat.

That’s all and your lentil sauce is done in about 20 minutes.

How to make mashed potatoes

While the sauce cooks, you can also cook the potatoes: peel and dice 4 large potatoes, place them in a pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring the water to a boil. Let cook on medium for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender, then drain and return to the pot. Season with salt and add plant-based milk and vegan butter. Mash with a potato masher or fork until creamy.

Assemble and bake your Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

To finish your pie, preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

Spoon the lentil sauce in a large oven-safe dish and top with the mashed potatoes, spreading them carefully over the sauce.

Transfer the dish into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes start turning golden-brown and crispy.

How to serve and store

Serve this Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie hot from the oven, with a side of leafy green salad.

Store refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie Recipe boasts a rich lentil sauce with delicious mashed potatoes on top. Perfect winter comfort food.

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot, large
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups cooked lentils, brown or green
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup peas, frozen

Mashed potatoes:

  • 800 grams potatoes (about 4 large)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup plant-based milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter

Instructions

  1. Prepare the lentil sauce: In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and add 1 diced onion and 1 diced carrot. Saute until the onions turn golden brown and the carrot softens. Stir in 3 cloves minced garlic, then add 2 cups cooked lentils, 1/2 tsp oregano, and 1/2 tsp thyme. Stir in 2 tbsp flour, making sure it spreads evenly through the vegetables. Pour in 3 tbsp soy sauce and 1 cup tomato pasta sauce, stir well to combine thoroughly, then add in also 1 cup vegetable stock. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, add in 1 cup frozen peas and bring to a simmer. When the sauce starts simmering, turn off the heat.
  2. Make the mashed potatoes: peel and dice 800 grams of potatoes (about 4 large), then put them in a pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes, season with salt and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook on medium until they are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and return to the pot. Add a pinch of salt, 1/3 cup unsweetened plant-based milk, and about 1 tbsp of vegan butter. Mash until creamy.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.
  4. Ladle the lentil sauce into a large oven-safe dish. Then, spoon the mashed potatoes carefully over the lentil sauce and spread it out evenly, but it doesn't need to be perfect. You could even fork a design into the potatoes, which will add to more crispiness once baked.
  5. Transfer the dish into the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until the potatoes start turning golden-brown and crispy.
  6. Serve hot.

Notes

If you over-fill your dish you might risk the sauce bubbling over while baking. To be safe, place the dish on a baking tray when transferring it to the oven.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 905mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 13g

Nutrition data is automatically calculated using Nutritionix and may not be accurate.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

If you like this recipe, you can let us know in the comments below or on social media using #vibrantplate and tag us @vibrantplate. We’re always happy to read your feedback and LOVE seeing your take on our recipes.

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