This vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie has all of the flavor you’d expect in the traditional version but with all of the hearty goodness of lentils!
Tender lentils are simmered in a rich savory broth, topped with creamy mashed potatoes and baked to golden perfection! Serve this easy meal as a meatless favorite any time of year.
Ingredients in Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
A true shepherd’s pie recipe is made with lamb.
If you use ground beef it actually becomes a cottage pie… and in this case, we’re using lentils to replace the meat.
LENTILS Lentils are a yummy, healthy, and inexpensive substitution for meat in almost any ground beef dish! 1 cup of dried lentils can replace 1 pound of ground beef in most recipes.
VEGETABLES If I have them on hand, I use fresh veggies in this recipe. If you don’t have fresh veggies available, use frozen mixed vegetables and add them in along with the peas.
SAUCE The sauce for this recipe starts with a bit of flour and the remaining broth from the lentils. Depending on the type of lentils, you may need to add more or less broth. Start with 3 cups and once you add in the veggies and lentils as it begins to simmer, the sauce will thicken. Add more broth as needed (I add about 4 cups).
If you add too much broth, just let it simmer until thickened. Keep in mind the sauce will thicken further as the dish bakes and as it cools.
MASHED POTATOES Creamy homemade mashed potatoes are the perfect topping for this recipe, simply spread them on or pipe them for a pretty topping. I don’t add cheese to this recipe but you certainly can.
If you’d prefer, use mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes.
Short on Time?
- Swap lentils for canned lentils (drained and rinsed) and skip the boiling step (adding broth for the sauce where needed).
- Skip the homemade sauce and opt for a can of tomato soup, it makes a surprisingly delicious sauce. Simply omit the sauce ingredients in the recipe and add a can of condensed tomato soup directly into the mixture.
- Trade fresh veggies for frozen veggies to skip the washing and chopping.
- Trade homemade mashed potatoes for leftover mashed potatoes or store-bought (or garlic mashed for a flavor boost)!
How to Make Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
This dish is easy to make (although it does take some time). A quick overview of the steps…
- Simmer lentils in broth.
- While lentils are simmering, chop and soften veggies (or skip this step and use frozen veggies).
- Combine lentils with veggies and sauce ingredients. Simmer until thickened.
- Place in a deep dish pie plate and top with mashed potatoes.
Bake until golden and bubbly! So easy and so yummy!
Is Lentil Shepherd’s Pie Vegetarian?
It can be!
To make this a vegetarian dish, be sure to use vegetable broth and substitute regular Worcestershire sauce for a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce.
More Meatless Mains
- Homemade Lentil Soup
- Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- CrockPot Potato Soup
- Creamy Peanut Thai Noodles
- Vegetarian Chili
- Lentil Sloppy Joes
Easy Lentil Shepherd's Pie (vegetarian)
- 1 cup brown lentils or green lentils
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth or beef broth if not making vegetarian
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion chopped
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms about 4 oz
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 rib celery chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas defrosted
- ½ tablespoon flour
- 3 tablespoons red wine
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (use vegetarian Worcestershire sauce if desired)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 ½ cups prepared mashed potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Combine lentils and 3 cups broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 20-25 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Meanwhile, cook onion, mushrooms, carrot, and celery in olive oil over medium heat until onion and carrot are softened. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute more.
- Add lentils (and their broth), red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Stir in peas and simmer uncovered 10 minutes adding more broth as needed to create a sauce. Stir in parsley and season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Spoon lentil mixture into a deep-dish pie plate. Top with mashed potatoes and bake 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are browned.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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This recipe is a family favorite. No need for beef as the lentils provide a nice protein source and texture. I sub in an additional carrot and celery for the mushrooms.
The flavor of the dish is outstanding, absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Couple quick questions have you every substituted Guinness for the broth? Also can you use red cooking wine instead of just red wine if you’re not a wine drinker? Or what type of red wine?
I have not tried substituting Guinness but that sounds delicious! We use whatever red wine we have on hand like a Merlot or Pinot Noir, but cooking wine should work just fine. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out J!
So very good! I did add more broth to make a bit more gravy and it was delish!! This will be a regular in my dinner menu rotation. Thank you for posting.
As written, this seemed like it would be a little bland and didn’t have as many vegetables as I wanted. I added 1.5 cups corn, increased the carrots and celery, and added garlic, and thyme. I also increased the tomato paste and wine to make more gravy. The result was a fairly quick and easy, tasty, and filling dinner with enough leftover for husband and I to have leftovers later in the week.
This recipe was loved even by my veggie haters. I have a kid with asd who struggles with texture of cooked veggies a lot and this was completed with no complaints! I doubled for my family of six and they finished it off!
I’m so happy to hear this recipe was a hit Deborah!
Absolutely delicious!! Easy to make and turned out just perfectly! Thank you so much will make this healthy comfort dish again!
I liked the concept. I used canned lentils, vegetable broth and tomato paste, frozen vegetables – peas, baby carrots, diced red, green and yellow peppers and onions. Flavoured as you suggested except for a few items that I did not have on hand. I had made the mashed potatoes in the crockpot the day before and added shredded cheddar cheese and parsley flakes when I placed the potatoes on top of the vegetable mixture. Easy to prepare and a delight to eat. Thank you.
Easy, delicious and filling.
While I love a traditional Shepard’s Pie, this recipe was wonderful. I used an Instant Pot for the mashed potatoes and left out the garlic (my wife is not a fan). I followed the balance of the recipe using green lentils and beef broth. The dish received rave reviews from my family. Super easy to make with an outstanding result.
It was ok but next time I won’t put tomato paste in. I was in two minds but followed the recipe. I also added beef gravy powder as not a vegetarian and I felt it needed more flavour. This was a sub for flour.will be made again! Can I make a suggestion. Please put ingredients in metric and not just American
Thank you for the suggestion Rhoda. I don’t have these available in those measurements and I would suggest using an online converter for accurate conversion amounts. I am glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I made this to take to a potluck. Everyone raves about how delicious it was even the meat eaters. Definitely making this on a regular basis for my family.