Vegan ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ With Lentils

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking time: 80-90 minutes


Recipe adapted from: Coeliac UK

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C & K, protein, fibre, iron, potassium, some magnesium, zinc, calcium and is low in fats!

This recipe may not be as traditional or authentic as some British folk would prefer, but let’s face it- it’s a recipe that’s been adapted several times over the last 100 years or so! I think it’s a great recipe for those cold winter nights that are upon us, or for anyone implementing healthy lifestyle changes, and it’s definitely a meal the whole family can enjoy. The bottom line is, it tastes great, it’s easy to prepare and the ingredients are very interchangeable and inexpensive!  


NB: Based on four servings, this recipe provides approximately: 400kcal, 2.3g fat, 0.45g s/sat per serving. (*A standard supermarket version with lamb could provide 10g-20g of fat from the meat, butter, cream or full-fat milks they use in their recipes.)
*Based on a cursory look at some of the main supermarket brands.


NB: I used two peppers as I had some to spare!



++++++++++++++150g      Brown lentils
++++++++++++++2L           Vegetable broth (low-sodium/DF/GF)
++++++++++++++1000g    Rudolph Potatoes
++++++++++++++4g           Garlic cloves
++++++++++++++170g      White onion
++++++++++++++160g      Carrots
++++++++++++++180g      Red bell pepper (I used 2 because I loads to spare!)
++++++++++++++100g      White mushrooms
++++++++++++++100g       Garden peas
++++++++++++++ 8g           Corn starch
+++++++++++++                  ‘1 kcal’ Fry spray (low-fat cooking oil)
++++++++++++++3g           Seasoning mix (Sweet paprika, Cayenne pepper & Dried Basil)
++++++++++++++30ml       Unsweetened Soya milk
++++++++++++++7g            Vegan (reduced fat) soya margarine
++++++++++++++                 Salt
++++++++++++++                 Pepper
++++++++++++++40G         Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++1g            Dried Thyme

NB: If using frozen vegetables, defrost them before use. 



Wash and drain the lentils; remove any stones. Prepare the broth.


Place the broth into a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lentils. Cook according to the packet instructions and then drain.

  Reserve 600ml of the cooking liquid before draining.


In the meantime, wash, peel and chop the potatoes into quarters. Place them into a separate, large saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and leave to dry.


Meanwhile, peel and finely grate the garlic. Peel and chop the onions. Wash, trim the ends, peel and dice the carrots. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and dice the bell pepper. Wash, dry and slice the mushrooms. Wash and drain the peas. Place the corn starch into a small dish. Add some cold water and stir/whisk until dissolved; creating a slurry.

Meanwhile, ladle out some cooking liquid and transfer it into a large measuring jug.


Heat another large non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray with a little low-fat cooking oil. NB: Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid to help ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables. Add the garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne pepper and basil. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

NB: I used 1g of each herb/spice to make the seasoning mix.



Add the carrot, bell pepper, mushrooms and a little more cooking liquid. Stir together. Cover and allow to steam-fry for a further 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the peas 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Stir together.


Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Get out a large, heat-proof casserole dish.



In the meantime, prepare the mashed potato topping. Transfer the potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or use the same pot they were cooked in). Add the milk and margarine. Season it with some salt and pepper to taste. Mash until smooth and creamy.

NB: I didn’t want to scratch my pot so I used this plastic bowl; one more cooking utensil to wash at this point wasn’t going to make a difference!




Add the lentils, puree and the remaining cooking liquid into the saucepan. Stir together. Add the cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine. Stir and allow the mixture to thicken slightly; approximately 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

NB: You might have to gently whisk the corn starch mixture again before adding it into the saucepan.



Transfer the mixture into the casserole dish.



Top with the potatoes.

NB: I gathered some with my hands, made ‘patties’ and gently placed them on top of the mixture. It really doesn’t take as long as it sounds!



Smooth with a silicone spatula, sprinkle over the thyme and roughen the surface with a fork.



Place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until boiling and slightly brown on top.

NB: Mine just started to bubble over but I caught it just in time ( I was attending to the queue of dishes)!



Serve warm in a lipped serving plate.

NB: This represents one serving. *Based on this meal serving four people.



Next day leftovers!

NB: Enjoy hot or cold with additional vegetables if desired. This portion was unheated and enjoyed straight from the fridge!


If preferred…

  • Use seasonal vegetables or any others you desire to create your favourite vegetable medley!
  • Substitute the lentils for prepared dehydrated soya mince or some beans.
  • Try using different herb and spice blends; use fresh if available and/or convenient.
  • If your not vegan, try adding a small portion of low-fat cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes before baking.

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