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Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils

This vegetarian shepherds pie with lentils is a great cozy weeknight dinner. This recipe is vegetarian, low carb and healthy! I swapped out the traditional topper of mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower and used a meatless filling of fresh vegetables and lentils.

A casserole dish of vegetarian shepherd's pie with lentils with a wooden spoon.


Small wooden bowls of peas, lentils, carrots, mushrooms, and diced onion.

Save this Pin for Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils for your next healthy weeknight dinner!

Happy Monday!

Guys… I seriously love Mondays now that I work on my blog full time. Before, working in the corporate world, I DREADED Sunday night/Monday morning.

It always marked the end of my freedom for the next 5 days. It sounds horrible and depressing and if I’m being honest, it totally was. Sunday nights we’re spent pressing my slacks and trying to plan out how I would shove as much as humanly possible into the next week. 

Now Sunday nights are peaceful. I’m usually STOKED to get started on the week and tackle as many recipes and shoots as I can.

I spend other days hanging out with Rascal and hacking away on my computer at the kitchen table (aka my office). 

Small wooden bowls of lentils, peas, mushrooms, carrots, and diced onions.

Did you guys have a good weekend?!

Ours was half-filled with necessary weekend things like Costco runs and cleaning around the house. We also managed to fit in a four-mile hike on Saturday morning (thank you for gorgeous so cal weather in January!).

Then on Sunday, I headed over to Pasadena to meet up with my girlfriends for a day at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.

I was on the hunt for a kitchen rug and I am always searching for food styling props.

I managed to find a rug that I looooove at such a good price. We ended the afternoon with lunch at Lemonade. Last night Jared and I had leftover chili (really exciting, I know) and cozied up to start the first season of Stranger Things.

It was a very cozy and lazy Sunday night and I loved it. Our little family of three makes me so happy. 

Diced carrots, onions, peas, and mushrooms being sauteed in a pan.

Casserole dish filled with sautéed carrots, mushroom, peas, onions, and lentils and a wooden spoon.

I am happy to report that I have been still working out on the regular and eating healthy-ish! I have been filling dinner slots in with cozy and healthy meals like this soup and sheet pan fajitas. 

I wanted to fit in a cozy healthy casserole type of dish that wasn’t filled with heavy cream and carbs…

Que in Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils! 

This vegetarian shepherds pie is like… a weeknight life savor. It’s loaded with vegetables, low carb and makes an incredibly cozy weeknight dinner.

I will be totally honest there is still a little bit of butter and red wine in the recipe but not enough to make this a totally rich or ‘high caloric’ meal.

I swapped out the traditional topper of mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower and used a healthy meatless, middle filling of fresh vegetables and lentils for a plant-based twist, instead of traditional meat and potatoes…

Ingredients for Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils: 

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Shallot
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Red wine
  • All-purpose flour
  • Tomato paste
  • Thyme
  • Frozen peas
  • Vegetable broth
  • Green lentils
  • Cauliflower
  • Butter 
  • Parmesan Cheese 

A casserole dish with pre baked shepherds pie and a wooden spatula.

Put your own spin on the recipe!

Got leftover mashed potatoes? You can certainly use some leftover mashed potatoes to top off with casserole instead of the mashed cauliflower.

Yes, you can add meat to this, Dad. Ha! The best meat to use for a dish like this is ground beef, stewing chunks or some leftover baked or rotisserie chicken. 

Can this recipe be made vegan? Yes! Just add in nut-based milk to your mashed cauliflower (cashew works well) and use ghee, vegan butter or olive oil instead of regular butter. Omit the cheese on top and go for some nutritional yeast for a similar flavor. 

Try different vegetables. You can swap out lots of vegetables you have on hand. Potatoes, celery, bell peppers, leeks and corn all work well. 

A serving of vegetarian shepherds pie in a white bowl and a silver spoon.

Other Cozy Weeknight Recipes to try: 

If you make this Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils, I’d love to know how it goes! Please share with all fraaands in the comments below! For more easy recipes and ideas, follow meon Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, too! ♥

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Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-6 Servings 1x
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


This vegetarian shepherds pie is a great cozy weeknight dinner. This recipe is vegetarian, low carb and healthy! I swapped out the traditional topper of mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower and used a meatless filling of fresh vegetables and lentils.



for shepherds pie

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

1 white or yellow onion, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper

4 cloves of garlic, minced

6 carrots, peeled and diced

8 ounces of brown mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup of red wine

2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of thyme sprigs

12 oz of frozen peas

1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth

1 cup of cooked green lentils

for mashed cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, chopped

1/2 stick of unsalted butter

1/2 cup of milk

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons of thyme sprigs

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

grated Parmesan cheese to top with (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. For mashed cauliflower: Fill a large pot of water and add chopped cauliflower. Bring water to a boil and cook cauliflower for 10-15 minutes or until a fork pierces cauliflower easily.
  3. Drain cauliflower from water and transfer to a blender, food processor or vitamix. Add butter, milk, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, kosher salt and pepper to cauliflower and puree until smooth. Set aside for topping Shepherds pie… 
  4. For shepherds pie: In a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot heat olive oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add in onions, shallots, minced garlic, carrots and mushrooms and saute for 5-10 minutes or until onions are translucent. 
  5. Sprinkle vegetables with flour and add tomato paste and mix well. Add in red wine and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the vegetables. 
  6. Add in the thyme sprigs, vegetable broth and peas and stir consistently for 5-10 minutes on medium low heat until mixture has thickened. Stir in the cooked green lentils and transfer mixture to a casserole dish (if not using a dutch oven). 
  7. Top mixture evenly with mashed cauliflower and sprinkle with a later of grated parm. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until pie is slightly golden.


How to cook lentils: Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of liquid (water, stock, etc) to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. For whole lentils, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes.

Top with mashed potatoes: You can totally use leftover mashed potatoes to top with.

Add in ground beef or stewing beef chunks: Before step 4 add in ground beef or stewing beef and cook for 5-8 minutes or until just cooked through.

Substitute wine: If you don’t want to use wine in this recipe sub in more broth.

Keywords: vegetarian, cozy meals, shepherds pie, lentils

Save this Pin for Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with Lentils for your next healthy weeknight dinner!

Casserole dish of Vegetarian Shepherds Pie with a wooden spoon.

1 Comment

  1. May 7, 2018 / 4:12 am

    Your photography is stunning!

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