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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