This vegan shepherd’s pie is delicious and filling – it’s loaded with lentils, mushrooms, and other veggies. A thick layer of creamy, dairy free mashed potatoes tops the vegetable layer, making this meal super cocomforting and delicious!
What kind of comfort food do you love? Is it a cozy casserole? A creamy pasta dish? Something that’s rich and delicious?
When you eliminate dairy from your diet, you might think that comfort food has to fall by the wayside. But that’s not true! There are so many dairy substitutes out there – and you can use them to make creamy, buttery recipes.
This vegan shepherd’s pie is comforting and flavorful, but it doesn’t leave you feeling like you overdid it. It’s loaded with lentils, carrots, mushrooms, and more vegetables, and then topped with creamy, buttery, dairy free mashed potatoes. (It’s hard to decide what the best part is – all the veggies, or the fluffy potato topping).
This is a wonderful main dish that works well for a Sunday dinner or a holiday meal! I think you’ll love this cozy family recipe.
- Lentils – Green lentils are a great choice for this dish as they hold their shape well and don’t turn to mush. You could also use garbanzo beans, white beans, pinto beans, or really any type of bean that you enjoy. If you aren’t into lentils, or vegan shepherd’s pie, then maybe this turkey shepherd’s pie would be a good choice for you.
- Potatoes – I love Yukon Gold Potatoes, because they have a wonderful flavor that is naturally buttery. You can use any type of potato that you like, and you can even make the mashed potatoes the night before to save on prep time before dinner.
- Carrots – Carrots add sweetness and color to this dish.
- Peas – I love the pop of green peas in the lentil filling. They add a little bit of freshness to this recipe.
- Vegan Buttery Spread – Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Spread works well in the mashed potato topping. You can use any variety of non-dairy milk that works for your dietary needs. If you aren’t dairy free, you can go ahead and use regular butter and dairy milk.
Step by Step Instructions
- Rinse and pick over the lentils, then place in a large pot and cover with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 20-25 minutes. While they cook, move on to the next steps.
- Cook the sliced carrots, onions, mushrooms, and garlic in a frying pan with vegan buttery spread.
- Cook the potatoes, then drain, and add the vegan buttery spread, non-dairy milk, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher or mixer.
- Once the lentils are cooked, add the ketchup, spices, and peas. Cook for a few more minutes until the peas are cooked through.
- Spread the vegetable mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish.
- Spread the potatoes over the lentil mixture. Dot the top with more vegan buttery spread if desired. bake at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes.
- Top with fresh parsley, then slice and serve. Enjoy!
Store leftovers in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for about four days.
You can try freezing this pie if you like, but the texture may change a bit. This is best made fresh and eaten within four days. If you do freeze it, it may be best to freeze individual portions wrapped well and stored in a freezer safe container.
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Comforting Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.
For the vegetable base:
- 1 medium onion chopped, about ⅔ cup
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- 1 ¼ cups green lentils picked over and rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 10 white button mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Put the lentils and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- While the lentils cook, you can cook the other veggies. In a large skillet, cook the onions, garlic, sliced carrots, and mushrooms in the vegan buttery spread. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until they are tender. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
- If you have not prepared the mashed potatoes ahead of time, you can do that while everything is cooking. Peel and slice the potatoes, and put them in a pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, and boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add 4 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread, non-dairy milk, salt, and pepper to the pot. Use a potato masher or mixer to mash the potatoes. Set aside.
- Check the liquid level on the lentil mixture – the liquid should be mostly absorbed, but there should still be some in the pot – the lentils should not be dried out.
- Once the lentils are tender, add the ketchup, frozen peas, salt, pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, adding a bit more water if needed.
- Once everything is heated through, spread the lentil mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, and use a spatula to spread them out evenly.
- Dot the top of the casserole with a little more vegan buttery spread if desired.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes, just to let the potatoes get a little golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and top with fresh parsley if desired. Enjoy!
This post was originally published in March 2017. It has been updated with more information.