Lazy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Lazy Lentil Shepherds Pie Photos by Lindsey Johnson

I am a comfort food enthusiast and to me, nothing says comfort food like a hearty, homemade casserole. The best part about casseroles is that they’re easy to make and filling. The worst part? The ones made without meat don’t usually cover all your nutritional bases, unless the only bases you’re looking to cover are carbs, cheese and condensed cream of mushroom soup. (PS – Please, tell me about this magical carb, cheese and condensed cream of mushroom soup diet you’re on. I want to go there.)

Lazy Lentil Shepherds Pie
I like making (and eating!) shepherd’s pie because, although it definitely has the carbs covered with the mashed potato topping, the filling is easy to make into something a little bit more virtuous. So you have the comfort food goodness of mashed potatoes, but you can get some veggies, grains, and protein in the filling–best of both worlds, right?

I realize that this recipe sounds a little bit odd–the “lazy” in the title refers to the can of lentil soup in the recipe. You know how sometimes you need to make dinner and you have nothing planned, so you just assemble random ingredients and cross your fingers that it will work? And somehow it turns out delicious and becomes a favorite? That’s the story behind my lentil shepherd’s pie. I’ve made it with different kinds of lentil soup and different vegetables, so don’t think you need to stick to the ingredients I have here. Go wild! Normally when I make shepherd’s pie, it’s a Sunday dinner because I have more time to cook then, but this version comes together quickly enough to make on a busy weeknight–you can even make the filling the night before and assemble the casserole right before cooking.

This December, we’re republishing updated recipes from Oh My Veggies’ first year. This post was originally published on September 6, 2011.

Lazy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Lazy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Using canned soup and prepared mashed potatoes makes this meatless shepherd's pie come together in a snap!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can lentil soup (like Amy's)
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 3/4 cup bulgur
  • 2 1/2 cups prepared/leftover mashed potatoes, heated
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly coat a 2-3 quart casserole dish with an oil mister.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 5-6 minutes more, or until soft. Add the soup, kale and bulgur, then fill the can with water and add that to the skillet too; reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until mixture has thickened and kale has wilted.
  3. Pour the veggie and soup mixture into the casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes (warming them first makes them easier to spread). Bake for 30 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes before serving, or until potatoes are golden brown and slightly crispy in places.

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at   Read more from Kiersten →

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  1. says

    This actually sounds great! I say that with surprise because I usually loathe all things vegetarian. Well, meals that are originally made with meat, anyways. You know what I mean!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Mushrooms would be good! The eggplant was totally random–I just had so many on hand. We finished the last of the little ones today, but I still have at least one Japanese eggplant growing in the garden. Eggplants are about my only success this summer. :P

  2. Stephanie says

    Made this last week for dinner and it was a HUGE hit. This is super easy and delicious. It will definitely be a regular meal in our house. Thanks for the great recipe.

  3. Katharina says

    Hey :) I lived in the UK for a year and thats where i encounterd shepherds pie :) glad to have found your veggie version.
    does the bulgur work as a thickener? could i just use flour instead?
    also, Austrian stoves dont usually come with a broiler. we only have the oven itself and the stovetop/ four cooking plates. i reckon i just leave it in the oven for a little bit longer in that case?

    in addition, i loved your blog entry where you listed 50 casserolle recipes. casserolles are also something i didnt know before i was in the uk, where we had sausage casserolle with white beans, carrots, potatoes and any other vegetables that needed using up. it was more like a stew than the rather thicker, consistant dishes you posted. yum. i need to find veggie versions of these stew/casserolles :)


    • Kiersten Frase says

      The bulgur thickens the sauce, but it also adds texture–a little bit like ground beef. If you don’t broil it, that’s fine–it’s only to make the topping browned, so it tastes fine without that!

  4. Rian says

    This looks really good. Is there a replacement for the bulgur wheat in general? I’m gluten free so I need to find a replacement unfortunately.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      The bulgur thickens the sauce a little bit. I’m not sure if you’ve ever worked with teff, but that might be a possible substitute; cooked quinoa could work well in this too.

  5. says

    I have never had shepherds pie before..ever! I guess they don’t make ‘em where I’m from (NY/Hawaii/Cali) haha but I would LOVE to try this..I bet it would rock with some mushrooms and maybe reconstituted mushroom broth? Mmm..

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