This Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie makes for a showstopping holiday meal, or just a super hearty meatless dinner. It's loaded with healthy flavor from protein-packed lentils, fresh herbs, and creamy mashed potatoes- all baked to golden perfection.
Shepherd's Pie just might be the perfect comfort food. It's warm and filling and creamy - just totally delicious to dig into on a cool fall or winter night.
And this meatless version is every bit as comforting and delicious as the original! It's loaded with hearty lentils and tons of fresh veggies, all simmered together with flavorful herbs and topped with fluffy mashed potatoes.
What's not to love?
This Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie is:
- A delicious meatless main dish.
- Loaded with flavor from fresh herbs and savory broth.
- Topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
This lentil shepherd's pie makes the perfect main dish for a vegetarian Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner too!
Tips, Tricks, & Variations
Be sure to use a deep-sided oven-safe pan for cooking the lentil mixture. This will allow you to simply add the mashed potato topping, and pop the whole thing into the oven.
If you do not have a deep-sided pan that can go into the oven, you can alternatively transfer the lentil mixture to a baking dish - then top with mashed potatoes and bake in that.
Feel free to experiment with whatever veggies are in season near you. I used onions, carrots, and corn, which are a pretty traditional combination for a shepherd's pie. But mushrooms, green peas, and bell peppers are also great choices.
You can also vary the seasonings to your liking. I used a combination of thyme, rosemary, and smoked paprika. But an Italian seasoning blend would also be a great choice, and very convenient! You could also add a little chili powder for spice.
I recommend using brown or green lentils for this shepherd's pie, as they will hold up well to cooking. Red lentils are one of my faves - but they don't work well in this recipe, as they get too mushy when cooked for long periods.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze this lentil shepherd's pie - I suggest freezing after assembling but before baking.
If you're looking for more ideas for your vegetarian holiday menu, be sure to check out our Vegan Thanksgiving Cookbook or Vegan Christmas Cookbook!
And if you love this vegan shepherd's pie, be sure to check out these other tasty ideas:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 celery stalk finely chopped
- 2 carrots medium, peeled and cubed
- 1 onion medium, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup crushed tomatoes
- 3 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups green lentils or brown lentils
- 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp salt plus more to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper plus more to taste
Make the Lentil Filling
- Heat a large deep-sided ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, celery, carrots, and onions, and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the vegetables are just softened and onions are beginning to brown.
- Add the garlic, thyme, rosemary, and smoked paprika. Cook for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan, being sure to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add crushed tomatoes and stir.
- Add the vegetable broth and lentils. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Stir in the corn kernels and cook for a couple more minutes, until corn is warmed through. Add salt and black pepper, adjusting to taste.
Make the Mashed Potato Topping
- Peel the potatoes and rinse under running water. Roughly chop the potatoes.
- In another pot, cover the potatoes with enough salted water to cover them completely. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15-20 minutes, until fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot or a mixing bowl. Mash the potatoes together with the nondairy milk and vegan butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the Shepherd's Pie
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Spread the mashed potatoes over top of the lentil and vegetable mixture in the ovenproof pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, and serve.