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Entrees/ Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Lazy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Lazy Lentil Shepherds Pie

Lazy Lentil Shepherds PiePhotos 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 Shepherds Pie

Lazy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Using canned soup and prepared mashed potatoes makes this meatless shepherd's pie come together in a snap!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings


  • 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


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly coat a 2-3 quart casserole dish with an oil mister.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • Reply
    Grumpy Grateful Mom
    September 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Looks tasty to me! We love Shepard’s pie, though I’ve never tried it vegetarian before. This looks like a great way to use my zucchini.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      September 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      Yup, that’s why I used zucchini–I didn’t get any from the garden, but it’s so cheap at the farmers market right now!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

      Well, you know, you could throw some meat in there if you feel so inclined. 🙂

  • Reply
    Matt @ FaveDiets
    September 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    This looks so good! Now I just have to find myself some Pacific Natural Foods soups.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      September 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      I think they sell them at Whole Foods. You could really substitute any kind of lentil soup in here though–if it’s less liquid, you might have to adjust cooking time slightly.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I could happily enjoy that for dinner!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I am always on the lookout for veggie recipes. And I’ve never made Shepard’s pie. So glad I stopped over! I think our entire family would like this!

  • Reply
    September 7, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I love Shepherd’s pie and this one sounds so good. I will enjoy it this fall.

  • Reply
    September 7, 2011 at 2:30 am

    Mm, that sounds really good!

  • Reply
    September 7, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Yum that sounds so good! Except for the eggplant. I’m surprised I didn’t see any mushrooms in there – that’d be perfection!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      September 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      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. 😛

  • Reply
    Jamie (Thrifty Veggie Mama)
    September 7, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I love shepherd’s pie. It is one of my favorite cold weather meals.

  • Reply
    Venera from
    September 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Mmmm! Looks so yummy! It’s getting cold here in Russia. I will cook my shepherds pie this weekend.

    • Reply
      September 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

      It’s not quite cold here yet, but it will be soon–perfect shepherd’s pie weather!

  • Reply
    Jennifer The Quirky Momma
    January 22, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I really love Shepherd’s Pie. I actually love my veggie version more than the meat version I used to make for my husband and family. I can’t wait to try some of your other veggie alternatives.

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      I’m glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    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 🙂


    • Reply
      December 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    January 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      January 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    December 22, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    This looks tasty and so easy!

  • Reply
    December 23, 2014 at 4:34 am

    You are one clever cookie, this sounds amazing and so easy too!

  • Reply
    Samantha @FerraroKitchen
    December 23, 2014 at 10:38 am

    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..

  • Reply
    December 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Is the bulgur cooked prior to adding? In a comment it is mentioned that using cooked quinoa could be substitued.

  • Reply
    December 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I totally love that this is seriously just made from SOUP. And other stuff, but canned soup = a weeknight meal lifesaver.

  • Reply
    Jen @ The Happy Healthy Balance
    December 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I am so happy I found your blog. Your recipes are amazing!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Have you ever substituted anything else for the Bulgur?

  • Reply
    July 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I just made this and it turned out great! I made the mashed potatoes specifically for the recipe, and instead of all white potatoes I did half carrots. Would be even better to do a white potato/sweet potato/carrot mix! The sweetness of the carrots is really nice for balancing out the earthy flavors of the lentil soup and bulgur.

    To quickly make the mashed potatoes: cut up 4 medium potatoes (white and/or sweet) and 3-4 carrots into 1/4 inch slices, then rough chop them. Add to large sauce pan with 4 tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil and a half cup of boiling water. Cook on medium, covered, stirring every 5 minutes. Eventually, the water will have evaporated and the potatoes and carrots will be mashable. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Is the 3/4 c bulgur dry or cooked?

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