Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Recipe: Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with Red Lentils

Red lentil shepherds pie
Embarking on my 'eating more vegetarian meals' hasn't been easy, I don't want to take the cheat's way out and substitute everything with quorn alternatives. I wanted to create a dish that was made purely from vegetables, beans or lentils but wouldn't leave me and Chris feeling hungry an hour later.

Shepherd's pie has always been a favourite midweek meal of mine. There's something so warming and comforting about it, and it feels the house with an incredible home cook smell. A smell I remember well from my childhood.

Vegetarian shepherd's pie with red lentils

This vegetarian shepherd's pie is made with red lentils, carrots and red pepper. The lentils being the main bulk of the dish, they really do fill you up. I top mine with sweet potato mash as the taste compliments the lentil mixture well, but normal potatoes would work just as well, if you prefer.

Serves 4

Olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped 
1 red pepper, sliced 
1 1/2 pints of vegetable stock 
1 mug of red lentils 
3 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce 
3 bay leaves 
handful of fresh thyme 
salt & pepper to season 

1kg sweet potatoes 
1 tbsp butter 
pepper to taste 

1. Heat around 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan on a medium to high heat, once hot add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes. 

2. Add the carrots and garlic, and continue to cook in the oil for 5 minutes, then add the red pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down to low. 

3. Wash the red lentils, then add them to the pan, quickly followed by the vegetable stock. 

4. Add the herbs, tomato puree, and Worcestershire sauce and give it a good stir. Pop the lid on and leave to simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

5. Whilst cooking preheat the oven to 200c and peel and chop your sweet potatoes and put them in a pan of salted boiling water. Cook for around 20 minutes until soft. Then drain the water away and mash with the butter and some pepper, to taste. 

6. Pour the lentil mixture into a heatproof dish then top with the sweet potato mash. Spread this out until the lentil mixture is covered. 

7. Drag your fork along the top of the mash to create lines. Pop in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the top starts to turn golden. 

Serve with vegetables. 

Looking for some more dinner ideas that contain lentils? How about Roasted squash and lentil soup from Rough Measures, Lentil Spaghetti from Knead & Wine, or a summer rhubarb, strawberry and lentil salad from Recipes From a Pantry. If you're feeling adventurous check out this recipe for Mujaddara from Little Sunny Kitchen.

Sophie x



  1. This looks fantastic - definitely pinning it to have a go. Thanks for linking!

  2. It sounds very tasty, going to try this soon. Bet my family will love it too!

  3. I'm exactly the same, I didn't want to just resort to quorn for every meal, I love lentils, they have such a meaty taste. I am doing another voluntary veggie week this week (for money reasons, and cause I like the creativity of vegetarian cooking) so cheers for a recipe I'll actually use (and links to others!)

  4. I'm definitely up for some of this and pleased to have found your blog.

  5. I love lentils in a shepherds pie. We usually bulk our meat one out with lentils so we can use less meat.

  6. Yum, love the sweet potato topping. I also prefer using pulses instead of meat substitutes when I'm cooking veggie meals.

  7. That looks really delicious - great colour and plenty of protein.

  8. This looks so delicious Sophie. It's really nice to see a Shepherd's Pie I love the vibrant orange colour of the sweet potato too. I wonder if this would work with peas as well? Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare


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