This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is made with lentils and tons of vegetables! Give your traditional Shepherd’s Pie a major upgrade with this healthy recipe!
Heads up! This recipe for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie was originally published in March 2015. Photos have been updated and the recipe slightly tweaked to reflect the small changes we’ve enjoyed over the years and a video was added March 2020. Enjoy!
Question: How do I get my husband to eat less meat? He doesn’t like many vegetables at all (except potatoes). I’d like him to eat more plant-based meals, but don’t know where to start.
Answer: Top a whole bunch of vegetables with a crust of mashed potatoes. Works every time.
Introducing Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. Winning the hearts of meat lovers everywhere.
I’ve gotten the above question, in one form or another, several times over the years. I’m not trying to be sexist here saying that women tend to like vegetables or plant-based meals more than men, I just don’t get emails from men asking how to get their wives to eat more vegetables.
Whatever a person’s goal is in trying to get a family member to eat healthier, whether it be eat more vegetables, eat less meat, or eat less processed foods, I usually give the same advice: start with the familiar.
Start with familiar foods and flavors, and change them slightly to be healthier than the familiar favorite.
This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is that kind of recipe. For the potato-lover, anything topped with a cheesy crust of mashed potatoes is going to be fabulous.
You might also want to give this Vegetable Pot Pie a try. It’s another family favorite!
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
For the Vegetarian Potato Topping
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, for topping, optional
For the Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Filling
- 1 cup dry lentils (French, brown, or green will work), picked over and rinsed*
- 2-4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 2 tablespoons oil (olive, avocado, or your choice)
- 3 small carrots, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
- 1 small zucchini, sliced and then cut into fourths
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 3/4 cup frozen green peas
- 1/2 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
The lentils that replace the meat are hearty and blend perfectly with the vegetables. This is a homey dish that is filling and doesn’t seem like it’s as healthy as it is. But it’s filled with a variety of vegetables and powerhouse lentils.
The best part is that even the biggest meat lover in your life is sure to enjoy this dish. When I first made this, it was a clean-out-the-pantry kind of meal. I had a lot of random vegetables I wanted to use up and a Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is what popped into my head.
I wasn’t trying to create a recipe for the blog, but when Tim said, “Write this one down. Don’t forget what you did; this is a great dish.”
I knew I had to share it with all of you. You can adapt it to whatever vegetables you have on hand; plenty of combinations will work here.This certainly isn’t an authentic or traditional version of Shepherd’s Pie, but it’s a fun version to try for a meatless meal even the reluctant vegetable eater will enjoy.
How to Make a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
The recipe, as written, is vegetarian and not vegan because of the dairy in the mashed potatoes and a sprinkle of parmesan on top. You can make simple substitutions if you prefer a Vegan Shepherd’s Pie instead of Vegetarian Shepherd’s pie. Use olive oil instead of butter and omit the cream cheese in the mashed potatoes and just leave off the cheese from the top. Easy!
How to Make This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
If you try this recipe, please leave a star rating below! It’s so helpful for other readers to see which recipes are tried and true! If you’d like more vegetarian dinner idea, try this Baked Spaghetti Squash, these Vegetarian Enchiladas, or this Zucchini Lasagna. Print