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
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Boil your potatoes until they are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain the water and mash with a potato masher. Add in the butter and cream cheese and stir until melted. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
Meanwhile, cover the lentils with enough vegetable broth so they are covered by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils are just tender, about 20-30 minutes. (Skip this step if you’re using canned lentils)
While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, prepare the vegetable mixture. Heat the oil in a large pan. Sauté all the vegetables except the peas and corn until they are softened, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the vegetables with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, 1 1/2 cups broth, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly. If the sauce is too thick, add more vegetable broth.
Add the cooked lentils, peas, and corn and transfer to a medium baking dish.
Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the lentil and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with the desired amount of parmesan cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the top is starting to get golden brown. Enjoy!
*To save time, you may also use 1 (15 ounce) can cooked lentils.