Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

1 Nov

Lentils are a great alternative to using ground meat for Shepherd’s Pie. Green lentils keep their shape, while orange lentils melt into mush; using both gives a similar texture to meat.

This is definitely a dish for potlucks (even meat-lovers like it) and to make when you’re on a budget – each serving works about to approximately $1.50 (depending on how much butter, cream, and cheese you use)!

I like to make a double or triple recipe of this, portion it out into 7″x5″ 3-cup Pyrex bakeware, then freeze for easy weeknight meals.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie (adapted from Christine Cushing’s Shepherd’s Pie on Food Network Canada)

500 g Yukon gold potatoes
500 g parsnips, peeled
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp onion granules
1 Tbsp garlic granules
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
(replace butter and cream with 1/4 cup olive oil for a vegan version)

2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
2 cups lentils, cooked
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 small onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme, chopped
1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano, chopped (or any herbs of your choice)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Boil potatoes and parsnips in salted water until very soft. Mash potatoes in the pot and add butter, cream (or olive oil), nutmeg, onion granules, garlic granules and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Rinse lentils well. Place in a pot with bouillon cube and cover with water to about 1” above lentils. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes, until green lentils are al dente and orange lentils are mushy.

In a separate pan, melt olive oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften. Add garlic, thyme and oregano and continue to sauté for 3 minutes.

Add the cooked lentils, stock, Worcestershire and Dijon. Bring to a boil and then simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add Tamari. Season with salt and pepper.

Put mixture into a rectangular baking dish(es). Top with mashed potatoes/parsnip mixture, a sprinkle of the herbs used and cheese. Bake in 375 degree F oven until top is golden,  about 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 8.


4 Responses to “Lentil Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. Rebecca G November 3, 2011 at 6:57 PM #

    I made the Lentil Pie for dinner and it was awesome!! Thanks Jacinthe!! Of course I had to make a few modifications just to suit what we had on hand, but was awesome. I used the remainder of a mixed lentil bag I had bought a long time ago, as well as some mixed herbs a friend had just brought from France, and I added roasted garlic to the potatoes, because I can’t help myself. So Good! Thank you!

    • jacinthe November 6, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

      glad you liked it, rebecca! of course, it’s completely versatile depending what you have on hand. that’s what i love about cooking! Jacinthe

  2. darynne January 6, 2012 at 1:20 PM #

    This… was amazing. AMAZING.

    You are a star!


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