Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

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(55 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins


Serves 10
Make this comforting pie in bulk and freeze in separate servings, so you can defrost only what you need

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal449
  • fat13g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs68g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre10g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.59g
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    For the lentil sauce

    • 50g butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 2 onion, chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 4 carrot, diced



      The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

    • 1 head of celery, chopped



      A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

    • 4 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • 200g pack chestnut mushroom, sliced
    • 2 bay leaf
    • 1 tbsp dried thyme


      This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

    • 500g pack dried green lentil (we used Merchant Gourmet Puy lentils)



      The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

    • 100ml red wine (optional)
    • 1.7l vegetable stock
    • 3 tbsp tomato purée

    For the topping

    • 2kg floury potato, such as King Edwards



      The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

    • 85g butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 100ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 50g cheddar, grated



      Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


    1. To make the sauce, heat the butter in a pan, then gently fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more. Stir in the herbs, then add the lentils. Pour over the wine and stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage. Simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft. Now season to taste, take off heat, then stir in the tomato purée.

    2. While the lentils are cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.

    3. To assemble the pies, divide the lentil mixture between all the dishes that you are using, then top with mash. Scatter over the cheese and freeze for up to two months (see tips, below) or if eating that day, heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.

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    Comments (69)

    mel_grey's picture

    Really lovely. I added Philadelphia and parsnip to the mash. Husband loved it. Great way to eat lots of tasty veg and it's super cheap. I did cool the lentils for longer and halfed the recipe.

    Frantic Flapjack's picture

    Really good veggie shepherd's pie. Well worth using dried lentils as although it feels like they are cooking forever, they do take on the flavour of the sauce and the taste is lovely. I would recommend using the red wine if you have any as it does add a good depth of flavour. I made the full recipe and I would say it gives 12 generous helpings although I had to split the filling into two pans to cook as there was so much of it.

    Mishell's picture

    Cooked this twice now. Meat eaters love it too, really tasty recipe. Really easy in the slow cooker. Used my own vegetable stock. Will be cooking again.

    janey1978's picture

    This meal is absolutely delicious. I swapped some bits in and out though - for the mash I added a celeriac and sweet potatoes and reduced the number of white potatoes and I didn't add as much butter or cheese to the topping as stated. I cheated as much as possible using tinned lentils, pre-prepped onions, carrots and celery bags and tinned sliced mushrooms. So simple and quick to make and absolutely lovely too - thanks for sharing your recipe

    mary_lennon's picture

    Decided to eat a bit more healthily after Christmas festivities. Found this recipe and made it last night as I had all the ingredients except wine ( substituted button mushroom for chestnut ones - I do prefer chestnut ones as they have more flavour). All I can say is WOW - it's better than the meat version. The recipe is for 10 portions so I quartered the quantities. If you've got a big pan cook as per recipe and freeze what you don't need. I will be making this again and again. Delia Smith watch out. It deserves 6 stars.

    yummymummy43's picture

    This was really tasty. I had to cook the lentils for more than 50 mins to get them really soft and I still thought the sauce was a bit watery at that point, so I took a ladle of the lentil sauce out, blitzed it with the hand blender and added it back in, and that helped to thicken the sauce up. Yummy!

    fairystoryteller's picture

    Lovely! I followed others' suggestions adding a dash of Worcestershire sauce and, as I didn't have any red wine I used about 50ml dry sherry (my 'go to' addition to lots of sauces and gravies). I added more stock because the sauce started to dry out a bit before the lentils were cooked. End result - a tasty flavourful sauce. I will make this again.

    michelle_30's picture

    Made this tonight as i am trying out 1 meat free day a week......i brought green split peas instead of lentils and cooked as per instructions before adding to the sauce, still turned out delicious and when i asked my meat loving boyfriend did he like the cottage pie, he nearly choked on his last spoonful after he said yes and i said it was meat free!!! It obviously tasted nice and he didnt want to admit it!!! Def worth a try

    stingray11's picture

    This tastes really nice. I didn't use the wine and substituted with stock instead. My 2 year old ate it happily too. Even though takes a little while to make, I will definitely cook this again.

    astwood's picture

    Great dish. Can be made in advance and heated up when needed. Freezes well. Husband, a committed carnivore, said he would be very happy to eat this again. Definitely a keeper this one.

    J3NZ's picture

    An absolutely beautiful, satisfying and tasty dish. I used a 375g packet of flat brown mushrooms and used the leftover water from the potatoes to add to the lentil mix when it needed a little more water. This recipe will become a standard family favourite. Tip: Mash Phily cream-cheese into the potato topping instead of milk and butter.

    minacolada's picture


    I forgot to add the tomato puree, used brown lentils and subbed some of the veg stock with hot water used to wash out an empty sticky marmite jar, but still lovely! We sliced tomato on top of the pie, and used pecorino instead of cheddar. Probably serves more than 10; can't wait for the next time!

    Contrary to previous reviewers, I found the amount of stock was just right, however we did serve it with gravy.

    cjflossy's picture

    scrummy!! went down so well with my six year old son and hubby (both avid meat eaters) that there isnt much left-overs! i put in half the amount of lentils and found that plenty for my casserole dish [9inch by 9inch) definitely make again!

    laugh_producer's picture

    I'm looking forward to making this tonight. Be warned, if you add worcestershire sauce it is no longer vegetarian as it contains anchovy. You can get veggie and vegan versions in specialist shops.

    Rebecca67's picture

    Henderson's relish is Sheffield's answer to Worcestershire sauce and is vegetarian.

    saffron9's picture

    We all really enjoyed this in our family which includes my 4 & 6 year old children. I added a Bouquet Garni sachet instead of the bay leaf and thyme and added a tbsp of soy sauce after the lentils were cooked. I did not put any cheese on top as I just didn't think it needed it. A very tasty pie and I would go as far to say the best vegetarian shepherds pie I have ever made.

    kimtylerkimbo's picture

    I love this as does my meat-eating boyfriend! I use peas instead of mushrooms as I don't like mushrooms. I also halve the recipe and add a little passata to make it a bit more tomatoey and moist. I do still find it a bit dry - anyone got any suggestions for a good veggie gravy or sauce to serve with this? Thanks!

    lornamcinnes's picture

    Maybe use a bit more vegetable stock? I put a little extra water in and find it ends up lovely and moist.

    lornamcinnes's picture

    I've made this a number of times now, with a few variations. I wanted the carrots in chunks rather than diced, so I boiled them, along with the celery, for 10 minutes in plain water while the onions were frying. That softened them and I saved the water I'd boiled the carrots to use as part of the stock. I also omitted the wine and added frozen peas, and left the cheese out. It's a fantastic recipe, loved by veggies and carnivores alike, and has become one of my favourite winter warmers.

    briggsee's picture

    This was scrumptious! My meat loving husband had seconds, which is a sign of just how good this recipe is. Will be making again.


    Questions (3)

    kmjones's picture

    Please can someone help? This is under the slow cooker recipes but there is no mention of a slow cooker in the method and the time is far too short - am i missing something or can you do cottage pie in a slow cooker? Would the mash not just be dry and yakky or just burn? I am very new to slow cookers.

    goodfoodteam's picture
    Hi there thanks for your question, you could make the vegetable layer in the slowcooker - this recipe isn't written for a slowcooker however, so you would need to adapt it.
    beckey's picture

    This recipe looks great but I only have sweet red moscato or a dry white wine on hand. I was wondering if the white wine would work in this?

    Tips (2)

    Tammy Maui's picture

    I loved this dish. I used burgundy and it landed a very nice flavor. The recipe made a lot so I served much of the lentils without mashed potatoes. It's great over rice, with scalloped potatoes or with a piece of crisp rye toast. My young kids did not like it -

    bigchef's picture

    For those not wanting to use lentils in this recipe, it also is delicious using quorn or soya mince in place of the lentils