Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(50 ratings)


Magazine subscription – 5 issues for £5

Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins

Skill level



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 info

Nutrition per serving

Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


For the lentil sauce

  • 50g butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 head of celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g pack chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 500g pack dried green lentils (we used Merchant Gourmet Puy lentils)
  • 100ml red wine (optional)
  • 1.7l vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée

For the topping

  • 2kg floury potatoes, such as King Edwards
  • 85g butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 50g cheddar, grated

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2009

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.


Show comments
fairystoryteller's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


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
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

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.

A spoonful of cinnamon's picture

This is a really lovely recipe. Really tasty even though I made it with water instead of stock so I could give it to my baby. We all loved it!

daisygirl06's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Delicious! Served it to my extended family and my father in law who is a confirmed meat eater and quite anti vegetarian food liked it and said it tasted "like the real thing"

mamaminou's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Very tasty and simple dish to prepare - went down well with our vego friends. Like some other reviewers have said, the 1.7 litres of liquid was far too much so I took some out to avoid having a mash topped soup. Would make it again.

meklaina's picture

This was absolutely DELICIOUS!! And my little fussy 2 year old seemed to think so too. Jam packed with goodness and very mouth watering. I will definitely be making this again.

evi_hoste's picture

I'm allergic to lentils, peas and chickpeas. Any suggestions on what vegetables to use instead?

littleredpotato's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This is wonderful!

Just be aware that not only does this make a ton of filling (I only used half and put the rest in the freezer for another pie), but the filling needs a lot more seasoning that the recipe calls for.

I added more salt and pepper plus Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and tomato puree since my filling was a bit dry. But once I did that, it was fab. So, so good.