The ultimate makeover: Shepherd's pie

The ultimate makeover: Shepherd's pie

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(40 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 25 mins


Serves 4
Angela Nilsen works her magic on a classic and gives Shepherd's pie a superhealthy face-lift

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze before baking
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal429
  • fat12g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs63g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre11g
  • protein22g
  • salt0.91g
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    For the filling

    • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
      Rapeseed oil

      Rapeseed oil

      If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

    • 1 onion, chopped



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

    • 3-4 thyme sprigs


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

    • 2 carrots, diced (total weight 300g/11oz)



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

    • 250g lean minced lamb (we used 10% fat)
    • 1 tbsp plain flour
    • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, made up to 350ml/12fl oz stock with boiling water
    • 227g can chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tbsp tomato purée
    • 400g can green lentil with no added salt, drained



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

    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

    For the topping

    • 650g Maris Piper or King Edward potato, roughly chopped
    • 250g sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
      Sweet potatoes

      Sweet potato

      sweet po-tate-toe

      Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

    • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
    • 1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk


    1. Heat the oil in a large, deep sauté pan or saucepan. Tip in the onion and thyme sprigs and fry for 2-3 mins. Then add the carrots and fry together for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to brown. Stir in the mince to break it down. Fry for 1-2 mins until no longer pink. Stir in the flour, scraping the bottom of the pan in case the meat sticks, then cook for another 1-2 mins. Pour in the stock and stir until thickened. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, lentils and Worcestershire sauce and season with pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.

    2. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drop all the potatoes into a large pan of boiling water. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 12-15 mins or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well in a colander then tip back into the pan. Mash with a masher or, briefly, with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Beat in the crème fraîche and milk with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

    3. Spoon the meat into a 1.5 litre pie dish and remove the thyme sprigs. Top with the mash and smooth over with a knife. Use a fork to create a ridged pattern on top. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-25 mins until piping hot and the filling starts to bubble around the edges. If the top is not brown enough, pop it under the grill for 5 mins or so until the mash is crisp and golden. Let it sit for 5 mins then serve.

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    Comments (36)

    vwelch22's picture

    Simply the best cottage pie I've ever made. My 3yr old fuss pot even loved it. I made it exactly to the recipe and I'll definitely be making this again and again.

    human_kenwood's picture

    I really enjoyed this especially with the lentils. I only used 250g carrots plus one stick of celery. I also added in 1 tsp of crushed garlic for extra taste just before I added in the lamb mince. Apart from that followed everything else and my son loved it.

    simonedevine's picture

    Really yummy! I couldn't find bouillon powder so used veg stock instead, tasted lovely. I was a bit woRried about the lentils as not cooked with them before and you really don't notice them. Will make again in individual dished to put in the freezer.

    jenniferataylor31's picture


    elleme's picture

    I've made this several times now. It's always good and my husband absolutely loves it too. Well worth the time since you can always make more for another day.

    mian8910's picture

    Absolutely delicious!!!! It felt very light and still it was filling enough!!It is a great way to enjoy comfort food and end eat healthy!!!Definitely recommend it!!

    fay1512's picture

    Everyone loves it, but of course, I put cheese in the potato topping....!!! Increased fat content but worth it!!!

    98normandy's picture

    This is a delicious take on the normal version. Both the men in the family liked it and didn't notice the lack of meat. I've made it before: this time I added a leek to the carrots as I had one to use up. Delicious!

    auntie_scarah23's picture

    Absolutely Fabulous! Was worried about messing with a classic but this is super tasty and everyone I've made it for so far has requested seconds - adding lentils as a substitute for half the meat works really really well here.

    misshellokitty76's picture

    Love this recipie

    evilmoon's picture

    Really tasty, I'm not a big lamb fan but the subtle flavour combined with everything else was lovely, looking forward to the leftovers when I get home and starving after the gym tonight! Plenty of it!

    wendykr's picture

    This was lovely, would definitely make it again. The only negative is that I found that the flavour of the lamb was lost amongst the other ingredients so I will probably save money (and calories) and replace it with soy/quorn mince and meat stock.

    mumsy5's picture

    This is fab!! A great take on a classic family favourite : ) I made this for dinner last night & had to double everything as I was feeding 7 but that meant there was enough leftovers for lunch today - woo hoo! Absolutely scrummy - even my fuss-pot 8 year old ate it with less fuss than he makes over pasta. Really nice to know I was feeding my family good healthy food ... and it was sooo filling. Definitely making this again!

    amydavis7's picture

    This recipe totally rocked. Even our kids ate it. The only downside was that my husband still prefers his mother's version of shepherd's pie. Will have to tweak this a bit so I can make him prefer mine! Game on!

    alanminshull's picture

    Tried this last week, substituting some of the meat for the lentils added another taste and texture. Will do again on regular basis

    bethocallaghan's picture

    The filling with the lentils.


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