Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

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(318 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Ready in 45 mins


Serves 4

The secret to this shepherd's pie’s filling is to choose big carrots so they don’t lose their texture when cooked

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily halved
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal531
  • fat17g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs79.6g
  • sugars31g
  • fibre12g
  • protein16g
  • salt3.95g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced



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

  • 2 large carrot (500g/1lb 2oz in total), cut into sugar-cube size pieces



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

  • 2 tbsp thyme chopped


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

  • 200ml red wine
  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 410g can green lentils



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

  • 950g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
    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…

  • 25g butter



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

  • 85g vegetarian mature cheddar, grated


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion until golden. Add the carrots and all but a sprinkling of thyme. Pour in the wine, 150ml water and the tomatoes, then sprinkle in the stock cubes and simmer for 10 mins. Tip in the can of lentils, including their juice, then cover and simmer for another 10 mins until the carrots still have a bit of bite and the lentils are pulpy.

  2. Meanwhile, boil the sweet potatoes for 15 mins until tender, drain well, then mash with the butter and season to taste. Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, spoon the mash on top, then sprinkle over the cheese and remaining thyme. The pie can now be covered and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for up to a month.

  3. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Cook for 20 mins if cooking straight away, or for 40 mins from chilled, until golden and hot all the way through. Serve with broccoli.

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Comments (327)

Gerald Hallam's picture

I made this tonight , as other have said it does not need anymore liquid than the canned tomatoes and draiin the lentils . I added garlic and some mushrooms, served it with broccoli, rich and very warming dinner. Would cook it again.

Joesyjo's picture

As others I adapted this recipe a little. We are not vegetarian so I added chicken and used chicken stock. I steamed the carrots in the microwave before adding and used uncooked lentils which I also boiled in the microwave before adding. Simmered without a lid until the lentils were pulsey and the sauce was thick.
Then followed the recipe for everything else.
Really delicious and all the family enjoyed it. Got loads left over to freeze.

Sweet Potato Al's picture

Made this tonight for my housemates and it went down a treat!! With the side of broccoli portion sizes were perfect for 4 girls.

I didn't add the water from the lentils as the mixture was already looking very liquidy and I simmered the mixture for an extra 10mins until I was sure carrots were cooked and the liquid levels had reduced but otherwise barely changed a thing.

Would recommend!

studentcook146's picture

Absolutely delicious. Used 100ml water, quartered the carrots, added garlic & soy sauce and then put chilli flakes and paprika in the mash.

hannahspruijt's picture

Lovely rich taste for a vegetarian sauce-based meal (I usually find them bland - I'm a meat eater too but have several veggie meals a week for price/health reasons). Followed the recipe pretty closely except added in 2 crushed cloves of garlic with the onions and a small chopped courgette with the carrot as it needed using. Chopped the carrot into cubes half the size they recommend as carrots take forever to cook in a sauce. I didn't add the liquid from the lentils as it felt good as it was. Good recipe!

ordonnel's picture

Simply delicious! Total comfort food.'s picture

Well mine was yum! Read some comments and adapted a little. I used all organic ingredients. Fried 1 large fine chop onion with garlic, added 3 medium small diced carrots as soon as the onion was soft. Added 1tsp dried mustard, 1tsp paprika, dashes of worcs sauce, blk pepper, fried another 3 mins. Added cup frozen peas, tin green no sugar/salt lentils, tin tomatoess. Half cup water, one crumbled stock cube. Bubbled for 20 mins. Baked in oven, topped with sweet potato mash (cream, butter, grated nutmeg, pepper, salt) Topped with a little grated cheese for half an hour. Made enough for 3/4 people.

willskez's picture

Just cooked this tonight. Really yummy. I used potatoes and sweet potato for the top. Will be cooking this again

sneaves's picture

This is lovely. However, I prefer it with a cheesy, non sweet potato mash topping with leeks mixed through the mash. Yum.,

mouse38's picture

Rarely have a Good Food fail, but when I do it's usually because I haven't read enough of the comments! Sugar cubed sized carrots end up not just with 'bite' but crunchy and uncooked. Spoiled the whole thing. Shame as had high hopes.

AmeliaSinclair's picture

Added some garlic and sprinkled sesame seeds on top, was amazing!

koolk_2009's picture

I thought this was pretty good, though my daughter preferred the meat version. I just simmered it until the liquid reduced to the right amount and added some celery and garlic.

lizwigg's picture

As others have already said, there is way too much liquid in this recipe, I didn't even add any water to it and I ended up simmering it for an extra 10 minutes to try and rid of some of it. I used Rose wine as that's all I had and it came out delicious, I also added a tin of baked beans and that worked very well also, and also just used normal potatoes as had some that needed using up.

ChefMeister's picture

Great recipe for veggies and carnivores alike!

vixvix's picture

I have made this recipe several times and it is always good. It has a lovely savoury flavour and good texture (although I tend to adjust the liquid volumes and simmering time by eye to ensure I have a sufficiently thick filling).

mumofisaac's picture

No idea why this rates highly. not ver nice.

ohnoteaagain's picture

This recipe is easy and my meat oriented family enjoy it. It's on my list of regulars for weekday teatime. I agree there is too much liquid - I just get syphon some off before putting on the potato topping. I use 2 tins of lentils and double the sweet potatoes to satisfy my family of 6.

dysfcuktional's picture

I left the lid off and let it simmer and chucked in addition to the recipe ingredients, a leek, about 200g of mushrooms, garlic and drained kidney beans and only one tin of tomatoes and no water. Even then, there was still a lot of 'juice'. The BBC recipe has far too much liquid in it. For meatysaurus eaters who are trying to increase their veg intake, then as another poster says, a blob of marmite or similar might not go amiss (I didn't use anything) and you will need a full bag of sweet potatoes for the topping (I did a full bag from Aldi, not sure of the weight). Tastes great, though I miss the 'meaty' taste!

GoNelly's picture

This pie is truly yummy! I substituted the lentils with butter beans as I had no lentils! I also added a splash of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and chilli flakes! Perfect comfort food!

ChicaRosa's picture

I made this yesterday and it was delicious. I added leeks and mushrooms as they were in the fridge and needed using. I used red lentils as that's all I could find. I could have done with more sweet potato to go on top. I would make this again.


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Tips (3)

dianech's picture

Even my husband loved this (to his surprise). I didn't add liquid from the lentils and only one stock cube. I fried the onions and carrot in coconut oil first with 2 chopped cloves of garlic, then added the liquid. I used mixed herbs instead of thyme. I used butternut squash mash instead of sweet potato and topped with Parmesan cheese.... delicious will make again!

scalpelsooz's picture

I made this dish for a buffet supper party and it was demolished in minutes - great recipe! I changed it slightly as I didn't have canned lentils. I only had dried so cooked those first according to instructions on packet. I also added some fresh garlic when frying the onions. Turned out brilliantly.

rubseb's picture

This is a great recipe (one of my personal favourites), but if you follow it to the letter, you'll probably end up with too much liquid in the lentil mixture. This is easily remedied by adding less water (I usually go for a total of 300 ml wine + water), leaving the mixture uncovered while cooking, and increasing the heat as needed to boil off excess liquid (you can always add a splash of water later if you went too far).