Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

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(311 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 (321)

271157's picture

I added 2 cloves of crushed garlic,reduced the wine to 100 ml, used 3oz dried green lentils, cooking them according to the packet and used half ordinary & half sweet potato for the topping. It was really tasty and it was hard to tell that it contained no meat. You don't have to be a vegetarian to eat this!

andrewnorfolk's picture

My supermarket didn't have a tin of green lentils so I tried it out with Azuki beans, every bit as delicious.

sw77's picture

Added garlic, left out the wine and used dried red lentils so added more stock and boiled for longer. Lovely substantial veggie meal!

labouch's picture

Have made this quite a few times and a hit with my family, including two very young children. Having read the comments initially I leave out now nearly all the liquid and only add about 100 ml to 150 ml of wine. I drain the lentils and miss the water and this seems to make it about the right consistency for me ( especially if you add more veg than on the recipe). I think it would be a shame to miss the wine as it adds to the flavour and is so little between all of you anyway by the time it is served: I tend to cook the sauce longer than is stated anyway which reduces some more.....
I personally find a mix of potato with regular potoato is nicer on this, especially with swede as well: delicious! I might try it next time with dried lentils.....

miniminx59's picture

vegetarian cheese is cheating! i make vegan mash using thyme and olive oil....crisps up just the same and tastes delicious!

chatterbox's picture

Is there any reason I wonder why it is a can of lentils, surely from a packet would be ok and maybe soak up the extra liquid?
I will have to try it not made it at all yet.

katieapearce's picture

I love this - easy to prepare and delicious, though quite rich with the sweet potatoes on top. I have also made it with potatoes and put leftover sauce with spagetti. Both have worked well. As others have mentioned I found the sauce a little watery and have since used less water/wine than the recipe calls for.

isobelmoore's picture

Forgot to rate it - 5 stars!

isobelmoore's picture

Lovely. Used dried puy lentils (200g), all the wine and a can of water then simmered the mix for 40 minutes. Also added most of the cheese to the mash as my daughter is suspicious of cheese on things, but will eat it if she can't see it...Serves three of us generously, and then I freeze two more individual portions to have at a later date. Made it twice now and we all love it.

ritadamper's picture

I preferred to use dried lentils instead of tinned - keeps the cost down and less packaging! These cook in about 30 mins. Adding garlic, coriander and grated fresh ginger gives it extra ommphf.

runnyeyes's picture

Really very nice. Mine had to sit in the oven (reduced temp to 120 dec C) for an extra 25 mins as family were was delicious. Added 1 tbs of plain flour to the cooked onions to help thicken, and only added 100ml of wine, and 100mls of water. Seemed perfect. Tempted to try with a herby scone topping next time,..but I did like the sweet potato mash (added cinnamon).

chocolatemonkeybear's picture

Super treat for veggies

sally3439's picture

Really easy and now our favourite veggie meal, just as tasty with or without the wine.

cherrycupcake's picture

This is my dinner party speciality. It's always a hit with veggies and non-veggies.

louisatong's picture

6 of us tucked into this at the weekend and it was a real tasty winter warmer!

lb02252's picture

Surprised just how tasty this was. I used half chickpea & half green lentils, and also used half potato & half sweet potato for the mash. Added garlic and reduced the liquid added as other people suggested. Thanks for the tips, will definitely make this again!

lesley_townsend's picture

I made this for myself and my meat eating boyfriend the other evening.I used 150g of dried red lentils and just a splash of water with 187ml / an individual bottle of red wine. Other than that I just added some fresh rosemary and dried thyme as I didnt have fresh.It was really tasty and very comforting perfect for the miserable Irish climate! I think simmering the sauce to thicken it before placing in the oven works a treat (just keep an eye on the lentils to make sure it doesnt dry out add a little water as necessary) and I reckon making it the day before enhances the flavour.

paulak's picture

I've been looking for a good vegetarian shepherd's pie for a while, I think I've found it with this one. We're not sweet potato lovers so I used ordinary ones, also followed the advice from others and reduced the wine to about 150mls.

pboropixie's picture

I've just tried this and it was delicious! I agree with the comments about reducing the amount of liquid (I would cut out the water) as I had to simmer it for longer than stated to stop it being too sloppy. I'm looking forward to making this again and making enough to put a few portions in the freezer.

ellingtonboots's picture

Really tasty! I agree with the extra time to reduce the liquid. Might try the veggie gravy granules idea next time too.


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