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)

flanges4u's picture

Instead of red wine I used a couple of garlic cloves, some worchester sauce and jalopeno peppers. It was absolutely lovely.

captiva22's picture

Made this for the first time yesterday. Very easy to make and results were great. Quantity was enough for two serving bowles so we are looking forward to the second tonight. Did put a bit more wine and cheese in and let it reduce in the pan so it wasnt so runny.

tallalex85's picture

Very tasty! Perhaps a little bit too much thyme.
Worked fine with dry red lentils - just boiled them a little first and added them in.

urbanwomble's picture

I have made this recipe twice now and we prefer it with normal mash instead of sweet potatoes. I would definately cook it again especially for any vegetarian guests.

jaime_mortimer's picture

I made this recipe for my husband last week. It was lovely, however I found the Thyme in the mash overpowering and I couldn't taste the sweet potato. I tried this again for the in-laws and added red pepper and mushrooms to the base with rosemary and omitted the thyme in the mash and it was absolutely delicious especially for my father-in-law who loves meat and loved this recipe, definitely would make this again!

arlettecox's picture

Great taste. Reduce the recommended liquid, cook longer to tenderize the carrots and also opportunity to add other fave veggies. The sweet potato mash is an excellent topping.

poopa11's picture

Made this 2 or 3 times now, is nice with normal mash too.

suzannethorne's picture

Really enjoy cooking and eating this one. A firm favourite in our house.

scotcat's picture


Used 200g of dried lentils instead and cooked them a bit first and substituted some of the carrots for celery so it wasn't too sweet. Put mature chedder on top, worked nicely.

tushford's picture

Quite easy to make, beautiful flavours although next time i may just use a bit less red wine next time, as we thought it was a bit too much.

justshonaeno's picture

I made this recipe last night and added some courgette as well as cinnamon to the mash and it was ACE! Only thing is, I cooked it in the oven as stated but the mash didn't come out looking any different at the end - it didn't have that darker brown, roasted look to it. What did I do wrong?

rosfane's picture

Definitely too much liquid. I should have read everyone's comments before I cooked it! I simmered it for 40 minutes uncovered. But it works out well and is pretty tasty and filling.

patsymc's picture

Followed the recipe, it was very good, wonderful colour and texture however I might add some extra beans (maybe cannellini) for some extra volume.

lizijh's picture

I made this recipe three times in a row I loved it so much!! I do tend to let it simmer longer than suggested as like the sauce quite thick :)

penny_baker's picture

I tried this recipe yesterday evening and it was a success. I can see why some meat eaters don't realise it contains no meat! Having read through the comments, I used a fruity wine, but the full 200ml, the full 150ml of water, but drained the lentils of their water. I added 2 chopped garlic cloves with the onions and a chopped red pepper with the carrots, and I made those a little smaller than sugar cube sized chunks. I cooked the whole lot uncovered, on a fairly high heat to reduce the liquid, which took about 7 minutes longer than the designated time in the recipe. I added cinnamon to the mashed sweet potato, and didn't incorporate the cheese as both my son and I have an intolerance to it (and I don't therefore use it in normal cottage pie either). The result was just the right consistency, and delicious! The sweet potato was a much lighter topping than normal potatoes, particularly useful as we ate quite late.

vickinixon's picture

Very tasty! Went down brilliantly with the non-meat eaters!
Defo a keeper :)

steedyo's picture

Really enjoyed this. I needed to use a bit more sweet potato, as i like a lot of mash, but both myself and my wife really liked it. just as good as a normal meat cottage pie

doolittle's picture

Wow! I've just made this as an alternative to a sunday roast and it's divine and so easy to make. It's never easy finding veggie alternatives for things but this was great. I halved the quantaties to serve 2 which didn't work as well as I'd hoped, lots more filling than mash but it was still great. I would definately make again.

charlit's picture

YUM!!! I stuck to the quantities of liquid indicated, but used dried lentils, so they absorbed a lot of it and the consistency was perfect. I also only used about 300g of carrot, and added 200g of fresh green peas, mostly because my mum always made shepherds pie with peas, it seemed wrong without them :)
I also added a couple of chopped cloves of garlic after the onions, and put a bayleaf the sauce as it simmered.

agray58's picture

Absolutely delicious, the whole family loved it. I added 3 large open cup mushrooms, finely chopped, with a splodge of marmite for some added oomph. Although if you hate marmite you could add some worcestershire sauce instead. A real winter warmer.


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