Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

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(303 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

    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 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 (318)

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.

cfrickers's picture

Amazing recipe!!!

Whatawasteoftime's picture

Hmm, wet, bland, took longer to cook than advised, vegetables need to be cut to half the size suggested. You'll need 50% more sweet potato to manage anything approaching a topping. Get a real cookbook that you have to pay for - it will be an investment - your recipes might work and might even taste of something

hannah_scott's picture

As I was cooking for 6 people, I used two cans of tomatoes, more onion and added a can of kidney beans. It went down a treat with everyone except one, who wasn't a fan of the sweet potato! Next time I will use some normal potatoes as even though the sweet potatoes add a lovely taste, they make the meal about £1 more expensive. I also think I will used dried thyme, as it will be easier to whip up at late notice. Lovely dish, and will be enjoying again.

Sarahphe's picture

Amazing recipe! We're not vegetarians but fancied trying something new. You would struggle to tell there isn't meat in this and my husband and I scoffed a huge portion each. I used dried lentils so used lots more water but just added it as needed. This also meant it was cooking for about an hour before it was ready to go in the oven but this wasn't a problem. I also added some garlic, also a teaspoon of marmite for added richness and a bayleaf in with the mixture whilst is was cooking on the hob. I will be telling everyone about this recipe

danielle5820's picture

Worked nicely. However, as the majority of comments say, 100ml of water is more than enough. I had to drain my mixture slightly. I also did a leek and cauliflower mash instead.. Lovely!!

betsydoda's picture

I absolutely LOVE this dish. We tried it with the sweet potato (which my kids are not particularly fond of), then I tried it with a combo of sweet and regular potato and finally I tried it with just regular potato on its own. All work great, in my opinion, but my kids prefer the regular potato best. The lentils and the wine make this dish so "meaty" that I think it is the perfect meal for those that are reluctant to go without meat. Totally dee-lish!

Mand89's picture

Delicious! Having been a veggie for 13 years I'm always looking for new dishes. I read the other comments first and made these changes: added mushrooms, quorn mince, 2 cloves garlic, Italian seasoning, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Only used a splash of water and a little bit of lentil juice. Added 1 tspn paprika to the mash. Best homemade meal I've had in ages.

jes_668's picture

You didn't really follow the recipe...

rach_macleod's picture

I found this meal too sweet, next time i will use normal potatoes rather than sweet. my 10 month old baby loved it but my husband wasn't too keen.


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Tips (2)

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).

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