Vegetarian shepherd’s pie with slice taken out

Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

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(91 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 45 mins


Serves 10

Make this comforting pie in bulk and freeze in separate servings, so you can defrost only what you need

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal449
  • fat13g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs68g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre10g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.59g
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    For the lentil sauce

    • 50g butter



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

    • 2 onions, chopped



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

    • 4 carrots, diced



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

    • 1 head of celery, chopped



      A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

    • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 200g pack chestnut mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tbsp dried thyme


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

    • 500g pack dried green lentils (we used Merchant Gourmet Puy lentils)



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

    • 100ml red wine (optional)
    • 1.7l vegetable stock
    • 3 tbsp tomato purée

    For the topping

    • 2kg floury potato, such as King Edwards



      The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

    • 85g butter



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

    • 100ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 50g cheddar, grated



      Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


    1. To make the sauce, heat 50g butter in a pan, then gently fry 2 chopped onions, 4 diced carrots, 1 chopped head of celery and 4 finely chopped garlic cloves for 15 mins until soft and golden.

    2. Turn up the heat, add 200g sliced chestnut mushrooms, then cook for 4 mins more.

    3. Stir in 2 bay leaves and 1 tbsp dried thyme, then add 500g green lentils. Pour over 100ml red wine and 1.7l vegetable stock – it’s important that you do not season with salt at this stage.

    4. Simmer for 40-50 mins until the lentils are very soft.

    5. Season to taste, take off heat, then stir in 3 tbsp tomato purée.

    6. While the lentils are cooking, tip 2kg floury potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with 85g butter and 100ml milk, then season with salt and pepper.

    7. To assemble the pies, divide the lentil mixture between all the dishes that you are using, then top with mash.

    8. Scatter over 50g grated cheddar and freeze for up to two months or if eating that day, heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    28th Aug, 2019
    Made this recipe, it said it serves 10 - 10 very small and unhungry people probably. I found I only got around 5 servings out of the pie. Then again I made some altercations, I used tinned green lentils rather than dried, thereby reducing the stock needed. I also didn't use thyme, instead subbing it for rosemary and mixed herbs with a tiny pinch of cinnamon. It came out delicious, I was very very pleased.
    1st Jun, 2019
    Excellent flavour. Easy to make. Makes loads!
    15th Mar, 2019
    Made this today and it was lovely. I almost did exactly as stated in recipe; just added a small butternut squash diced, used half a head of celery, (I thought it looked a bit much), and added a leek in place of one of the onions. Also added a good dash of Worcestershire sauce as I do not use wine. I think I used a bit much thyme as it had a strong taste - will use a little less next time, (I was a bit generous). I used the slow cooker as I had to go out, but..the recipe says to put on HIGH for 5-6 hours, ad I wonder if it meant low instead. Got a phone call from husband after 3 hours telling me that it was bubbling madly and looked very thick. He added a bit of stock and stirred it and turned to low. 1.5 hours later I came in and it was done, very soft and thick. I added more stock to loosen it and it was done. So if using slow cooker bear in mind that it may need turning to low way sooner. I will definitely make this again.
    13th Mar, 2019
    9th Jan, 2019
    I loved this recipe although I did make a few changes - 1. Used ready-cooked lentils and cut the amount of stock in half. This reduced the cooking time too. 2. Made half the amount - gave me four decent size portions 3. Used a bit more red wine - I wouldn't make this without the wine, it added real flavour to it. 4. Instead of mash potatoes I used two packs of ready-made carrot & parsnip mash on the top - it really worked. 5. Had fresh thyme so used that. Basically I did a cheats version to save on time (and cut down on the carbs) and it worked really well. We're not vegetarians but this will be a winter regular dish for us, we both really liked it. I'd been inspired by an M&S lentil shephard's pie (one of those new Plant Kitchen range they have) that I had for lunch that day so was delighted when this recipe turned out to be just as nice as that one!
    Nalini Venkateswaran's picture
    Nalini Venkateswaran
    9th Dec, 2018
    Followed the recipe exactly and turned out really nice! will be making this again
    29th Oct, 2018
    This was delicious! I did the base in the slow cooker and halved the quantities and chucked in some mushroom ketchup. It would comfortably feed 4 adults. As topping, I used half sweet and half white potatoes and added a dollop of grainy mustard and steamed Savoy cabbage, then topped with cheese and baked. It was good. Must be close to 5 a day when served with peas!
    17th Oct, 2018
    Great recipe. Halved the amount of dried thyme though because I didn't have enough. Still great though in fact, probably just right for my taste. shortened the cooking time a bit by pressure cooking the lentils for 10 min and then finished off for 10 mins with the rest of the ingredients and a lot less liquid. Played it by ear and it worked out fine.
    4th Oct, 2018
    Very nice recipe! I did not use any red wine, but i used some Mushroom Ketchup made by Geo Watkins, (a sauce made for adding savoury flavour to soups, sauces and pies) a great addition to veggie food. I also cut the ingredients in half which was enough for 6 individual portions to go in the freezer. This recipe has been printed and added to my recipe folder and will definitely be made again! Though next time i may possibly try making this with my slow cooker. Many thanks!
    12th Sep, 2018
    Yum recipe, I added a little dark chocolate at the same time as the tomato puree (off the heat) and adds a wonderful dimension. I am sure the ragout would be v good in a lasagne also. I also used 50/50 mix of red and green lentils and this worked very well.


    4th Aug, 2019
    I don't understand the slow cooker instructions "Divide the lentils between dishes, top with the mash and cheese and cook for 30 mins until piping hot" What does it mean divide the lentils between dishes? Isn't it all in one big pot? Does it mean to spread the lentils evenly so each section of pie has some? When it says cook does it mean put it in the oven?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    8th Aug, 2019
    Thanks for your question. We have amended the slow cooker instructions to clarify. The meat is cooked in the slow cooker and then divided into dishes, topped with the potato and cheese, and finished in the oven.
    17th Nov, 2017
    How long should this be cooked for if you use a slow cooker?
    goodfoodteam's picture
    20th Nov, 2017
    Thanks for your question. If you want to use a slow cooker, fry off your onions, celery, carrots and garlic for 15 mins in a frying pan. Tip into your slow cooker with the mushrooms, herbs and lentils. Pour over the stock and wine, cover and cook on High for 5-6 hours. Meanwhile make the mashed potato according to step 2. Turn off the slow cooker, season and stir in the tomato purée. Divide the lentils between dishes, top with the mash and cheese and cook for 30 mins until piping hot. This information appears in the recipe tip below the recipe, you need to scroll through to find it but we've included it here just in case.
    25th Oct, 2014
    Please can someone help? This is under the slow cooker recipes but there is no mention of a slow cooker in the method and the time is far too short - am i missing something or can you do cottage pie in a slow cooker? Would the mash not just be dry and yakky or just burn? I am very new to slow cookers.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    7th Nov, 2014
    Hi there thanks for your question, you could make the vegetable layer in the slowcooker - this recipe isn't written for a slowcooker however, so you would need to adapt it.
    21st Sep, 2014
    This recipe looks great but I only have sweet red moscato or a dry white wine on hand. I was wondering if the white wine would work in this?
    Tammy Maui
    10th Sep, 2014
    I loved this dish. I used burgundy and it landed a very nice flavor. The recipe made a lot so I served much of the lentils without mashed potatoes. It's great over rice, with scalloped potatoes or with a piece of crisp rye toast. My young kids did not like it -
    26th Oct, 2013
    For those not wanting to use lentils in this recipe, it also is delicious using quorn or soya mince in place of the lentils
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