Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash in a large serving dish

Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

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(378 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins - 1 hr


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 carrots (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 tomatoes
  • 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 potatoes, 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 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, then fry 1 halved and sliced large onion until golden.

  2. Add 2 large carrots, cut into sugar-cube size pieces and most of the 2 tbsp chopped thyme, reserving a sprinkling for later.

  3. Pour in 200ml red wine, 150ml water and a 400g chopped tomatoes, then crumble in 2 vegetable stock cubes and simmer for 10 mins.

  4. Tip in a 410g can green lentils, including the juice, then cover and simmer for another 10 mins until the carrots still have a bit of bite and the lentils are pulpy.

  5. Meanwhile, boil 950g sweet potatoes, cut into chunks, for 15 mins until tender, drain well, then mash with 25g butter and season to taste.

  6. Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, spoon the mash on top, then sprinkle over 85g grated vegetarian mature cheddar and the remaining thyme. The pie can now be covered and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for up to a month.

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

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Comments, questions and tips

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31st Aug, 2018
This gets top marks from me. I made some adjustments - I used dried red lentils, fresh tomatoes, only one stock cube and added no wine. My goodness it was so tasty!
26th Apr, 2018
Love this recipe. I made only a couple of tweaks. I added some mushrooms and used a pouch of cooked puy lentils instead of tinned lentils. And I did half sweet potato and half normal potato mash. I also used non dairy butter and left out the cheese to make it vegan. A very tasty dish which was enjoyed by everyone including meat eaters.
25th Apr, 2018
Easily my favourite meal! Much prefer it with sweet potato mash, I could eat this every day!
29th Mar, 2018
This is delicious but as others have said, the recipe needs much less liquid. Leave out the water and the juice from the lentils otherwise you're going to get soup! Just add a little water if you need it. I added chopped celery with the carrots and a clove of garlic for a bit extra flavour.
4th Nov, 2017
Really good taste - first decent vegetarian shepherd's pie I've had. I reckon it could've done with a bit more potato because I found it was spread a bit thin, but that could be because of the shape of dish I have. When I first made it I found it a bit liquidy, but when I had it the second it was fine
3rd Oct, 2017
I LOVE this recipe. Following comments I added a butternut squash and a pack of mushrooms and it is delicious. So full of flavour, and it makes so much. Easily 6 portions. Instead of adding 150ml of water I just let it simmer and added water as and when it needed it - that way you can get the consistency just right.
1st Jul, 2017
Makes a nice change to lamb. I use chicken stock because that is generally what I have and half normal potato half sweet potato mash as we find it a bit too sweet otherwise. Only add half the water initially as it can be too much but this too depends on the type of lentils used and whether using tinned or cooking your own from dry. I also add a couple of cloves of garlic and celery if I have some in
23rd Mar, 2017
I do love this dish! But the thing is this recipe needs a fair bit of adjusting, as per all the comments. The carrots need a lot longer, garlic is a must - I once made it without and it tasted totally different. And season well!! I also prefer it with added butternut squash. I find that with the semi-crunchy carrots the softer squash goes really well. I don't reduce any of the other ingredients- just add half a squash.
18th Feb, 2017
Simple and delicious recipe. I didn't change too much just added some Chipotle and paprika to the filling. Didn't have an issue with too much fluid as used puy lentils cooked myself from dried with no extra water. Love it
18th Feb, 2017
Absolutely love this recipe! I only use one stock Cube and leave out the wine! Also add mushrooms and serve with broccoli So yummy one of my fave finds!x


Viktoria Bråthen's picture
Viktoria Bråthen
22nd Jan, 2018
Do i really need red wine?
goodfoodteam's picture
23rd Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. You can substitute with water if you don't want to use wine.
2nd May, 2018
I have used this recipe many times over the years, but this time I added dried porcini mushrooms. Firstly soaked in boiling water until softened then chopped finely, added the soaking liquid to the sauce. The mushrooms give a nice texture to the dish. Such a great recipe.
Eddie O
2nd Jun, 2017
I made this dish yesterday for a special vegetarian guest! However, I should have made more, as the 5 other non-vegetarians really loved it too! I added Shitake mushrooms to give it more of a chunky taste. Also, I used Merlot, as the recipe was non specific about the "red wine" to use. I left it on for quite a bit longer than the recipe stated, probably 30 minutes longer (until the filling was bubbling from the edges of the dish). This may have been the reason the carrots (*issue referenced in other comments) were absolutely perfect.
28th Oct, 2016
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!
11th Dec, 2013
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.
18th Oct, 2015
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).