Vegetarian shepherd’s pie with slice taken out

Golden veggie shepherd’s pie

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(122 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


    For the lentil sauce

    • 50g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 100ml milk



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

    • 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.

    You may also like

    Comments, questions and tips

    Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
    9th Apr, 2020
    I love this recipe and it is brilliant for freezing. I add marmite and a bit of balsamic vinegar and I’m making it tonight and will try adding a bit of smoked paprika. I freeze the mixture separately and add mash when it’s defrosted before cooking
    6th Apr, 2020
    I halved the ingredient. Enough for two of us. I needed to add more stock as the lentils took a lot longer to cook. I mixed the potatoe with sweet potatoe and topped with gruyere cheese. It was very tasty. I will make this again
    31st Mar, 2020
    This took a bit of time to make but was easy and delicious- enjoyed by all the family including kids and carnivorous husband. I was generous with all the ingredients in order to make a couple of meals for the six of us. We only had four mushrooms but I added a small aubergine and a courgette (both diced small).
    20th Feb, 2020
    An easy yet delicious and filling meal. I made it exactly as in the recipe but excluded the wine and didn't add more liquid to compensate. It worked out perfectly. I made extra for the freezer. I served mine with cauliflower cheese to which I also added thyme and nutmeg. I steamed a handful of kalettes to make this a wonderful and nutritious meal. Will definitely make this again.
    Charlotte Sullivan's picture
    Charlotte Sullivan
    15th Feb, 2020
    I love this recipe. I have made it many times during the past few years during autumn and winter. I exactly half the ingredients as there is just 2 of us and it makes 5 decent portions. I do add about 80g frozen peas along with the tomato puree. I have found that, when cooking the lentils, I only have the lid on for 10-15mins to get to boiling, then I remove the lid and turn the temperature down. If I leave the lid on for 40-50mins, there is too much stock and it takes a long time to get the stock reduced. I serve the pie with some vegan gravy and freshly steamed veg on the side.
    27th Oct, 2019
    I expect it cooked faster because you omitted the wine, which would have made it more liquid
    19th Sep, 2019
    This recipe is delicious! Made the stated amount of sauce but only one meal’s worth of potato. I’ve frozen the sauce and since had it with rice and it was just as yummy. My 10 month old loves it! Thank you so much x
    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.


    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?
    Charlotte Sullivan's picture
    Charlotte Sullivan
    15th Feb, 2020
    I add peas along with the tomato puree. Leave the lid off when cooking the lentils, otherwise you'll be waiting a long time for the stock to reduce. I serve it with some vegan gravy by The Buddhist Chef and freshly steamed veg on the side.
    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
    Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?