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

Veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(576 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

  • kcal540
  • fat16g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs66g
  • sugars33g
  • fibre16g
  • protein16g
  • salt2.39g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


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

  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
31st May, 2020
Just did not like it. Maybe it's because I am not specially vegetarian???
Nilam R
27th Jan, 2020
One of the most delicious vegetarian meal I have ever made. The family came down to dinner, saw the lentils instead of the usual mince lamb and were immediately disappointed. But once they tucked in, they loved it, polished their plates and had a second serving. I forgot the red wine, did not add any water at all and it was fine, not dry at all. I added only half a tin of tomato, used 115g of dried lentils, added thyme, ginger, garlic and courgette to the lentils. I am definitely making this again, and I am so glad the meat eating family loved it too.
15th Dec, 2019
The whole family really enjoyed this, even my 16 year old who normally moans at a non-meat meal. I took note of the comments with regards to not adding the additional water and I'm glad I did. I added some mushrooms, peas, rosemary (dried) and worcester sauce. The only thing for me is I wish I had chopped the carrots up much smaller or boiled them before as they were quite hard still (even after cooking them for 30 minutes in the frying pan and 20 minutes in the oven). Will definitely be making this again.
6th Oct, 2019
I've cooked this numerous times. It's brilliant as is but i have pumped out the size by adding quorn. My latest fad is adding roasted aubergine to the lentil mix. Dare you to eat just one portion!
20th Sep, 2019
Great recipe, tried it twice now, perfect both times,
3rd Sep, 2019
This is lovely , I’m not a fan of sweet potato but the cheese mellows the sweetness just nicely. As recommended by the other comments I left the water out and drained the lentils. Instead of using red wine I used a red wine stick pot made up with 200ml hot water and the finished result was a good consistency
Sue Barry's picture
Sue Barry
24th Jul, 2019
Very grown up version of shepherds pie. I love it. Thanks to everyone for the tip about the extra liquid, goodness knows what sloppy mess I would have ended up with if I'd followed the recipe exactly.. I added some peas, everything else was as per original recipe. It turned out really well. Will make again very soon.
8th Jun, 2019
I used tinned organic carrot slices instead of fresh cárrots, adding them for the last 5 minutes before putting in the oven. I used 2 tins of green lentils including the water and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. I used white potato instead of sweet potato. I didn't add the cheese. Delicious.
laurenamy20's picture
7th May, 2019
This tasted good but it does not need the entire amount of liquid specified and needed extra ingredients added to give it more depth of flavour (see tips section). It needed much more thyme than that specified. I also didn’t feel it needed broccoli alongside it as the portion sizes are huge!
12th Mar, 2019
This was nice and tasty. It feels great because you are fillling up on such wholesome ingredients. I didn’t add water and I drained the lentils. Also added a small teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.


17th May, 2020
Hello, I am planning to used dried lentils- should I cook them before hand? Would red split lentils work?
lulu_grimes's picture
20th May, 2020
Hi, red lentils break up a bit more than green ones so don't cook them first, if you use dried green ones then do and proceed as the recipe tells you to. Add red lentils with the chopped tomatoes, we haven't tested the recipe like this so I'm afraid I can't tell you exactly how much or how much water to add. You could start by filling the tomato can with water and adding that much, then keep an eye on the mixture and add more if it looks too thick. There's a lentil bolognese recipe that might be helpful on quantities. I hope this helps, Lulu
12th Oct, 2019
Hi, could you please tell me what size dish to cook this in.
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Oct, 2019
Thanks for your question. The dish size doesn't need to be exact, roughly 1 1/2 litres will work. If you're not sure, pick a dish that looks big enough to serve four adult portions. We hope this helps.
8th Nov, 2018
Made this before and love it! I was just wondering what makes it high in salt and sugar? Is it the cheese? Just curious in case it is anything I can easily substitute or leave out? Many thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. The sugars are natural sugars from the carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. The salt comes from the stock, cheese and butter. One way of reducing salt is to use low-salt stock cubes.
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.
29th Jan, 2020
I liked the concept and I have given it four stars, but I actually used this as the basis for my own recipe, so just a couple of ideas if anyone wants to play with it... I made the mash half celeriac , which makes it a bit less sweet and a bit less heavy. I wanted it vegan, but also like the flavour, so I added nutritional yeast to the mash instead of putting cheese on top. I added chopped red cabbage to the base and cooked this a bit longer, so it was braised by the time it was finished - it added a lovely flavour. I also used dried lentils - about 150g - as I didn't have tinned. Worked fine, but needed a bit longer to cook.
laurenamy20's picture
7th May, 2019
Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the mixture in the pan (ensure it’s vegetarian/vegan), a heaped tsp of marmite and a tbsp of tomato purée. If you find you’ve added too much liquid (which will be the case if you follow the recipe exactly and realise afterwards), take the lid off of the pan for the last 5 mins and leave it on the hob (with lid off) until it’s reduced slightly. The recipe needs more seasoning and thyme than that specified.
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).
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?