The delicious vegetarian shepherd’s pie is a savory pie recipe filled with French lentils and veggies, and topped with Parmesan mashed potatoes.
Since most of our recipes are designed to be approachable, a disclaimer is in order for this one. This is a dirty-every-pan special occasion type recipe, where your kitchen looks like a tornado hit it when you’re finished. (At least, ours did.) While it could be called simple, it’s not quick. That said, this vegetarian shepherd’s pie absolutely worth the mess to end up with a cozy, creamy Parmesan mashed potato topping over the most savory and delicious lentils. Keep reading for our vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe, and why it’s worth every second of the preparation.
Related: 15 Best Lentil Recipes
A hearty savory pie
Alex and I work together each year to create a fresh vegetarian Thanksgiving menu (all our vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes). Our goal is to show that Thanksgiving recipes can both delicious and healthy at the same time, and that you don’t have to leave the table with a stomach ache. Instead of rich and processed food-based recipes, fresh and seasonal foods can be used to create a beautiful table. And, we love getting creative and thinking outside the turkey for a vegetable centered main dish. This year’s Thanksgiving main dish is this vegetarian shepherd’s pie: savory, hearty, and oh so good.
How to make vegetarian shepherd’s pie
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie stars in our Thanksgiving lineup, but of course it can be made anytime! It’s great for a showstopping fall or winter main dish. Shepherd’s pie is typically a base of meat and vegetables, covered with mashed potatoes. For this vegetarian shepherd’s pie, we’ve substituted French lentils for the meat, along with umami-like flavors like miso and soy. The miso is worth finding at your grocery if you don’t have it on hand; it adds a savory, meat-y flavor punch to the vegetables.
Listen to us talk about Thanksgiving recipes and a cozy cocktail on the A Couple Cooks Podcast.
Looking for Thanksgiving vegetarian recipes?
Are you looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? Outside of this vegetarian shepherd’s pie, here are a few of our favorites:
- Lentil and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Pistachio Stuffing
- Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Herbs
- Savory Vegan Pot Pie with Sage Crust
Looking for savory pie recipes?
If you’re looking for some more savory pie recipes outside of our vegetarian shepherd’s pie, here are a few on our website and around the web:
- Vegan Pot Pie with Savory Sage Crust
- Savory Sweet Potato Galette with Feta
- Vegetarian Tamale Pies
- Vegetable Pot Pies
- 29 Savory Pies to Eat for Dinner Tonight | Bon Appetit
This recipe is…
This vegetarian shepherd’s pie with French lentils is vegetarian and gluten-free.
Related: Try using our Homemade Vegetable Broth for this recipe!Print
The delicious vegetarian shepherd’s pie is a savory pie recipe filled with french lentils and veggies, and topped with Parmesan mashed potatoes.
- 2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus additional for topping
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 11/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
- 1 pound French lentils (2 1/4 cups)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 medium or 2 large carrots
- 1 stalk celery
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 6 tablespoons miso
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the potatoes, then dice them and place them in a bowl. Chop the rosemary very finely, making sure it is as small as possible; set aside an additional small amount (about 1/8 teaspoon) for the topping. Once the water is boiling, slide the potatoes into the water and boil 10 minutes until tender (test with a fork). Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes, then add milk, butter, sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the French lentils into a large saucepan or pot with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes until tender. Drain any excess liquid.
- Mince 2 cups onion. Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery and mince the garlic.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and saute for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute until translucent. Add the lentils, broth, miso dissolved in 1/2 cup water, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, corn, peas, sage, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until most of the liquid cooks down but the filling is still moist, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Place the lentil filling in a 9 x 13” pan, then using a spatula, spread the mashed potatoes over the lentils in a smooth layer. Top with a thin layer of Parmesan cheese and the reserved rosemary. Bake for 25 minutes. If desired, broil for a few minutes until browned on top. Serve warm from the oven.
Keywords: Shepherd’s Pie, Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, Savory Pie Recipe, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Thanksgiving Recipes
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.