Vegetarian Lentil Shepherds Pie | Perfect for a vegetarian thanksgiving main dish!

Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Deborah Davis
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Entree, Main Dish
  • Method: Baked, Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian


Serve up this pretty vegetarian lentil shepherd’s pie at Thanksgiving and your plant-based friends and family will love you forever.


For the Lentils:

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

For the Mashed Potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. yellow skin potatoes (~67 potatoes), peeled if you prefer smooth mashed potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 medium-sized (6 oz.) roasted and peeled beet
  • 1/8th teaspoon salt
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground black pepper

For the Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/8th teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8th teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the lid and cook another 3-5 minutes or until the liquid is cooked off and lentils are tender. Set aside.
  3. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with 1” of cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 12-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Use a colander to drain the potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter, milk, salt, and ground black pepper. Use a potato masher to mash by hand. Puree beet in a blender until smooth. (I found this worked best in a single serving blender cup attachment.) Stir into your mashed potatoes.
  4. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook 1 more minute until fragrant.
  5. Stir in the parsnips, rutabaga, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and flour. Toss to coat all the vegetables in the herb/flour mix. Cook for one minute.
  6. Stir in the broth, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is thickened and the rutabaga and parsnips are crisp-tender.
  7. Stir in the lentils and frozen peas. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  8. Transfer filling to an 8”x8” baking dish or four 16 oz. ramekins.
  9. Spoon potatoes over the filling and use the back of a spoon to spread evenly. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.


To make it vegan: use vegan butter or olive oil in place of the butter in the mashed potatoes and replace the whole milk with an unsweetened non-dairy milk .
To make it gluten free: replace the flour in the filling with 2 tablespoons of corn starch.