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

Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Serve up this pretty vegetarian lentil shepherd's pie at Thanksgiving and your plant-based friends and family will love you forever.
Course Entree, Main Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Keyword Vegetarian Lentil Shepherds Pie, Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 575kcal
Author Deborah Davis


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 ~6-7 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
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 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 all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stir in the lentils and frozen peas. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Transfer filling to an 8”x8” baking dish or four 16 oz. ramekins.
  • 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.


Serving: 1/4 recipe | Calories: 575kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.5g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 750mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 22g