Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with protein rich lentils with vegetables in a rich gravy, topped with classic mashed potatoes and baked to perfection for a hearty and comforting vegan lunch or dinner!
Potatoes: Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water (I added a few sprigs of thyme to the water.) Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes, add butter/oil, mash into potatoes to melt, add milk and stir until desired consistency. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and set aside in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Filling: In a shallow pot or dutch oven, warm oil/water over medium heat, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Add thyme and rosemary, cook for 1 minute more. Add the lentils, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and flour, mix well until flour is incorporated and no white streaks. Add the corn, peas, dijon, salt, pepper, and vegetable broth, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for flavor and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble: Using the pot you cooked the vegetables or transfer to a 9 x 9 or 9 x 11 baking dish, evenly layer the mashed potato topping overtop, spreading from edge to edge. Leave as is, or make a pattern on the potatoes using the back of a fork, dragging it from edge to edge, then repeat in the other direction for a criss cross pattern.
Bake: If the baking dish seems very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet so that the filling doesn’t bubble over into your oven. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 – 6 days in a covered container. To store longer, keep in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. See notes for freezer storage.
Add more depth of flavor. Use a little red wine for another layer of flavor. I would suggest 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup vegetable broth for a nice dose of flavor.
Oil-free potatoes: Omit the butter or oil, they’ll still be great without it!
Change the topping. For variation, try replacing the potatoes with a sweet potato mash instead!
Using dried lentils. If using dried lentils, cook 1 1/4 cups according to package directions, which will yield 3 cups cooked lentils. I recommend brown or green (puy French lentils) which hold their shape well.
Keep it easy. Use a frozen classic vegetable medley, one that includes peas, carrots, corn and green beans, using 3 – 4 cups, adding it all together just before adding the broth.
To make ahead, freeze, and bake this vegan shepherd’s pie later. Wrap the cooled pie in a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Label with contents and date; place in freezer. Will be best baked and served within 2 – 3 months. Heat as directed. Note that while it’s best to thaw your shepherd’s pie in the refrigerator before reheating it to ensure it heats evenly, it is possible to cook your pie from frozen.
To freeze an already baked vegan shepherd’s pie. After baking, let pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 – 3 months. When ready, reheat the shepherd’s pie, with covered foil, for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven.
Freezing cooked portions (individual servings) of shepherd’s pie: Let cool completely and store portions in freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. Let thaw before reheating. To reheat, simply warm in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees F. for 10 – 15 minutes until warmed through. You can also zap individual portions in the microwave for 2 – 3 minutes, stopping to check every 45 – 60 seconds.
Keywords: vegan shepherd's pie