Lentil Shepherd's Pie (vegan)

By Jacqueline Meldrum •

If you’re looking for comfort food as winter approaches, you need look no further than this Lentil Shepherd’s Pie.



Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made of meat in gravy which is topped with mashed potato, but there are vegetarian and vegan versions like this one that are healthier and less expensive to make. Most contain soya mince or lentils instead of meat.

Nestled in individual pie dishes are lentils, onions, carrots and mushrooms in a delicious thick gravy topped with creamy mashed potato and baked until golden and all crusty at the edges.


Now for some factoids:

  • The first version of this dish was called cottage pie. In the 1800s, the potato had just become readily available and was cheap, so this was a dish that labourers could afford to make. The pie was named after their cottages.
  • Later on the dish was made with lamb instead of meat leftovers and it was known as shepherds pie.
  • Cumberland pie is the same dish, but it’s topped with breadcrumbs.
  • The vegetarian version is often called shepherdess pie or shepherdless pie.

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie


Serves 4


1 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tbsp mustard seeds

1 onion, chopped

2 large celery stalks, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, crushed

4 large carrots, chopped

250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped

1 x 400g tin green lentils

2 tsp dried thyme

1 Knorr vegetable stock pot

3 tbsp HP brown sauce

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp cornflour

salt and pepper

1 kg potatoes, peeled and chopped

50g dairy free spread (or butter)

a splosh of unsweetened soya milk (or standard milk)

salt and pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds. Leave them for a couple of minutes until they start making popping sounds, then add the onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft.
  • Add the carrots, pop the lid on and leave to cook gently for 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms, the lentils and the thyme. Cover again and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the stock pot to a measuring jug and top up with boiling water to the 400ml mark. Stir well until dissolved and then add to the pan, along with the HP sauce, which gives the gravy a great flavour and the tomato puree.
  • Add a little water to the cornflour, to make a runny paste. Add this to the pot and stir well. This will help to thicken the gravy.
  • Cover the pot and leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the gravy is thick.
  • While this is cooking, boil the potatoes until soft, then drain and mash with the dairy free spread, then season with salt and pepper.
  • About 10 minutes before the end of cooking, pop the oven on to heat. 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6


  • Ladle the savoury lentil mixture into 1 large or 4 individual pie dishes. Top with the mashed potato and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden
  • Enjoy!


Inspired? For more vegan recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.


Thanks Karen :)
9 October 2013
Lavender and Lovage
Looks so tasty! Love veggie style pies and this looks a winner! Karen
9 October 2013
Thanks Janie. We really enjoyed it.
6 October 2013
That looks delish! Esp like the use of mustard seeds.
Janie x
5 October 2013

Jacqueline Meldrum

Jacqueline Meldrum is a food writer and recipe developer from bonnie Scotland. As well as creating easy veggie and vegan recipes for readers of her award winning blog Tinned Tomatoes, she also writes for BabyCentre UK and Readers Digest as well as developing recipes for top UK brands.

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