Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie


This recipe uses earthy mushrooms and an array of other delicious vegetables that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins

With lentils and cremini mushrooms as well as the traditional carrots and peas, this vegetarian take on the traditional British potato-topped Shepherd's pie is satisfying and delicious. We use French green lentils because they hold their shape in cooking.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, such as Annie's Naturals

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 cup French green lentils, picked over

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ cup whole milk, warmed


  1. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Worcestershire, bay leaf, 4 cups water, and lentils; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Stir in peas; remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan; cover with 2 inches of cold water. Season generously with salt; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until a knife pierces potatoes easily, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain; return potatoes and garlic to pot. Add butter and milk; mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer lentil mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Dollop with mashed potatoes; spread evenly to edges. Transfer to a baking sheet; bake until golden and bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes; serve.

    Shepherds pie
    Kate Mathis
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