1-Hour Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

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Glass baking dish and plate filled with simple gluten-free vegan Shepherds Pie

There is something very wintry, very comforting about Shepherd’s Pie.

Hearty vegetables in a brothy sauce topped with fluffy mashed potatoes, all baked to bubbly perfectly. It’s kind of what Thanksgiving dreams are made of, at least in my world.

Cooking potatoes for simple Vegan Shepherds Pie

Origin of Shepherd’s Pie

The exact origin of Shepherd’s pie is a bit of a mystery! But both the Irish and British claim the origination of this hearty, mashed potato crust dish. It’s thought that it may have developed in the mid-19th century from cottage pie, which is a similar dish made with a different type of meat in the filling (source). The following is our plant-based take on the concept.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

My family wasn’t big on casseroles growing up and John and I aren’t big on them now, but this recipe may be our one exception.

Traditional Shepherd’s pie contains ground beef, which I considered swapping for walnuts, a combination of mushrooms and walnuts, or lentils.

Rinsing lentils in a colander

Being that lentils seemed to pack the most nutritional punch and protein, I went that route! Plus, they cook up nicely while your potatoes are boiling, making the whole process rather seamless.

Lentils are a plant-based powerhouse. Not only are they affordable and easy to cook, they’re also high in essential nutrients like fiber, iron and protein (9 grams per 1/2 cup serving).

They also absorb flavors well and can be added in place of ground beef in just about any recipe. That’s great news if you ask me!

Cooking lentils in broth with fresh thyme sprigs
Using a wooden spoon to stir together lentils and vegetables for homemade Vegan Shepherd's Pie

This recipe is not only nutritious, tasty and filling, it’s also simple!

Baking pan of Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie

Just 10 ingredients required and about 1 hour from start to finish. I could see this not only being a vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving entree, but an easy weeknight meal for colder months ahead.

So, what does it taste like? I’m glad you asked. It’s:

Hearty
Filling
Savory
Loaded with veggies
Herb-infused
Warm
Comforting
& Seriously satisfying

I cooked this up and John and I both gladly ate two servings for dinner. We’re not even really “casserole” people, but we both loved the flavor, consistency and simple nature of this dish.

This will definitely become a staple for us in the winter months ahead.

Plates and baking pan of our Lentil Shepherds Pie recipe

We hope you guys love this recipe! If you give it a try, be sure to let us know in the comments, or by tagging a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see.

Using a fork to slice into a serving of Vegan Lentil Shepherds Pie

Cheers, friends!

1-Hour Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

A hearty, 10-ingredient Vegan Shepherd's Pie that's loaded with veggies and savory lentils and topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. So flavorful and satisfying that you won't miss the meat!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Glass baking dish of Vegan Shepherds Pie with a couple servings removed
4.73 from 459 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Course Entree
Cuisine British-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Irish-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

MASHED POTATOES

  • 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, partially peeled (thoroughly washed)
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
  • Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)

FILLING

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (DIY or store-bought)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (or sub 1 tsp dried thyme per 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn

Instructions

  • Slice any large potatoes in half, place in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
  • Once cooked, drain, add back to the pot to evaporate any remaining water, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Use a masher, pastry cutter or large fork to mash until smooth. Add desired amount of vegan butter (3-4 Tbsp as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
  • While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish (or comparable sized dish, such as 9×13 pan. An 8×8 won’t fit it all but close! // as original recipe is written // adjust number or size of dish if altering batch size).
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized – about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste (optional) and a pinch each salt and pepper. Then add lentils, stock, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then cover and reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (35-40 minutes). Once tender, remove the lid and continue simmering uncovered, stirring frequently, to evaporate any excess liquid.
  • In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavors together.
  • OPTIONAL: To thicken the mixture, add 2-3 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) mashed potatoes and stir. Alternatively, scoop out 1/2 of the mixture and whisk in 2 Tbsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk. Return to the pan and whisk to thicken.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then transfer to your prepared oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt.
  • Place on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the mashers are lightly browned on top.
  • Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken. Let cool completely before covering, and then store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheats well in the microwave.

Video

Notes

*Inspiration from Martha Stewart
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 396 Carbohydrates: 72 g Protein: 17.7 g Fat: 5.3 g Saturated Fat: 1.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 109 mg Fiber: 19 g Sugar: 4 g

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My Rating:




  1. Marciann says

    I have made this before and we really like it. I always do lentils in the instant pot now and would love to adapt this. Would you do all filling ingredients in the instant pot or just the lentils and finish it on the stove?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, that would probably work great to do all the filling in the Instant Pot! We’d say just leave out the frozen mixed veggies until after pressure cooking.

  2. Shirley says

    This is a game changer recipe fore. I didn’t know it is do easy to make Shepherd Pie and more so Vegan. This os definitely a must keep recipe. I might replace lentils with Oyster Mushroom. What do you think?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe, Shirley! We think sautéed mushrooms + walnuts (for a heartier texture) would be a delicious alternative to the lentils. Let us know if you try it!

  3. Cush says

    Thank you so much for this recipe, has been a favourite in my vegan household for a long time now and is always requested by my kiddos. Sorry I’ve only just got round to rating it now! But it’s so delicious, nutritious, quick and easy and lovely having any (rare) leftovers heated up the next day. Thanks again 😊

  4. Emily Cummins-Woods says

    Yummy. I added more butter and salt to potatoes, and used ground round with a cup of soup broth instead of lentils. Added a bit of ketchup. Used onions, carrots, peppers and garlic for base, then corn, then mash. Added rosemary and sage to ground round too. All vegan, fyi.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jenna, We think sautéed mushrooms + walnuts would be tasty! Other readers have also mentioned using Quorn vegan pieces and Beyond burger. Hope that helps!

  5. Shana McCarthy says

    Amazing recipe! Came out perfect. I made the lentil mixture and mashed potatoes ahead early in the day because I was determined to make this but knew I wouldn’t have time after I got out of work running the kids around. I chose to make the veggie separate, and only used corn, so I could layer the lentils, then corn and mashed potatoes on top, heated up perfect. The mashed potatoes sat for a bit so I clumped them evenly and then spread around as they warmed up.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Shana. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Annmarie, in our experience lentils usually cook in about 35 minutes. Were the lentils older? We have noticed that beans or lentils that are too old have a difficult time cooking.

  6. Nicki says

    Another great recipe! I followed it as written, except for the tomato paste. Didn’t have any, so I subbed ketchup, and I used a lot, lol. Didn’t measure, but added to taste. For the “adjust seasonings” instructions, I also added a teaspoon of rosemary and a little nutmeg. I sprinkled flour – maybe 4 tablespoons, into the mix when simmering to thicken it up a bit. Love that this recipe uses lentils rather than processed meat substitute. 5 stars! Thank you!

  7. Maureen Akers says

    I made this exactly following the recipe – cooked down the minimal liquid and thickened with a bit of potato – My family absolutely loves it. Serious comfort food – so inexpensive to make. The fresh thyme adds surprise complexity to such simple ingredients.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Maureen. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  8. Batsheva says

    Hey, just wanted to let you know that Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author/journalist/wife of US Senator Sherrod Brown, posted this link on her FB page today along with a picture of her finished product. She says it’s a fantastic recipe! She also has so many followers, you can expect a huge bump in traffic to your site!

  9. Elizabeth says

    Thank you for sharing your recipes. Having been a vegetarian for 35 years and strictly vegan for the last 10 (motivated to become so after a trip to Tibet in my early 20’s), it’s wonderful to revisit classics and add a new twist. For richness/depth/more umami flavour, I cook portabella/chestnut mushrooms in mushroom stock (separately) and add them when all the liquor has been cooked off. Not all people like mushrooms; as always, it’s a personal choice. The other thing I do to reduce white carbohydrate/unhealthy glycaemic index ratio is use celeriac for 1/3 to 1/2 the mash topping. Again, the flavour might not be to everyone’s taste.
    As a Brit, I hope you don’t mind if I point something out? I cut my teeth on this dish, as did my mum in her childhood. “Shepherds” pie is actually made with minced/ground lamb (where the “shepherd” dish name came from). Cottage pie is a different version and is made with minced/ground beef.
    Wonderful, autumnal/winter foods. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Elizabeth! We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  10. Cate Deventer says

    This has become one of my go-to recipes. I don’t follow it exactly anymore because I’ve discovered it’s super versatile! It’s a great “dump recipe“ to use up any leftover vegetables you have that might be on the verge of going bad. And it freezes really well so it’s a great way to stock the freezer. Delicious, healthy, cheap comfort food. What more could you want?

  11. Lisa says

    Easiest and best vegan Shepherd’s Pie I’ve tried. It’s simply delicious made as-is, but I can also imagine dolling it up with some fresh veggies, mushrooms, different seasoning or ??? There’s just 2 of us but my spouse would be very unhappy if I halved the recipe because he loves good leftovers for lunch.

  12. Amira says

    Just made this, it was really yummy. My two non-vegan parents also loved it. I didn’t have to make any major adjustments. I didn’t use the tomato paste and it still came out yummy.

  13. Michelle says

    Absolutely amazing! I make this regularly and freeze the leftovers so I always have food on days that I don’t feel like cooking.

  14. Marie says

    This was great. I used red lentils instead of brown and that cut the cooking time down significantly. I also didn’t peel the potatoes because I forgot and it still tasted excellent :-]
    I’d recommend not starting your oven until the potatoes are done cooking, otherwise it will be on for a while.
    This will definitely become one of my staples.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Marie. Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and for the great review!

  15. Patricia G says

    Great recipe – one suggestion though – put the preheating the oven instruction later on in the recipe, perhaps when assembling the pie. Having the oven on for the 30-45 minutes that the filling is cooking is quite teh waste of electricity

  16. Simone says

    I made this today in my slow cooker. I skipped the oil threw everything else in with a bit of Worcester sauce and rosemary (as suggested by someone else). Then when I got home from work I just made some mash potatoes to go on the plate with it. Amazing!!! Thanks for such a great recipe.

  17. Michal A says

    I made this recipe yesterday for a Passover Seder, I used 2Tb matzoh meal to thicken the lentil mixture which worked perfectly. I added celery because I had it which was delicious and omitted the carrots because I didn’t have them. I used the vegan no-beef broth from better than bullion to cook the lentils and that worked well with the tomato paste and herbs de Provence I used (didn’t have thyme by itself). There were 18 people at the Seder and they all mentioned how good it was, my husband and I really liked it and even the toddlers liked it too!
    Will definitely repeat this recipe, it was great.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! So glad to hear this was enjoyed by all, Michal. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  18. Taylor says

    I love the recipe but it is a lot for just one person. Can I ask why this isn’t considered freezer friendly?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Taylor, You can freeze it, but we find it gets a little watery so we prefer it fresh. Another reader mentioned freezing it in smaller containers with success!

  19. Linnea says

    I’ve made this many times now.
    I love adding a tablespoon of vegan worchestershire sauce, a teaspoon of rosemary, and just a tiny bit of Balsamico vinegar in addition to the other ingredients. Tastes sooo good, and our meat eating friends and family loves it too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for the great review, Linnea. We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe!

  20. Steven says

    Put a little rosemary in and it was delicious. Probably didn’t need it but a lovely recipe to play around with. Thank you.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sounds delish! Thanks for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Steven!

  21. Stephanie says

    This was AWESOME!
    I know I don’t really like thyme, so I simply omitted it.
    I used 10oz of peas instead of mixed vegetables and added 1 more clove of garlic. Simply scrumptious!
    I was a little confused on when to add the peas (based on the numbering) so I added them before the thickening process (lid off plus adding mashed potatoes).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the great review and for sharing your modifications, Stephanie! So glad you enjoyed!

  22. CJ says

    This is heaven. I have made it several times now. I double the “gravy” and use an entire can of tomato paste.

  23. Janet Evpraxia says

    This recipe is a Winner!

    Ok, it took me more than 1 hour, but my blender/beaters died part way through the mashing of the potatoes. Hand mashing ended up with lumpy mashed potatoes – what I called “rustic”. Grin!

    I did make some changes:
    * Better then Bouillon veggie base broth & Better the Bouillon Roasted Garlic
    * I forgot to add the tomato paste, stressed after my beaters died
    * I used red lentils
    * I sized it down to 3/4 of the recipe, and it fit into my square Pyrex dish just fine

    The dish is Heavenly!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Janet! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  24. Honey Jerram says

    Looks a lovely recipe but can I make a small correction? As a Brit I grew up with shepherd’s pie and cottage pie and I can tell you that cottage pie may contain any kind of meat but shepherd’s pie has a clue in the name: the shepherd looks after sheep and thus the meat must be lamb or mutton.

  25. May says

    I don’t recommend this recipe. It took forever (far longer than described) and tasted terrible. A really disappointing outcome after so much effort. I have no idea how others had success, but I wouldn’t risk it. Try somethubt else.

  26. Amy says

    I have made this recipe twice and my family loves it. Thank you so much! It takes us about an hour and a half to prepare and is worth every minute!

      • Darragh says

        I’ve made this a couple of times and its a great simple dish to make, delicious. I added some grated smoked cheddar to the mash and add a tbsp of Worcestershire sauce and some brown sauce (A1 steak sauce is similar) when adding the stock.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Yay! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Darragh!

  27. Paul says

    i followed exactly and there was way too much lentils for the potato topping for some reason. i would use a cup of lentils next time not 1.5 cups

  28. Mel B says

    Made this and topped it with dried chives and it looked super duper fancy!
    Comfort food for me here in the Lone Star Staye where we are experiencing a little taste of winter!
    I have started adding meat back in to my diet. I have made this with lentils in the past and it was super delicious but this time I replaced the lentils with grass fed free range bison from Force of Nature… calm down angry vegans.. I still love the animals …. after a decade of being vegan I had to make dietary changes for my health. I also used homemade bone broth in the potatoes and grass fed butter. It was yummy!
    I have lots of leftovers and will be making again and again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! Thanks so much for sharing your modifications and personal experience, Mel. So glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  29. Kelsey says

    This was an excellent base recipe! I made it about 80% as written, and I riffed off of some of the helpful comments. Every foodie present was clamoring for the recipe!

    ‘Taters:
    -Boil potatoes skin-on, allow skin to split. Drain and let sit for 15 min.
    -Add 1/2 c Earth Balance and 1/2 C coconut milk to potatoes
    -Add 2tbsp nutritional yeast and 1tbsp pepper (salt to taste)
    -Mash mash mash!
    Filling:
    -Sautee/caramelize finely chopped shallot, onion, garlic in EVOO and Earth Balance (the Earth Balance adds a greater depth of flavor)
    -Add finely chopped organic baby bella mushrooms, cook until very tender
    -Add vegan Worcestershire sauce
    -Add lentils
    -Add dried thyme, sage, umami seasoning, pepper, vegetable bouillon. Coat thoroughly.
    -Add 1tbsp tomato paste, brown
    -Deglaze with 2-3 splashes red wine
    -Add 1.5 c veggie stock, 1.5 c filtered water
    -Add 1/2 packet veggie brown gravy mix (I happened to have it on hand)
    -Simmer lid-on until lentils are fluffy, then take lid off to let reduce
    -Add frozen peas and green beans, continue to simmer/reduce until desired consistency is reached

    Assemble and bake as directed, let sit for a while! SUPER YUMMY (and beef-eaters said the house smelled like a beef stew, so that’s a plus for some!)

  30. Dawn Leah McDonald says

    This Shepherd’s pie is so delicious! I make it slightly differently to accommodate some dietary restrictions, but the basic recipe is great!

  31. jahlaya says

    This was a great recipe to get rid of some extra dried potato flakes and barley. I just made pre-made the barley (instead of lentils) and added it in right before I put it in the oven. I also added cheese on top and I made the potatoes from a box!

  32. Rhonda shelton says

    I had to change it around due to the fact I do not do salt, potatoes, tomatoes, and no oils. So here is what I did
    Shepard pie 2 turnips cooked. black pepper (to taste)
    FILLING
    1 medium onion (diced)
    2 cloves garlic (minced)
    2 Tbsp nomato sauce
    black pepper
    1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils (rinsed and drained)
    4 cups vegetable broth
    2 tsp fresh thyme (or sub 1 tsp dried thyme per 2 tsp fresh)
    1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn then just follow the recipe switching what needs to be switched. Was very good

  33. Allison says

    Just made this again, used sweet potatoes this time and a mirepoix blend I had instead of just onion. Topped with a bit of brown sugar after it came from the oven just for flavor and it was SOOO good! I had to adjust the step for cooking the potatoes (cut into smaller pieces and once water was at a boil cooked for 20 mins which *might* be a little too long (check doneness at maybe 15 mins from reaching boil next time) but my hubby LOVED it!

  34. Catherine says

    I’ve made this recipe several times with modifications, my favorite being:
    -use red lentils (sweeter and more colorful), but simmer for 10-12 minutes only
    -add frozen vegetables and cook UNCOVERED for 5-10 minutes, so more of the liquid evaporates
    -add about 1 cup of the mashed potatoes to vegetable mix, no need to add cornstarch or arrowroot powder
    -add pesto to the mashed potatoes and nutritional yeast if you want more of a cheesy flavor

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Catherine. So glad you enjoy this recipe!

  35. Beth says

    I love this recipe. I’ve made it many times and it has become one of my favorite easy winter comfort food recipes. I typically do mashed sweet potatoes on top, but it’s delicious as written too. I don’t add tomato paste and find it has plenty of flavor without it. Highly recommend for a hearty vegan dish!

    I have a question as well, I am having low key open-house style holidaygathering. I’d love to have something filling and festive on hand for those who come hungry. This would be perfect, but I’m wondering about how to keep it warm. My current idea is to prepare it usual and use my (oven-safe) crock pot insert to bake it…so that I can place it in the crock pot on warm and folks can help themselves if they get hungry.

    Do you see any potential concerns here? Namely…do you think the texture of the potatoes likely to get kind of weird? Other issues?

    Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So happy to hear you enjoy this recipe, Beth! We think the crock pot keep-warm idea sounds great, as long as the potatoes are covered they should stay a nice texture. Let us know how it goes!

  36. Alexis says

    Do you have any recommendations on how to make this ahead of time? I was thinking to make the filling and the mashed potatoes the day before then assemble the next day before putting in the oven? Or do you think it would be ok to assemble and reheat the next day? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alexis, We would recommend preparing up to the point of putting the mashed potatoes on top. Then refrigerate and bake as instructed later on. Hope that helps!

      • Alexis says

        Thank you for your reply! I’ve made it twice since then :) Very good. If you are prepping it ahead of time like I did, it takes about 30 minutes in the oven to get heated thoroughly from the fridge. I did about 15 minutes covered then 15 minutes uncovered for the potatoes to brown. So good and so easy!

  37. Allison says

    Wonder if sweet potatoes could be added to the potato part of this dish successfully? Just happen to have some on hand …

  38. kungaa joseph says

    I was trying to use up my Quorn vegan pieces instead of lentils; had to throw the whole thing out. OMG I forgot how comfort food tasted; when I redid my dinner last night it was a delight to use this recipe. I used my Duo Instant Pot to cook my lentils and put the broth instead of water into the pot. Cut the time down and it was incredible. I only had thin green beans to add to it but I could have eaten the whole pan. I made half the recipe, because it is only ME! Once again you posted a wonderul keeper recipe.

  39. Melissa says

    I just made a double batch of this recipe before discovering that it isn’t freezer friendly. I’m just wondering why it wouldn’t be?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Melissa, You can freeze it, but we find it gets a little watery so we prefer it fresh. Another reader mentioned freezing it in smaller containers with success!

      • Melissa says

        Well, as a result of the “not freezer friendly” advice, I gave away several casseroles to non-vegan friends and they all LOVED this recipe! It truly was a blessing. I love sharing vegan recipes with omni’s!

  40. Allison says

    I made this recipe recently, but had to substitute red lentils for the green (as that is all I had at the time). It worked out alright, though think I will try and use the cooking directions on the lentils package instead of that step in the recipe if I do that again …. I wonder if something like this Lentil and Pea Soup Mix would work in place of the lentils? Just as an option to add a bit more bulk to the dish (cause it has lentils, split peas, and barley).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo, we like that idea! We’re not sure how it would go, if the amount is the same as the 1 1/2 cups of dry lentils it could work, but you might need more liquid for the barley to cook fully? Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

          • Allison says

            It turned out well, might just replace the lentils completely with the soup mix … had not gotten a lot of it, just wanted to try it first :) we also added cheese on top but that’s cause we love cheese :) whether it is shredded cheese or plastic cheese, still like it on this sort of dish

      • Allison says

        Recipe calls for 1.5 cups of lentils and 4 cups broth …. the soup is 1 cup to 4 cups liquid (water in this case as it will be drained) … so will see

  41. Treena says

    LIke all recipes on this blog, it turned out fantastic. I’m making it again today and I am so excited!! It goes great with homemade sourdough bread too.

  42. Kayla says

    I added 3tsp Italian seasoning, a little rosemary and some roasted garlic to the potatoes and it’s delicious! I’ve made it twice now and it definitely took longer than an hour. It was more like an hour and half to two hours. It’s so good it’s worth it though.

  43. Scott J. Morgan says

    I love this recipe and follow it to a ‘T’…although today I added a teaspoon of dijon mustard to the mash potatoes. So, thank you for all your great recipes. I will make a couple of observations that seem pretty consistent across the board with your recipes.
    The estimated timing always seems to be on the short side.For example with this recipe, I had all the ingredients on the table when I started watching the clock and it still took me an hour and a half.
    And then the timing of when to Preheat the oven always seems premature. My oven takes under 10 minutes to preheat so I started it at the same time that I added the frozen vegetables.
    thanks again
    Scott

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Allison, red lentils are more prone to getting mushy. If using red lentils, you’ll want to cook them for half as much time (or even less).

  44. Matthias says

    Let me say, I absolutely adore the lentil filling in this recipe. I could eat it alone with a spoon! I think calling it “one-hour” is a little optimistic, though. I made this in about two and a half hours, though I think the fact that I added two portobello caps to the onions and garlic had something to do with that (it takes FOREVER to cook all the water out of those suckers!). I really like the addition of the mushrooms for extra depth of flavor, though. I’d like to make this again and add some vegetarian Worcestershire sauce to the filling as well…

    I’m not sure what went wrong with my potatoes, though; they came out quite gluey and it was very unfortunate. In the future I think I’ll stick to my separate tried-and-true mashed potato recipe. All in all, I really appreciate the simplicity of the ingredients in this recipe, because these are all staples I keep around and it means I can make a really good meal just about any time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the review and for sharing your modifications, Matthias! The addition of mushrooms sounds delish!

    • Aislinn says

      Gluey mash is generally due to overcooking. It’s something to do with the starch content of certain potatoes. The potatoes you get in the states are pretty starchy.

      When making mash, I cut 1lb rooster potatoes (skin on) into 1/1.5 inch cubes, peel 4 garlic cloves and throw them all in a pot of salted water for 10 minutes, then when I’m mashing I add 2tbsp butter or some greek yoghurt. The smaller you cut them the quicker it is overall.

      This recipe is delish! I added mushrooms too, adds to the umami.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laura, Yes, that should work! Just reduce the amount of broth added and cook for less time. Let us know how it goes!

  45. Grace says

    I look forward to trying this!

    Correction to the post from a UK citizen here: traditional shepherds pie is made with lamb, not beef (that would be cottage pie). Shepherds = sheep.

    I much prefer the sound of a lentil version 😉

  46. Sara says

    This was my first time making a recipe from your blog, and it did not disappoint! I added mushrooms to the sautéed onion/garlic, and added the entire can of tomato paste. In addition, I added nutritional yeast to the mashed potatoes. Before baking it, I added smoked paprika to the top for some extra flavor. This was also my first time cooking lentils, and they came out perfectly! Thank you for writing/creating/sharing this recipe, it’s SO good!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Welcome, Sara! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, we are so glad you enjoyed!

  47. Jenny says

    This is amazing! I did find the lentil/veggie mix a bit bland so I added some rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder and some extra thyme and a bit of worchestershire sauce. It’s absolutely delicious and super filling! Thanks for the recipe!

  48. Sladjana says

    So simple and yet delicious. My son does not like too many flavours and this recipe is gentle, healthy and delicious. Thank you!

  49. Amy says

    I lost track of how many times I have made this! I did not have enough potatoes, so I used sweet potatoes mixed with red and it turned out great. Such an easy recipe to follow, you can add any veggie and I have even added soy chorizo before! .

      • James says

        Great recipe! Can follow to the letter or adapt to your liking. Very easy and extremely satisfying. Perfect mid week meal. Even the non vegans in the family said its the best shepherd’s pie they’ve had!!!

  50. Kat says

    I made this for the family last night. I didn’t have thyme, or time, so I substituted in a tablespoon of vegan Wostershire sauce for extra flavor, and threw in a bayleaf while I was cooking the veggies. And I used tinned lentils to save time.

    It was absolutely delicious. Hubby had his serve and half of mine, the kids (teen boys who used to say nothing would ever be as nice as meat) both complained there wasn’t MORE, and I ate way to much filling while preparing it because it was yum!

    This will be on the weekly rotation!

  51. Bryce says

    This has become a regular meal in my rotation because it’s so simple and delicious! I was wondering if it’s unadvisable to do all the steps up until number 9 and then refrigerate the unbaked dish, and pull it out the next day to bake it?

  52. Katie says

    Absolutely delicious. It took me more than an hour to make because I had to skin my potatoes and I cooked my lentils before adding them to filling. I would say don’t add any extra salt to recipe as there is quite a lot on the potatoes and vegetable stock. Other than that, I’m so impressed.

  53. Hether says

    The recipe was so good and delicious nice and silky the mashed potatoes were nice and smooth and I would visit this website definitely use a recipe from this website and this is just really good experience I’m gonna give it a five stars.

  54. Emma says

    I love this recipe! I’ve made it at least five times. Sometimes I put a little bit more of each ingredient and end up with one pie for dinner and one to freeze. It reheats really nicely too! I like to add celery and carrots with the garlic and onion in the beginning, then instead of adding a bag of frozen veggies in the last step I add a huge pile of sliced mushrooms and some sautéed impossible meat. The flavor is totally unbeatable for vegans (me) and meat-eaters (my husband).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you both enjoy it, Emma! Thank you so much for the lovely review and sharing your modifications! xo

  55. Steve says

    Ok. First. I love this stuff. I’m a meat eater and I worked at an Irish pub for over a decade, and I can attest: this recipe is delicious!! I’ve probably made it 20 times now.

    Second, I make a couple changes-
    – I saute red peppers with the onions and garlic.
    – I add rosemary along with the thyme, and that goes in the onions peppers and garlic BEFORE the lentils and veggie broth.
    – I don’t know how you can make a recipe this big with *pinches* of salt and pepper. I put in about 1.5 tsp salt in the lentils as they simmer. I put in a heap of salt while the potatoes are boiling. I add probably 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper,, 4 tbsp butter (literally country crock) and about 1/2 cup almond milk for the mash
    – on that note *Russet* potatoes

    Now here’s my beef with the recipe (Get it?). One hour is impossible. At least that is my experience. This is a 2 hour recipe, at the least.

    Absolutely delicious. But not 1-hour.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Steve! We hear you! Glad to hear you enjoy it with some modifications.

  56. Denise says

    Absolutely delicious. I doubled up on the onion & garlic, used tomatoe paste and sprinkled vegan cheese on top – super tasty dish. Loved it. Thank you so much for sharing 👌🏼

  57. Maddie says

    This is incredibly delicious, but no surprise there!! Every MB recipe I have tried blows us away. This is the third one we have made this week because everything is so good we just keep coming back for more ideas. We have recently made the switch to a fully plant-based lifestyle, but regardless on your dietary preference this is sure to impress. You do not miss the meat AT ALL. The lentils give such a great texture to the mixture. So good, so easy and approachable. Thank you again!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Maddie! Thank you so much for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  58. Rob says

    I’m not a practiced cook. The first time I made this I followed the directions and made the potatoes first, but then had to wait for the lentils. This time I got the lentils started and then made the potatoes. That way everything is ready for the oven at the same time.
    Thanks!

  59. Sydney says

    Very bland. I followed the ratios in the recipe just as instructed. Also my lentil mixture was just a thick orange mush after baking. I even cooked the lentils for about 10 minutes less than suggested because they were already done before the “uncovered ” portion of time was supposed to begin. I hate wasting food, but I can’t seem to dump enough salt, pepper, or garlic on it for it to taste like anything. I don’t want to throw it out, but I’m just not eating it because it’s not appealing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sydney, we’re so sorry to hear that was your experience. Is it possible you were using red lentils? We’re not sure why it would look orange and be mushy if using green lentils. Either way, we’ll take another look at this one to see if we can make improvements. In the meantime, tomato paste, coconut aminos, salt, pepper, and thyme should help with the lentils. And vegan butter and salt should help with the potatoes. Hope that helps!

      • Kayte says

        Can this be frozen? I’ve made this recipe plenty of times, I also add some extra spices and flavors to the lentils. But is there any way to freezer prep this?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Kayte, We’re so glad you enjoy it! You can freeze it, but we find it gets a little watery so we prefer it fresh. Another reader mentioned freezing it in smaller containers with success!

  60. Michelle says

    I made some adjustments to the recipe for more flavor and it turned out really good! I would definitely make it again.

    In the potatoes after mashing I added in about half cup of vegan cream cheese.

    I mixed in beyond “burger meat” with the onions and cooked only half the lentils (so 3/4 cup) I used 2.5 cups of broth since there were less lentils,

    I added worshteshire and some coconut aminos before tossing in the veggies.

    I added sweet potatoes, celery and carrots to the veggie blend.

    I cooked two regular size round pies and since I had a pie crust laying around, I put one of them I put a pie crust (that’s not traditional but it was good!)

    I served it with a Chopped spinach and avocado topping.

    I needed to do the final bake for 20 mins to get the potatoes to brown.

    I realllly loved this with all the changes I made!

    Thanks for sharing!

      • Angela says

        Almost there “wooster” Worcester sauce – aah the foibles of the English language : )
        Oops I think I was replying to one of your responders : ) Great recipe though.

  61. Judi Sweat says

    This was a most disappointing recipe. The quantities were way off. I would never make this again. There was far too many lentils for the amount of vegetables. Way too many potatoes. It was pretty bad. Sorry!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Judi, we’re so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it! This recipe is heavier on the lentils vs. veggies, but could certainly be adjusted to personal preference. For a more veggie heavy version, you might prefer this sweet potato mushroom version.

      • Judi says

        I fixed. the issue with this recipe by cooking some mixed vegetables and adding them to the dish when I reheated it for leftovers. That made all the difference. I would make this again and add more vegetables at the onset. Thank you for your response.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Helen. Thank you sharing! To speed up the time, you could cook the lentils first or make them in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Hope that helps!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Oh no! Sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe, Brianna. Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. What brand of veggie stock did you use? We find that brands can vary a lot, it’s possible that affected the flavor? We’re here to trouble-shoot further if you would like!

  62. Patti Barber says

    My non bean loving 15 year olds daughter went back for seconds! Yeah! Finally a dish the whole family will eat! I made adjustments per other reviewers ( soy sauce, liquid smoke and bay leaf) /
    Thanks so much for your recipe!

  63. Celine says

    I made so much filling and not enough potato (did not have enough) but I do have pie crust. I was thinking of using the filling to make pot pies. any advice about this take? DELICIOUS THO.

  64. Micheline says

    I don’t think I’ve commented or rated this recipe yet but it’s one of my go to’s on a fall/cold day. I use whatever vegetables are in season or whatever I have on hand. It’s always delicious! Thank you for sharing this.

  65. Rory says

    I’m wondering if anyone has made the whole thing and then baked it later (aka I have already made the lentil mix and the potatoes). Can I wait to bake it until tomorrow or should I bake it now and then just reheat tomorrow?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rory, this can be made ahead. We would recommend preparing up to the point of putting the mashed potatoes on top. Then refrigerate and bake as instructed later on. Hope that helps!

  66. Natalie says

    This was so delicious and super easy to make! I did use the tomato paste, which added some flavour. I also added some vegan cheese on top!
    Thanks again for always inspiring my vegan cooking !! ♥️✨🌱