Warm and cosy Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie has a meaty texture from Lentils and vegetables, a flavourful wine-based gravy and then topped with a creamy layer of mashed potato.
This Vegetarian Shepherd's pie is as delicious as the Classic one. Lentils, Mushrooms, carrots and peas are coated with a herb and wine-infused thick gravy. There is a thick layer of creamy mashed potato on the top baked until slightly crispy around the edges but still creamy underneath. An amazing Meatless dish, that will make you forget the meat version of Shepherd's pie for a while.
A great dish to make ahead of time. In the case of leftovers, can easily be stored in the freezer. If you are having leftover mashed potato from Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, then you know how to use it up.
Let's Talk About the filling...
I know, it doesn't sound convincing when I tell you that the filling is delicious and you won't miss the usual beef filling for a while. Lentils, mushroom and vegetables when slowly baked in a thick sauce create a magical and flavourful gravy. Mushroom gives the umami to the gravy.
Lentil gives body to the filling. I like to use brown/green lentils. Cook lentils just until tender and add to the filling. Along with texture, the protein content of lentil compensates for the beef.
Start with Sauteeing Onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaf and fresh herbs. When aromatic add Mushroom. Saute Mushroom until it softens. Then goes the lentils, tomato paste and flour. If you are not a fan of lentils, then increase the amount of mushroom, carrot and peas to compensate.
Red wine adds a depth of flavour to the dish. Use any kind of wine you have in hand.
Other vegetables you can use is corn, red pepper, green beans. I prefer to add a combination of 3-4 vegetables, not more.
Mashed Potato Toppings
A thick blanket of creamy fluffy mashed potato on top makes the dish complete. Use your favourite mashed Potato recipe or any leftover mashed potato here. For the vegan version, use coconut milk / Olive oil for the mash.
Use a Yukon gold potato or a mix of Yukon gold and russet potatoes. To make it easier and fast, peel potatoes, cut into cubes and cook in well-seasoned water. I have added heavy cream and butter to the mashed potato. For more rich version add 1/4 cup of cream cheese or while baking top it with some shredded cheddar cheese.
Prepping ahead and Storing Leftover Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
This can be easily prepared ahead. Assemble the pie in an oven-safe pan. Cover tightly with a double layer of foil and refrigerate it for 1-2 days. Remove from the refrigerator 30-40 minutes before baking and bake as per instruction.
In case of leftover, cover tightly with a foil and store up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
More Vegetarian Recipes...
LEMON GARLIC KALE PASTA
Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 large Onion Finely Chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon Fresh Garlic minced
- 3/4 cup Celery 2-3 stalks
- 3 Carrots about 1 cup, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary Chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 400 grams Mushroom
- 1 cup Cooked Brown Lentil
- 1/3 cup Tomato Paste
- 2 tablespoon Flour
- 1.5 cup Frozen Peas
- 1/2 cup Red wine
- 1.5 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust as per taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
For Mashed Potato
- 6-7 large potatoes (around 2 pounds)
- 1/3 cup Butter
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Salt to taste
For Mashed Potato
- Clean, Peel and cube Potatoes. Cook in salted water until just tender. Drain and using a potato ricer or masher mash potato. While it is still warm mix in cream and butter. Adjust seasoning. Mix until it is creamy.
For Vegetable Filling
- Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onion, garlic, celery, chopped carrot. bay leaf and herbs. Saute for one minute.
- Add Sliced Mushrooms. Saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add Cooked lentil, tomato paste and flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add wine, vegetable stock. Mix well, season with salt and pepper. Let it cook on medium heat until the gravy starts to thicken.
- Remove bay leaf. Switch off the flame. Stir in frozen peas.
- In an oven-proof pan put the vegetable gravy. Top with mashed potato in an even layer.
- Bake for 20-22 mins @ 350 F. For a crispy brown top, towards the end, set the oven to Broil mode and broil for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve.
- I have used a 2.5-3 inch deep 8X8 baking dish. There was a little leftover which didn't fit to the pan,so the extra I baked separetly in a ramekin.
- Instead of cooking in separate pan, Cook the gravy is a oven proof pan. Then to the same pan, spread mashed potaot and bake.