Lentil shepherd's pie

Cut down on red meat with this hearty, healthier version of a British classic
12 ratings
Recipe by: Sarah Drabble | Healthy You Editor

For me, shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food. It’s so warming and packed with flavour. I wasn’t sure a meat-free version would still have those qualities, but this recipe really is just as satisfying in taste and texture.



  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, suitable for mashing, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons skimmed milk
  • 30g reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Light cooking oil spray
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ small swede, peeled and diced
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 x 390g can green lentils, in water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon each of dried oregano, rosemary and thyme
  • ½ –1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 400ml reduced-salt vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
90 minutes

Nutrition information (per serving)

5 A DAY:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Fan 180ºC.
  2. Put the potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over a high heat until the water starts to boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through – to check, pierce the centre with a sharp knife.
  3. Carefully drain off the water and add the milk and most of the cheese. Mash until a smooth consistency.
  4. While the potatoes cook, coat another large saucepan in cooking spray and warm over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, swede and mushrooms, and cook for 5–6 minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables start to soften. Add a splash of stock if needed to prevent burning.
  5. Drain the lentils and add with the Worcestershire sauce, herbs and cinnamon, and mix thoroughly. Carefully pour in the stock, stir in the tomato purée and bring to the boil. Reduce the temperature, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Transfer the lentil mixture into an ovenproof dish. Spoon the mash evenly over the top, making sure all of the lentils are covered. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and the lentil mixture is bubbling.
Serve with a portion of steamed green vegetables