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+ servings

Best Ever Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Made with hearty lentils and mushrooms, this vegetarian shepherd's pie is savory, seasoned, and a true one-pan meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, English
Keyword lentil, pantry staples, vegan option
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 356kcal
Cost $4


Mashed potatoes

  • 2 pounds red or Russet potatoes whole or cut into uniform pieces if potatoes are unevenly sized. See Note if using Russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter or vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup milk or plant-based half and half
  • salt to taste

Shepherd's pie

  • 2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 ounces cremini, oyster, or baby bella mushrooms chopped into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans lentils lightly drained but not rinsed (or about 3 1/2 cups cooked lentils with a little of their cooking liquid)
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1 long sprig fresh rosemary cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pepper freshly ground, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 8 baby spinach or arugula leaves optional
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs


  • Preheat oven to 400º F. Start cooking the potatoes: Wash and add to medium saucepan filled with cold water. (See Notes for Russet potatoes.) Bring to boil over high heat on stove. Let boil until potatoes are soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork, about 12-20 minutes. Continue with next steps while potatoes cook.
  • Cook vegetables: Melt 2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms. Sauté, stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, mushrooms are soft, and onion is golden.
  • Add lentils and their liquid to skillet. Turn down heat so liquid gently simmers. Stir in wine, soy sauce, rosemary, and dried spices. Cook 5 minutes. Add cornstarch or arrowroot to small bowl and mix with just enough water to dissolve. Pour into skillet and stir. If using spinach, add a little at a time and cook until just wilted. Remove skillet from heat and remove rosemary sprig and discard.
  • Make mashed potatoes: When done boiling, remove from hot water with slotted spoon and place in ice water bath. Remove skins after minute or so. Cut the potatoes into quarters.
  • Microwave 1/4 cup butter or vegan butter and milk or plant-based half and half in microwave-safe bowl or glass until butter melts and milk is hot. Pour into potatoes and use masher or back of spoon to mash to desired consistency. Add more milk or half in half if potatoes are lumpy. Season with salt to taste.
  • Prepare pie: Lightly oil or grease 2-quart casserole dish (preferably round), two deep-dish pie pans, or cast iron skillet. Casserole dish or pie pans: Scatter breadcrumbs over greased bottom. Pour in the lentil mixture. Cast iron skillet: Pour in lentil mixture, then sprinkle breadcrumbs over the lentils. After lentils and breadcrumbs have been added, spread mashed potatoes evenly on top.
  • Baked 35 minutes or until top becomes slightly crusty and golden. If desired, brush melted butter or vegan butter on top of potatoes 20 minutes into baking time. When done, remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.


  • Russet potatoes: Peel and cut potatoes into 1" size squares before boiling. Skip entire ice water bath step.
  • Vegan or dairy free: Use vegan butter and plant-based half and half instead of butter and milk.


Serving: 8g | Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 1053mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 298IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 5mg | Net Carbs: 42g