This lentil shepherd's pie is a comfort food sure to please even the pickiest of eaters, plant-based or not! Traditional shepherd's pie is made with ground beef, but with this version you'll get the benefit of eating legumes filled with potassium, calcium, zinc, dietary fiber, lean protein, and plenty of other good stuff. The mashed potato crust is infused with garlic and makes the dish a cozy treat.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 tablespoon vegetable stock or water and a little red wine (optional)
- 1 cup dried green or brown lentils or 1 19-ounce can of lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 small or medium red potatoes, unpeeled, cut in half, and steamed until tender
- 1 small head garlic, with papery skin and cut in half
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 ounces Crimini mushrooms or White Button, sliced
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
- 8 ounces red wine or veggie stock, divided
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (gluten-free if needed)
- 2 tablespoons veggie stock or non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Rinse the lentils. Add them, 2 cups vegetable stock or water, and 1 bay leaf to a saucepan. Do not salt until after they cook. Bring to a rapid simmer and then reduce heat. Cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes adding water as needed to keep covered. Drain when tender and set aside.
- Wrap the garlic halves in foil and place on a rack in the oven that is preheating. Roast for about 30 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Set aside.
- Place the halved potatoes in a steamer or a pot of water and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- When the potatoes are tender, pour out the water and put them back into the same pan. Using 1/2 head or more, depending on your preference, squeeze the roasted garlic from their skins into the pan.
- Add the non-dairy milk to the potatoes and mash by hand or use a hand-held mixer. Add more non-dairy milk as needed if they are too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the lentils and potatoes are cooking, add the 2 tablespoons veggie stock or water plus 2 ounces wine to a large pan and sauté the chopped onion, minced garlic, and carrots for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms. Season with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper and cook until all is tender.
- Add the tomato paste to the pan and sauté for a few minutes to bring out its flavor. Then add the Worcestershire sauce and remaining 6 ounces wine or veggie stock and stir to combine.
- Add the lentils to the sautéed onion, along with the carrots, mushrooms, and peas and stir.
- Combine flour and a little veggie stock or water in a small bowl and whisk to remove any lumps. Pour into lentil mixture, combine and cook until thickened a little.
- Pour the lentil mixture into a baking dish, smoothing the top. Top with the mashed potatoes.
- Bake 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbling and potatoes are slightly browned.