Skip to content

Shepherd’s Pie

September 1, 2010

There are meals where the veggie equivalent are just as good as the original, and shepherd’s pie is certainly one of them. Tonight I made a shepherd’s pie inspired by the one in The Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook, with a few alterations. The recipe uses lentils instead of lamb or beef. Lentils are a fantastic food for re-creating the weight and protein in a dish, but have their own wonderful taste. Remember, we aren’t seeking meat imitations, but the nutritional consistency and density of the missing ingredient– like swapping asparagus for brocollini. I think meat eaters often scoff at vegetarian versions, because they think we are constantly trying to imitate meat. Seriously, then what is the point of being a vegetarian? You are trying to live a life moving beyond meat. This meal is a really hearty way to do this.

One thing to keep in mind, the only really required ingredient in shepherd’s pie is potato; everything else is what you have on hand. Sure, it is preferable to have carrots and peas in there, but certainly not required. The entire point of the meal is making a stew out of what you have around the house- be flexible. So, we had a few veggies that were a bit past peak. In another day or two, they would have to become friends with the trashcan. A stew is perfect for these moments, invoking the Irish recipe created an excuse to enjoy a Harp with our dinner. A perfect recipe for the Fall, Winter, or St. Patrick’s Day.

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

(inspired from the Vegetarian Mother’s Cookbook)


  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced onion
  • 3  cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup of chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 1  summer squash diced (or whatever is seasonal)
  • 1 cup of veggie broth
  • 1 tb oregano
  • 1 tb thyme
  • 2 cups of cooked lentils (french green lentils cook in 20 minutes with no soaking)
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1 tb soy sauce
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tb of butter, chopped into small pieces (soy substitute)
  • 1 cup of milk (soy milk)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika


  1. Pre-heat oven at 400.
  2. In a saucepan boil the potatoes (in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan), until they are soft. 15-20 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a stovetop/ovensafe casserole dish. This just cuts down on pans, so you can always use one for each.
  4. Once the onions become translucent and before the garlic burns, throw in the carrots, broccoli, veggie broth, squash, oregano, thyme, and lentils. Let cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Add in frozen peas and soy sauce. Let it cook for another minute.
  6. Meanwhile, take the potatoes, drain any extra water. Using a hand masher (or blunt kitchen utensil),  mash the potatoes while slowly adding in milk and butter. Let the potatoes soak them up. Mix in salt, pepper, and parsley. (Do NOT use a mixer for this, the potatoes only need to be slightly mashed, not over processed)
  7. Lay the potatoes on top of your lentil veggie mixture, and sprinkle paprika on top.
  8. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, let the potatoes brown at the peaks.
  9. Serve.
6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 8:11 am

    Mmm…printing this out! 🙂


  1. Fall Lessons. « the vegetarian salmon
  2. Project: Food Budget, Week Four « the vegetarian salmon
  3. What not to do on St. Patricks Day. « the vegetarian salmon
  4. Teaching Irish history in March « the vegetarian salmon
  5. Mama Knows Best: for Mothers from Mothers [Maureen from The Vegetarian Salmon]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: