I’ve been tinkering with a veggie meatball recipe, and it occurred to me that what I had so far would be perfect for a vegetarian version of Shepherd’s Pie. I hafta say, I do love it when I’m right and this recipe for Lentil & Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie is every bit as good as anything I’ve made using any ground meat!
Better choices. Good for you.
Lentils offer much nutritionally, and are an excellent choice for a healthy plant-based diet; full of protein, low in fat, and with minimal calories. Adding mushrooms as the second main ingredient for the filling was an easy choice. Lentils & mushrooms are a dynamic culinary duo, pairing together well in many recipes with their combined taste & texture.
Lentils even have a similar texture to ground meat, making them a perfect choice for recipes like this.
And don’t underestimate the nutritional value of mushrooms! They’re good sources of selenium, an antioxidant mineral, as well as copper, niacin, potassium & phosphorous, and they also contain, protein, vitamin C & iron. Having a Polish background I grew up eating a lot of mushrooms – and still adore them!
I used cremini mushrooms here, but portobello would also be fab, with their big, meaty flavour.
Break down the steps.
Essentially the recipe is a mixture of cooked green lentils with sautéed mushrooms, sliced & cooked carrots & (frozen) corn, topped with chunky olive oil mashed potatoes. Having some of the ingredients cooked ahead will save you time and in fact, this would be a great recipe to use up leftovers. You can sub in other veg for the carrots and corn, using what you have, and what you like.
- cook the lentils a day or two ahead
- make extra mashed potatoes a day or two ahead
- replace carrots & corn with other veg
- you can of course add cream, milk, butter etc to the potatoes, if don’t need the dish to be vegan
Don’t be discouraged by the number of steps. It really is very tasty, makes a lot, and will feed a crowd. Leftovers are equally dee-lish the next day. No matter when you eat it, you won’t feel weighed down, will feel very satisfied and can even revel in your healthy eating~
Vegetarian Lentil & Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into approx. 2-inch pieces
- 3 medium carrots peeled & thinly sliced
- Large pinch Kosher salt
- Large pinch sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 oz cremini mushrooms portobello would also be great
- 1/2 medium onion diced small
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or fresh thyme
- 1 cup corn kernels frozen (or canned)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon GF soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
Rinse the lentils in a fine sieve and put them in the bottom of a medium sized double boiler. Cover the lentils with 1 - 2 inches of cold water, but no higher than the bottom of the steamer insert.
Put the steamer insert on top of the pot and add the potatoes. Cover and turn the heat to high. Once boiling, add a large pinch of salt, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes and lentils are tender.
Meanwhile put an oven proof 10-inch skillet on medium high and add about a third cup of water. When boiling add the carrots and a pinch of salt & pepper (if it’s too dry, add a splash more water). Cook for a few minutes until tender crisp. Remove carrots and set aside, wiping out the skillet to reuse.
Drain the lentils, saving some of the cooking liquid.
Chunky mash the potatoes with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
Put the skillet back on medium high and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion & minced rosemary and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium and add the drained lentils, cooked carrots, corn kernels, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, salt & pepper. Stir gently to combine, and taste for seasoning, adding more salt & pepper as needed. If it seems a dry, add a couple splashes of the reserved lentil cooking liquid.
Level the top as much as possible, and spoon the chunky mashed potatoes, spreading to cover. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle a pinch of salt & pepper over top.
For any handles that might not be oven proof, cover them with foil. Place skillet in 400°F oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes until hot & you see some golden brown on top.
Take the skillet right to the table to serve, drizzling with a bit more olive oil.
- Save time by cooking the lentils ahead, and adding them to warm as you cook the filling.
- Another time saver would be to use leftover mashed potatoes, made a day or two in advance.
- Substitute any veg you like for the carrots & corn, watching for colour & texture.