Friday, 24 May 2013


“Lentils are friendly - the ‘Miss Congeniality’ of the bean world.” - Laurie Colwin

As we are progressing into Winter here in the Southern Hemisphere, it is time for some warming, quite substantial comfort food! Here is a vegetarian version of Shepherds’ Pie using our good friend the humble lentil. Lentils are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of protein, iron, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fibre, folate and manganese.

Vegetarian Shepherds’ Pie

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 large carrots (500g), cubed and parboiled
150 g mushrooms, chopped finely
2 tbsp thyme chopped
200 mL red wine
100 g can of diced capsicum
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 vegetable stock cubes
500 g cooked lentils
Grated nutmeg
900g potatoes
100 g butter
100 g grated parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a frying pan, then sauté the onion until golden. Add the mushrooms and cook well, then adding the crushed garlic and the tomato paste, stirring all the while. Add the carrots and stir thoroughly so that they mix well with the rest of the ingredients, Add the stock cubes, crumbled and simmer until the carrots are well coated with the oil mixture.

Pour in the wine and 150ml water, and stir well. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 mins. Add the boiled lentils, the diced capsicum (including juice) and add more water if needed, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add the thyme and a pinch of nutmeg.

Meanwhile, chop potatoes and boil them until tender, drain well, then mash with the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Pile the lentil mixture into a pie dish, spoon the mash on top, then sprinkle over the cheese and some thyme. The pie can now be covered and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for up to a month.

Heat oven to 180˚C. Cook the pie for 20 mins if cooking straight away, or for 40 mins from chilled, until golden and hot all the way through. Serve with fresh green garden salad.

This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.

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  1. interesting! have never eaten shepherd's pie, but if i get the chance i'd try it in a heartbeat! your vegetarian version sounds promising!

    thanks so much for taking the time to share and link over at Food Friday, Nick

  2. This version of Shepherd's Pie is simply delicious!!!!

  3. I know this is an older post, but it's autumn here now in the northern hemisphere and ideal weather for this type of food. I made this for dinner for the family and everyone loved it, even the one staunch "meat eater with attitude". I added celery and leeks because I had them on hand. Versatile and really tasty. Thank you!