This delicious Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is comforting, satisfying, and healthy. The mashed potato topping is creamy and luscious. This main dish recipe is a family favorite! Gluten-free, dairy-free, and 100% plant-based.

vegan shepherd's pie in a serving dish.

Shepherd’s pie is classic comfort food. You may have seen my Paleo Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie, but this vegan version replaces meat with cooked lentils. The thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes brings together this savory dish and makes it a guaranteed winner.

Plant-based shepherd’s pie is a healthier version of the classic but just as satisfying! Lentils are high in plant-based protein and fiber which makes them filling especially when paired with dairy-free whipped potatoes.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • This shepherd’s pie makes 5-6 servings. It’s perfect for a family, or for meal prepping for the week.
  • You can easily swap out the white potatoes for sweet potatoes, if you prefer.
  • Lentils are a budget-friendly and plant-based substitute for meat. They’re also easy to cook which makes this recipe even simpler.
  • This cozy lentil pie is perfect for a chilly weeknight or a holiday dinner. Everyone loves comfort food, especially when it’s healthy too.

Key Ingredients

ingredients for vegan shepherd's pie with lentils.

Lentils – Use green or brown lentils as they hold their shape well during cooking. They’re also high in fiber, protein, and iron with little to no fat.

White potatoes – If you’re avoiding white potatoes you can also use sweet potatoes in their place.

Unsweetened almond milk – This is my go-to plant based dairy-free milk. It has a neutral flavor which makes it great for savory recipes. Feel free to use your favorite dairy-free milk or use regular milk if you can eat dairy.

Vegan butter – You can also use ghee or butter in it’s place if you don’t follow a vegan or dairy-free diet.

Onions & garlic – Onions and garlic give the lentils lots of flavor. You can use sweet, white, or yellow onions.

Recipe Steps

how to make vegan shepherd's pie.

Step One

The first step to making a shepherd’s pie is to make the mashed potatoes. You can make the potatoes up to several days in advance.

I like using my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe. It’s the easiest way to make mashed potatoes, in my opinion. You can also cook your potatoes on the stove. You’ll need about a pound of potatoes.

After you cook the potatoes in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, just mash them with some unsweetened almond milk, vegan butter, and salt and pepper.

Whether you like to make mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker or on the stovetop, you’ll need about four cups of cooked mashed potatoes to make the shepherd’s pie.

Step Two

The next step to this recipe is to cook your lentils. I also like to make Instant Pot Brown Lentils for this shepherd’s pie. Or, you can cook your lentils on the stovetop using the directions on the package.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Three

Then, sauté your chopped onion, garlic, lentils, and tomato paste for just a few minutes. Add the cooked lentil mixture to the bottom of a baking dish.

Step Four

Lastly, spread the cooked and mashed potatoes on top of the lentils and then bake the whole thing for 20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F.

shepherd's pie with a layer of mashed potatoes ready to bake.

Step Five

Let the shepherd’s pie cool for a few minutes before serving. I hope you’ll agree that this is a tasty and fairly easy-to-make casserole.

cooked shepherd's pie with lentils on a tabletop.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • You can make the mashed potatoes up to several days in advance. Store them covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
  • You can use fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, or oregano in place of the sage, if you prefer.
  • Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes in this recipe?

Yes, absolutely! You might like to use this recipe for Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Can I use cooked red or yellow lentils in this recipe?

No, it is best to use brown or green lentils for this shepherd’s pie. Red lentils break down much faster. They’re great for thickening up a dish but don’t hold their shape well which is what we want in this lentil shepherd’s pie.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes! You can prep and assemble the whole shepherd’s pie ahead of time than pop it in the oven 20 minutes before dinner time. Or you can cook the lentils and potatoes ahead of time so then all you have to do is assemble and cook.

mashed potatoes with lentils on a plate.

More Healthy Vegan Recipes You Might Like

Or, check out my entire index of Vegan and Gluten-Free Recipes.

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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vegan shepherd's pie on a plate

Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

This delicious Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is comforting, satisfying, and healthy. The mashed potato topping is creamy and luscious. This main dish recipe is a family favorite! Gluten-free, dairy-free, and 100% plant-based.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 pound white potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups brown or green lentils, rinsed well (this will yield about 5 cups of cooked lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 onion or 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves

Instructions

  1. The first step to making a shepherd’s pie is to make the mashed potatoes. I like using my Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe. It’s the easiest way to make mashed potatoes, in my opinion. You can also cook your potatoes on the stove.
  2. After you cook the potatoes in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop, transfer them to a mixing bowl and use a fork or potato masher to mash them with the almond milk, vegan butter, and salt and pepper. Set the mashed potatoes aside.
  3. The next step to this recipe is to cook your lentils. I also like to make Instant Pot Brown Lentils for this shepherd’s pie. Or, you can cook your lentils on the stovetop using the directions on the package.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Then, heat up your oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté your chopped onion, garlic, lentils, tomato paste, and chopped sage for just a few minutes. Add the cooked lentil mixture to the bottom of a baking dish.
  6. Lastly, spread the cooked and mashed potatoes on top of the lentils and then bake the whole thing for 20 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees F.
  7. Let the shepherd’s pie cool for a few minutes before serving. 

Notes

  1. You can make the mashed potatoes up to several days in advance. Store them covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
  2. You can use fresh or dried thyme, rosemary, or oregano in place of the sage, if you prefer.
  3. Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.

Keywords: lentil cottage pie, lentils and mashed potatoes, vegan lentil casserole

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