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Vegan Shephard's Pie

This version of Shepherd's Pie replaces the traditional ground lamb with green lentils, which don't get mushy but keep their hearty texture and balance well against the creamy vegan potato topping. Based on how quickly our boys cleared their dinner plates, this is just as comforting, savory, and delicious as the classic version. The original vegetarian recipe came from Samantha Seneviratne of The New York Times; we took this recipe to be completely plant-based. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: sugar free, Vegan, wheat free
Keyword: lentils, potato, Whole Life Challenge
Servings: 8
Calories: 144kcal
Author: planfulcook


  • 2-3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 lb russet potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 10 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond or other non-dairy milk unsweetend
  • 1/2 cup cashewgurt or other non-dairy yogurt plain, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup green lentils
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch green onion thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice


  • Boil one gallon of water with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt in a large pot over high heat. Add the prepared potatoes to the boiling water for about 15 to 20 minutes, until soft; you should be able to stick a knife in without any resistance. 
  • While the potatoes cook, prepare the filling. Add the lentils, thyme, 2 cups of the vegetable broth, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to a large oven-safe skillet with high sides or a round french oven (e.g. Le Creuset). Bring to a simmer.
  • Once simmering, reduce the heat and continue to cook the lentils, partly covered, until they are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the lentils to a bowl. 
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Finish the potato topping: heat 6 tablespoons of vegan butter or coconut oil and your non-dairy milk in a small saucepan until the butter melts. 
  • Drain the cooked potatoes and place back into the large pot. Mash the hot potatoes until they're smooth. 
  • Mix in the hot butter mixture and the non-dairy yogurt just until blended. Stir in half of the vegan Parmesan (1/4 cup). 
  • Season your mashed potatoes to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and set aside.
  • Finish the filling: Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of vegan butter in your large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the green onion, carrots and fresh minced ginger, and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  • Add the tomato paste and stir until it's combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle almond flour over the mixture, stir and cook for another minute. 
  • Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, cooked lentils and peas, and cook until thickened. Remove thyme stems and stir in lemon juice to taste.
  • Top the mixture with the mashed potatoes, spreading them out evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of vegan Parmesan. 
  • Transfer to the oven and bake until the potatoes have begun to brown and the edges are bubbling, about 30 minutes. 
  • Remove from the oven and let the pie stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Remember to keep a potholder or thick cloth around the handle of the skillet to avoid burning your hands. Enjoy! 


The original recipe from The New York Times included 8 ounces of sliced mixed mushrooms. We omitted them only because our older son hates mushrooms. We also replaced a large leek from the original recipe with a bunch of green onions, to keep this recipe low-FODMAP friendly. 
To keep this recipe vegan, we used these plant-based products, so we can vouch for their quality and flavor:
Le Creuset offers Dutch Ovens in two sizes and a variety of colors.