Vegetarian shepherds pie with lentils is a perfect winter warmer. The mixture can be prepared in advance and can be made in bulk and frozen, making it ideal for busy days, or days when you want a break from cooking! It makes use of inexpensive ingredients and is full of flavour, making it a winner on both fronts. For a vegan version, omit the grated cheese topping and brush the potato slices with olive oil before baking.
- 1 large red onion
- 1 medium sweet potato (or 3 to 4 slices butternut squash)
- 200g red lentils
- One 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 4 teaspoons oregano
- 4 teaspoons paprika
- Vegetable stock
- Approximately 4 medium sized potatoes (sufficient to cover the lentil mixture)
- Salt and pepper
- Dash of olive oil
- Cheddar cheese (optional)
Equipment needed to make vegetarian shepherds pie with lentils
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Roasting dish
- Kitchen scales
- Large spoon
- Ovenproof dish
- Grater for the cheese topping (optional)
How to make vegetarian shepherds pie with lentils
Chop the onion and dice the sweet potato or butternut squash.
Heat the oil in a roasting dish. Add the onion and sweet potato/butternut squash and roast until soft.
Add the tomatoes, lentils, oregano, paprika, stock and salt and pepper and stir. Simmer until the lentils are cooked, this should take around 30 minutes. Check regularly and add more water if needed.
Peel and slice the potatoes while the lentil mixture is cooking. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until partially cooked, and then drain.
When the lentil mixture is cooked, arrange the sliced potatoes on top making sure all parts of the mixture are covered. Add grated cheese over the top of the potatoes to help the top to brown. For a vegan version, omit the cheese and brush olive oil over the sliced potatoes before cooking.
Cook in the top of the oven at gas mark 6, 200oC, 400oF until heated through and until the top has browned. This may take around 30 to 40 minutes. For an Aga, cook near the top of the roasting oven.
Serves 4 to 5 approximately. The shepherds pie is delicious served as a main course with a selection of green vegetables and beetroot.
The lentil and vegetable mixture can be prepared ahead of time and stored overnight in the fridge. It can also be made in bulk and frozen.
- The lentil mixture can be cooked and stored in the fridge for a couple of days, or can be frozen. The photographs above show a shepherds pie prepared using half the mixture, which is sufficient for 2 to 3 servings as a main course with vegetables. I usually freeze the other half of the mixture for another day.
- The lentil mixture also makes a tasty topping for jacket potatoes. It is a good idea to freeze some in small quantities for this purpose.
Why not try lentil chilli, another lentil based winter warmer?