I love October for so many reasons, only one of which is the return of all of the comfort foods! I’m not great about following seasonal food rules (I could, and do — eat soup year -’round) but I somehow feel good knowing it’s legit time to start making hearty, warm, wintery foods. Yay!
Since this Shepherd’s Pie recipe has been making the regular rounds in the Swanson household lately, I thought I ought to share it with you.
LENTIL, VEGGIE, SHEPHERD’S PIE:
There could be no more comforting food than a Shepherd’s Pie, right? However traditional versions are full of meat and fat. Yes, they’re delicious, but guess what!? SO IS THIS!…lentil and veggie packed, vegetarian version. You’re gonna love it!
Truth is, it’s taken me some time to land on my own favorite version of this recipe. For the past year or more I’ve been making two different Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from two of my favorite cookbooks.
There’s something to love about both of them (and I do recommend both cookbooks if you love whole food, plant-based cooking.) One of the recipes calls for a cauliflower mash topping –which is great…but my boys also love mashed potatoes. (And note: Today’s recipe is great using cauliflower mash as well.) One of the recipes calls for lentils, the other has no lentils, but adds mushrooms. (Sadly, my kids voted out the shrooms.)
So, what I’m sharing today is not only a happy medium of these two recipes, but also some optional cheats. Because: this is real life. Yes, I’m unashamedly sharing my occasional short-cut method of using pre-made (as in, Costco-purchased– please don’t judge me) mashed potatoes.
Like with most of my recipes, I often switch up the ingredients, depending on what I have on hand and how much time I have. I vary the veggies and the toppings, and when I’m feeling bold, I even go ahead and throw in some mushrooms. (Wasn’t there a wonderful, old saying about ‘kids should be seen and not heard.’?)
For today’s recipe, I started by sautéing chopped onions, sweet peppers, my favorite blend of colorful carrots, and a bunch of broccoli that needed to be used.
Then I added a mix of frozen veggies, and pre-cooked lentils.
(Helpful tip: I try to keep cooked lentils on hand to throw into curries, garden burgers, or, for such a time as this. — :))
Also a douse of red wine, veggie broth, rosemary and thyme.
I topped it all with pre-made mashed potatoes. And — oh my goodness, I could eat this every day.
One more note, on the lentils: Though lentils are cheap and super easy to cook, another cheater option is to use canned lentils. Once I even used two cans of lentil soup. (If you do that, I recommend leaving out the broth so the recipe doesn’t come out too soupy.)
Easy Lentil Veggie Shepherds Pie
A delicious vegetarian Shepherds Pie with a few short-cut options. 😉
- 2 cup Mashed potatoes
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 4 tsp garlic minced
- 4 cups vegetables of choice
- 2 cups lentils cooked (or use one can cooked lentils)
- 1/4 cup red wine cabernet sauvignon or merlot
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 2 tsp thyme leaves fesh, or 1 tsp. dreid plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp. rosemary leaves fresh, chopped, or 1 tsp dried
- 1/2 tsp paprika for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 3-4 quart casserole dish
Heat oil over medium in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onions and a couple pinches of salt. Stir to compbine -- until onions are soft. About 3-4 minutes
Add the vegetables, cooking until soft. (Depending on which veggies you use, some take longer to cook through.) Add any frozen veggies when raw vegetables are starting to soften.
Add cooked lentils, and stir in potato starch until combined. Add red wine, broth, thyme and rosemary. Stir until combined.
Spoon the filling into the prepared casserole dish and spread out evenly
Use a spoon to gently spread the mashed potatoes across the top of the filling in an even layer. (My family likes it thick. :))
Top with paprika and extra thyme or rosemary if you like. Bake for 25-20 minutes, then switch oven to broil and broil for 3-5 more minutes, until bubbling around the edges. Watch closely to avoid burning.
I hope you try this! If you do, please let me know how you (and your family!) like it! And as always, I appreciate it when you pin, share and talk about this recipe with your friends!
And — in comments — Talk to me about YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD! 🙂 I’m so curious!! 🙂