Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

This recipe is a healthy vegetarian take on an old favorite!

Serves 4-6


For the roasted garlic:

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the filling:

  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup roasted pine nuts or almonds
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 5 to 6 unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped and boiled until fork-tender, then drained
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Up to 1 cup milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 9 cups (1½ pounds) sliced mushrooms, use cremini or other brown mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried green lentils, cooked (Rinse lentils, place in pot with 2 cups of water.  Cook 10 to 15 minutes until lentils are tender.)
  • Fried shallots, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Put the garlic head on a baking tray. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven for 30 minutes or until the garlic is very tender. Remove from oven and let cool. Gently squeeze to remove cooked garlic from the head. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix the bread crumbs with the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Mix in the pine nuts, the eggs, basil, thyme and parsley. Set aside.
  4. Mash the potatoes with the butter, cheese, roasted garlic and milk until smooth. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 450°
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and sauté the onions, carrots and celery over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced, fresh garlic and mushrooms and continue cooking until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the cooked lentils and the reserved filling mixture. Stir and set aside.
  7. In an 8×11-inch casserole dish, spoon the vegetable filling mixture onto the bottom. Top with the mashed potatoes and smooth them down. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the top is slightly browned. Garnish with fried shallots, to taste.
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