This is the best Lentil Shepherd’s pie and I promise no one will miss the meat!
Lentils deliver such a fabulous protein boost, they melt into a delicious sauce made with tomatoes, wine, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, peas, and fresh rosemary – yum!!!. Instead of the traditional mashed white potato topping, I opted for a sweet potato and celery root mash.
WHAT’S IN A LENTIL SHEPHERD’S PIE?
All the good stuff!
Lentils: To cut down on cooking time, I used canned lentils , however, if you prefer to use fresh, make sure they’re cooked before adding them into the sauce. The cooking time in the oven won’t be adequate to thoroughly break them down.
Plenty of Veggies: onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, to name a few.
Red or White Wine: optional, but it does add a lovely flavor.
Fresh Herbs: I used rosemary but use whatever you have on hand and you love. Parsley and thyme are great options.
The topping: Instead of going for the traditional white potato, why not switch things up a little with celery root and sweet potato.
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Why we love the Best Lentil Shepherd’s Pie!
- High Protein Content:
- Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They provide a good protein source without ANY of the saturated fats found in meat.
- Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and helping to regulate blood sugar levels. A high-fiber diet is associated with various health benefits, including improved heart health and weight management.
- Lentils are packed with essential nutrients, including iron, folate, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients are important for maintaining energy levels, supporting the immune system, and promoting overall well-being.
- Low in Saturated Fat:
- Lentils are naturally low in saturated fat, making them a heart-healthy protein option. Shepherd’s pie made with lentils can be a lower-fat alternative compared to traditional meat-based versions.
- Lentil shepherd’s pie is a satisfying plant-based dish, making it suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It’s a great option for those looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet for health or ethical reasons.
- Versatile and Flavorful:
- Lentils absorb flavors well, making them a versatile ingredient in various dishes. In a lentil shepherd’s pie, lentils can take on the savory, rich flavors of the vegetable and herb-infused broth or sauce, resulting in a delicious and flavorful dish.
- Lower Environmental Impact:
- Choosing lentils over meat for shepherd’s pie can contribute to a lower environmental impact. The production of lentils generally has a smaller carbon footprint compared to the production of meat, making it a more sustainable choice.
- Lentils are often more affordable than meat, making lentil shepherd’s pie a cost-effective option for those on a budget.
- Suitable for Various Dietary Restrictions:
- Lentil shepherd’s pie is naturally free of common allergens like dairy and gluten, making it suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions or sensitivities.
- Satiety and Weight Management:
- The combination of lentils and vegetables in shepherd’s pie provides a satisfying and filling meal, which can contribute to weight management by helping control appetite and reducing the likelihood of overeating.
Lentil shepherd’s pie is a nutritious, flavorful, and sustainable option that provides an excellent source of plant-based protein and essential nutrients. It’s a dish that can be enjoyed by everyone, whether they follow a vegetarian or vegan diet or simply want to incorporate more plant-based meals into their routine. It’s a total crowd-pleaser!
CAN I MAKE THE BEST LENTIL SHEPHERD’S PIE AHEAD OR FREEZE IT?
- This is great made a day ahead.
- This can be frozen: After baking, let the pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, reheat the shepherd’s pie (still covered with the foil) for 1 hour in a 350ºF oven.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
The most delicious comforting vegan shepherd’s pie.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 celery root, peeled and cut into large chunks
2–3 tablespoons cooking water to thin the mash
A splash of unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper
3–4 tablespoons vegetable stock
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2–3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
1–2 fresh sprigs of fresh rosemary
1, 15oz can cooked lentils
1 packet of sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1 – 2 tablespoons tomato puree
1, 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine or white wine (optional – you can substitute low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Heat the oven to 400 F
1. Place the sweet potatoes and celery root in a large pan of boiling water and cook until tender, approximately 20 minutes. Drain, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water, add the unsweetened soy milk, and mash well. If the mixture is too thick add some of the reserved cooking water.
3. Meanwhile, heat 3-4 tablespoons vegetable stock in a large saute pan, add the onions, cook on low heat until translucent, add the celery, carrots, garlic, rosemary, pepper, Herbs de Provence, or other savory herbs of your choice, and cumin. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Add the drained lentils, tomato paste, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, and wine. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is very thick add 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable broth.
4. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover. Simmer on the stovetop for about 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the frozen peas. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir well. Remove the sprig of rosemary.
5. In a small bowl combine the tablespoon of cornstarch with 2-3 tablespoons of the lentil sauce, stir until you have a slurry, then pour into the lentil sauce and stir well to incorporate.
6. Place the mixture either a large baking dish or individual small dishes on a lined baking tray. Fill the dish or dishes about 3/4 way to the top. Gently spread the mashed potato mixture over the top. Place in the oven and cook for about 20- 30 minutes until the top is just crisping.
7. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes then serve and enjoy.
Keywords: Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
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