Lentil shepherd’s pie

An illustration and recipe by Talia Steele

A classic shepherd's pie made with lentils. Comforting right out of the oven or out of the container in front of the fridge at 11 p.m.


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and choppped into small chunks
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 cups green or brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups broth of choice (vegetable, mushroom or beef works best)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce or liquid aminos works too)
  • 1/4 cup barbeque sauce
  • (make sure vegan and gluten-free if needed)

Mashed potatoes

  • 4 pounds of potatoes (or about
  • 5 to 8 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1.5-2.5 tsp salt (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).

2. Heat vegetable oil in a large cast-iron pan (or large non-stick pan) over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and thyme and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until softened and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside. Let pan cool slightly.

3. Return the pan to heat, add in the lentils and broth. Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until the broth is absorbed, and the lentils are softened. While the lentils cook, prepare the mashed potatoes.

4. Mashed potatoes: Add chopped potatoes to large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes until tender. 

5. Add minced garlic to coconut milk in a measuring cup and whisk together. 

6. Pour about half of the coconut milk and garlic mixture over the potatoes. Mash potatoes with a masher, fork or immersion blender until smooth or to desired consistency. Add more of the milk mixture for a creamier, smoother texture and a bold garlic flavour.

7. Add the vegetables back to the pan with the lentils and add the peas, BBQ sauce and soy sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes. Scoop the mixture into a casserole dish, or leave it if you used a cast-iron pan. Spread the mashed potatoes on top with a spatula or fork. 

8. Bake pie for 10 to 15 minutes in the oven until it is bubbling around the edges. Let cool 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Published in Volume 75, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 26, 2020)

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