These mini vegetarian shepherd's pies feature lentils, carrot and corn, crowned with a velvety mashed potato topping. The recipe can also be made in a broiler-safe casserole dish. Serve with a spinach salad with oranges, walnuts and red-wine vinaigrette.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add buttermilk, butter and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth.

  • While the potatoes are cooking, position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Coat four 10- to 12-ounce broiler-safe ramekins (or an 8-inch-square broiler-safe baking dish) with cooking spray. Place ramekins on a broiler-safe baking sheet.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in corn, thyme and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir to coat. Stir in broth. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in lentils and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

  • Divide the hot lentil mixture among the prepared ramekins (or spread in the baking dish). Top with the mashed potatoes. Broil, rotating halfway through, until the potato is lightly browned in spots, 6 to 10 minutes.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the filling (Step 3), cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Tip: To cook lentils, place in a saucepan, cover with at least 1 inch of water, bring to a simmer and cook until just tender, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of lentil. Drain and rinse with cold water. 1 cup dry lentils = about 2 1/2 cups cooked. Or use canned lentils: 15-ounce can = 1 1/2 cups. Rinse canned lentils before cooking with them to reduce the sodium by about 35%.

Cut Down on Dishes: A rimmed baking sheet is great for everything from roasting to catching accidental drips and spills. For effortless cleanup and to keep your baking sheets in tip-top shape, line them with a layer of foil before each use.

Nutrition Facts

322 calories; protein 12g 24% DV; carbohydrates 54.4g 18% DV; exchange other carbs 3.5; dietary fiber 10.1g 40% DV; sugars 7.6g; fat 7.4g 11% DV; saturated fat 2.6g 13% DV; cholesterol 8.9mg 3% DV; vitamin a iu 2846.9IU 57% DV; vitamin c 15mg 25% DV; folate 182.2mcg 46% DV; calcium 77.3mg 8% DV; iron 3.4mg 19% DV; magnesium 63.9mg 23% DV; potassium 842.4mg 24% DV; sodium 783.4mg 31% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 34% DV.

Reviews (22)

Read More Reviews
22 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 16
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Really flavorful. Some family members didn't like the lentil but I thought it added a nice texture to the dish Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great dish! I will definitely make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was delicious! My husband was skeptical because of the lack of meat but there was certainly no lack of flavor! I did not have any thyme so I substituted half basil and half oregano. The buttermilk in the mashed potatoes gave a nice tang and the filling was very delicious. Even my picky 2 year old ate without complaints! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was great and both of my kids ate it up. One of those dinners you can toss together when it feels like there is nothing in the house. I thought the sauce needed more umami so I added a bit of soy and Worcestershire sauces. I used a bag of frozen veggies and instant mashed potatoes because I had them on hand. A little sprinkle of cheddar cheese made it more appealing. Very filling and satisfying with the added bonus of being healthy. We'll definitely make this again soon. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This was great! I added tomato paste (as suggested by another review) and some fresh spinach to the mixture. My Veggie-wary son even ate it up! I used prepackaged mashed pototoes since I was in a rush and it was soooo good! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Easy healthy comfort food! This recipe is amazing. I add less broth (8 oz) because I don't like it soupy. I also added dried rosemary and minced garlic to the veggies and topped the potato layer with shredded cheese. This is comfort food! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Wonderful! I hardly ever leave reviews but this meal warranted one. I did make a few adjustments...added more thyme added garlic to the lentils and potatoes and added cayenne pepper and subbed brocolli for corn.. This was absolutely amazing and one of our favorite meals at home in years. Will definitely be a regular in our vegetarian house. Pros: Customizable Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
just a suggestion to boost the flavors added 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the onion and carrot simmer and a tablespoon of (vegetarian) Worcestershire sauce with the lentils. Delicious! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
filling and hearty It's a simple quick recipe with available ingredients. I spiced it up typically Indian;) by adding some grated masala carrots as the filling tasted a bit bland even after adding lots of spices and pepper as well as chili flakes to the oil. I also used dehydrated potato mash as I was out of sweet potato. It tasted delicious and I am putting it into my recipe collection. Pros: low fat simple ingredients Cons: lack of flavour Read More
Rating: 4 stars
yummy just needed extra spices I added garlic which helped next time i will have to think what other spice to add to enhance the flavors Pros: easy to make tasty healthy Cons: a little bland Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Tasty Vegetarian Dinner This was delicious! My meat-eating husband even liked it. I made the lentil mixture and the potatoes ahead of time so that I could just throw it together into individual portions and heat them up at dinnertime. The only change I made was to use some different spices including cayenne for a little heat. I would definitely try it with sweet potatoes as other reviewers have recommended. You could also use whatever vegetables you have on hand. I think this recipe is very versatile. Pros: make ahead versatile Cons: time consuming Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Surprisingly delicious! I was somewhat unsure about trying this recipe wondering if I'd like it but it was surprisingly delicious! I couldn't wait for left overs the next day! I made a couple of changes I used sweet potatoes instead of white (as suggested by other reviewers thanks!:) and used greek yogurt instead of buttermilk in the potatoes because well buttermilk makes me gag haha;) I used celery in place of onion because we don't like onions in my house (shocking I know) and I also added in frozen peas as well. Instead of using the broiler I just baked in a casserole dish at 400 for 15-20 minutes to heat everything up. The potatoes didn't get very browned but didn't matter to me. It was sooooo good I can't wait to make this again!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Very tasty! This recipe was very tasty! I used more potatoes for the top. This was also the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Loved loved it!!! I made it with mixed veggies instead of carrots and corn and used sweet potato mash instead. Perfect tastes exactly the same. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Perfect comfort food This recipe is well laid out & very tasty. No adjustments needed! Perfect food for the chilly weather... Pros: tasty hearty healthy Cons: none Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious! Both my husband and I loved this recipe. The flavors are perfect! Fresh thyme makes this special. Will make many times. Thank you! Pros: Easy Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love lentils so I loved this. My husband is a meat eater and he loved it as well. I used peas instead of corn. Also if you're familiar with HP sauce it's an interesting accompaniment. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
love this new use for lentils! This is a great dinner for the family. With all those hearty ingredients who would miss the meat? I also love the idea of serving in individual pots for better portion control. Does anyone know where to buy the ones in the picture? Read More
Rating: 5 stars
My husband's new favorite! I prepared this for my husband and his friend. They are both meat loving men and they raved about this. I followed the recipe exactly except I substituted in sweet potatoes instead of regular. It was a beautiful autumn meal that was tasty and satisfying. I am making it again tonight! Pros: This had great flavor and was a cheap and healthy meal! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Good Good though onions were a little overpowering. Next time I will definitely use less onions and add more corn. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love it! I love this pie! It's even better the next day. Pros: Easy and delicious. Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Yum! I was impressed! I never missed the meat from traditional pies -- It was so tasty!! Pros: Flavorful!! Read More