Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies

19 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1 pound Yukon Gold or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¾ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1½ cups cooked or canned (rinsed) lentils (see Tip)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. 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 ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ 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.
  4. 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 2½ cups cooked. Or use canned lentils: 15-ounce can = 1½ 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 information

  • Serving size: about 2 cups
  • Per serving: 322 calories; 7 g fat(3 g sat); 10 g fiber; 54 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 182 mcg folate; 9 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 2,847 IU vitamin A; 15 mg vitamin C; 77 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 783 mg sodium; 842 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (57% daily value), Folate (46% dv), Vitamin C (25% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 19

December 31, 2016
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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.
September 27, 2016
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By: kld
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!
October 22, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
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!
November 06, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
October 01, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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!
June 28, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
June 08, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
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
April 24, 2013
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By: bhess26
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
March 07, 2013
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By: sunshine spirit
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!!