Plant Based Lentil Shepherd’s Pie



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Shepherd’s Pie has been a longtime favorite comfort food of mine. My grandmother on my dad’s side, who we call my Grams, always made the best shepherd’s pie, complete with heaps of meat and potatoes, and though this plant-based lentil shepherd’s pie is different in many ways (especially because it doesn’t contain meat OR potatoes), this meat-free shepherd’s pie still has the same comfort food feel as the one I remember enjoying growing up.

With a base of well-seasoned lentils (I cooked them in the instant pot) and vegetables, and a delicious cauliflower mash topping (feel free to use potatoes; I happen to be allergic) this shepherd’s pie is plant-packed and fully comforting.

How to make lentils in the instant pot:

  1. Combine 1 cup of brown lentils and 4 cups water or broth in the bottom of the instant pot.
  2. Cook on high for 9 minutes and let naturally release. If needed, drain extra liquid. 1 cup of dried lentils makes about 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils.
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Plant Based Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

  • Author: Kristin Dovbniak
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x




1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
1 small-to-medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup diced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
2 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce (make sure to choose a vegan variety if you want it to be vegan)
2 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1/2 cup frozen peas
sea salt to taste

Cauliflower Mash:

1 whole head cauliflower, chopped
12 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt to taste


Cauliflower Mash:

1. Steam or boil cauliflower until soft (about 10-15 minutes depending on size) and drain well.

2. Add to a food processor or mash in a bowl.

3. Season with sea salt and coconut oil.



1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottom sautee pan.

3. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook until turning translucent. Stir in mushrooms and cook until soft.

4. Stir in minced garlic for 10-15 seconds to cook.

5. Add lentils, herbs and worcestershire sauce. Let cook until hot and stir in frozen peas.

6. Spread over the bottom of an 8″ square or round baking dish.

7. When cauliflower mash is cooked, spread over top and bake for 10 minutes.

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