Lentil Shepherd’s Pie


September has officially arrived and I am so excited because fall is my favorite time of year! Even though here in southern California we don’t get much of a fall, I still look forward to having weather below 100°.  With cooler weather comes warm drinks and hearty, comforting meals and today I’ll be kicking off our fall-inspired meals with my lentil shepherds pie. Traditional shepherd’s pie is made using ground beef, a variation of veggies, and topped with creamy mashed potatoes. This recipe is only different in a few of the ingredients but all the flavors come together to produce an incredibly satisfying & hearty meal. It sounds so much fancier than it actually is because all of the ingredients are very humble and easily accessible to everyone.

Lentils are the star of the show as they are one of my all-time favorite sources of plant-based protein and are a nutrient powerhouse for important vitamins, minerals, and of course fiber.  Lentils are incredibly affordable, versatile, and absolutely delicious when prepared with care. In order to make anything taste good, you need to season it well and veggies and legumes are no exception to that.

Not only did I modify the filling, but I also made some adjustments to the traditional mashed potatoes because I realize that many people like to limit their consumption of the starchy vegetables. Instead of doing a full out cauliflower mash, I figured I would do something in the between to give you the best of both worlds. The mash is half regular russet potatoes and the other half is cauliflower to help satisfy the taste of traditional mashed potatoes but with a few more vitamins and minerals thrown in there.

It is definitely much lower in carbohydrates than full out mashed potatoes but packed with so much flavor from the roasted garlic. Think of this recipe as a two for one because I love to use my leftover mashed potatoes to make tacos de papa or potato tacos. You could also just eat it by the spoonfuls because its THAT good but I’ll leave that up to you! Now let’s talk about what you’ll need fofor this recipe.



◊Serves 4

Lentil Filling

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 cups beef broth ( I used Better than Bouillon No-Beef Base but use what you have)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 small green pepper diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Roasted Garlic Potato & Cauliflower Mash

◊ Makes about 8 servings (i’ll be sharing a recipe for the leftovers!)

  • 4 small potatoes ( I used russet)
  • 1/2 head of a small cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons butter ( I used Earth Balance)
  • 4 garlic cloves roasted**
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

**NOTE: To roast garlic cut the top half of a full bulb of garlic off, place in foil, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt & pepper, and enclose the garlic bulb in the foil. Roast the garlic in a 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes or until the garlic cloves are soft and slide out effortlessly.



Roasted Garlic Potato & Cauliflower Mash

  1. Begin by boiling the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until a fork inserts with little to no effort. Meanwhile cut up the head of cauliflower into florets and boil for about 5-7 minutes or until tender.
  2. Once both the potatoes and cauliflower have finished, add the cauliflower into a food processor along with the roasted garlic cloves and process until a smooth texture is achieved.
  3. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes until there are no large chunks. Once the desired texture has been achieved add in the cauliflower, milk, salt & pepper, and butter.
  4. Mix to combine and set aside

Lentil Filling

  1. Begin by boiling the lentils in the beef or veggie broth for about 10-15 minutes or until they are completely cooked through.
  2. In a separate pan add a small amount of olive oil and begin sauteing the onion, carrot, bell peppers, and celery on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and add in the minced garlic and allow to cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add in the lentils, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and water and allow to simmer on medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
  5. Once the mixture has thickened turn the heat off and add the lentil filling into an oven-safe pan ( I used ceramic ramekins but use whatever you have).
  6. Top your lentil filling with a generous helping of the roasted garlic potato and cauliflower mash and evenly spread over the top.
  7. Place your prepared dish into a preheated 350°F oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until the potato & cauliflower mash has slightly browned.
  8. Carefully remove from the oven and once cooled enjoy!

I hope you guys try this recipe out and enjoy it just as much as my boyfriend and I do. He is quite honestly one of the most difficult people to please but he gobbled this down without hesitation. To make this recipe even quicker, you can cook your lentils in advance, cut up your veggies, and boil your potatoes and cauliflower to save a good chunk of time. Make healthy work for you by doing what you can to make cooking dinner a breeze.

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