Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd's Pie

Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd's Pie

By Jenny Warshafsky

Shepherd’s pie is simply just three components - a meaty filling, gravy, and creamy mashed potatoes. For this version, we’ll use a lentil and mushroom mixture to get a similar meaty texture.

Potato Topping Ingredients:

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and roughly cut
  • 1 T (or less as desired) vegan butter (optional)
  • ½ C milk (any nut, grain, or dairy)
  • Salt to taste
  • Parsley, chopped (optional)

Filling Ingredients:

  • ¾ C dry lentils and 2 C water
  • 2 tsp oil of choice 
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Half of a medium size carrot (peeled, sliced into thick rounds approx. ⅛ in.)
  • 3 cloves garlic (more or less based on taste), minced
  • 1 average sized container of mushrooms (bella or button), roughly chopped
  • ½ C frozen peas (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Gravy Ingredients:

  • 2 T vegan butter (can substitute oil instead)
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce (can substitute vegan worcestershire sauce or soy sauce)
  • 1 C broth of choice 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (optional)


  • Combine lentils and 2 C water in a medium pot and bring to a boil uncovered. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes until soft.
  • Bring potatoes to a boil in a medium pot starting with heavily salted cold water. Water level should be above the potatoes by about an inch. Once boiling, reduce heat and continue cooking in lightly boiling water for about 15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat up a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the 2 tsp oil and onions with a heavy pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the carrots and cook about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add mushrooms and cook about 1 minute until slightly browned. If things begin to stick, add a drizzle of oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce heat to low to keep warm while preparing gravy. 
  • Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • With a whisk ready, cook the 2 T of butter (or oil) until melted (this will be fast)
  • Whisk in the flour until well combined and cook until it darkens slightly in color (about 30 seconds).
  • Whisk in worcestershire sauce and broth and bring to a simmer. Whisk the gravy continuously until gravy has thickened, about 3 minutes. 
  • Turn off heat and whisk in the nutritional yeast and the ½ tsp of salt.
  • Add the gravy, cooked lentils, and peas (if using) to the pan with the mushrooms. 
  • Drain and mash the potatoes. Stir in the tablespoon of butter and ½C of milk. Add salt to taste (at least a heavy pinch). 
  • Transfer the mushroom-lentil-gravy mixture to the baking dish and cover completely with the potatoes. Poke a few holes down to the bottom of the dish to let steam out.
  • Put baking dish under broiler for 8-10 minutes until potatoes have browned on top. 
  • Garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 8 Servings