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Vegetable shepherd’s pie

Vegetable shepherd’s pie

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 4

This simple, hearty, meat-free shepherd’s pie is packed full of healthy vegetables and lentils. Omit the Worcestershire sauce and Parmesan to make it a hearty vegetarian dinner.

This meal provides 416 kcal, 17g protein, 68g carbohydrate (of which 19g sugars), 6g fat (of which 2.5g saturates), 15g fibre and 1.5g salt per portion.


For the filling

1 tbsp oil
1 leek, trimmed, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
150g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin green or Puy lentils, drained
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
200ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
200ml/7fl oz red wine
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp caster sugar (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

2 sweet potatoes (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total), peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
2 floury potatoes (about 500g/1lb 2oz in total), peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
1/2 small cauliflower, leaves and root removed, separated into florets
knob of unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp finely grated parmesan (optional)


1. For the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until beginning to soften.

2. Add the carrots, mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes.

3. Add the sage, thyme, tinned lentils, tinned tomatoes, stock and red wine and stir together until well combined. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until it is simmering and continue to simmer for 18-20 minutes while you make the topping.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan/Gas 6.

5. For the topping, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil (there’s no need to add salt). Add the sweet potato and potato and boil for 10-12 minutes. Add the cauliflower and boil for a further 8-10 minutes, or until tender.

6. Drain the vegetables well and return them to the pan. Add the butter, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then mash until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.

7. Stir the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, chilli flakes (if using) and sugar (if using) into the filling mixture, which should have thickened during cooking. Continue to simmer for a further 1-2 minutes, adding a little water if the mixture is too dry (simmer for longer if the mixture is too watery). Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. Transfer the filling mixture to an ovenproof baking dish, then spoon over the topping and spread into an even layer. If you like a crispy topping, create peaks in the mash using a fork. Sprinkle over the parmesan, if using.

9. Bake the shepherd’s pie in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.