Lentil and mushroom shepherd’s pie


unnamed (14)If you are looking for a hearty veggie recipe to feed the family check out this shepherd’s pie.


  • 8 large or 10 medium potatoes
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk (soya and rice milk both work well)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz cremini or chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 425g cans lentils or around 3½ cups cooked lentils with a little of their cooking liquid, lightly drained but not rinsed
  • 2 tbsp dry red wine—optional (go for a sulphite free wine)
  • 1-2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp seasoning blend of your choice—I add mixed herbs
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour (corn-starch) or arrowroot
  • 8-10 oz baby spinach or rocket (arugula) leaves


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender (about 20 minutes).
  2. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
  3. Add the plant milk and mash until fluffy. Cover and set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the onion in the broth over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté until the onion is soft.
  6. Add the lentils and their liquid and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in the optional wine, soy sauce, seasoning blend, thyme, and pepper. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Combine the cornflour with just enough water to dissolve in a small container. Stir into lentil mixture to thicken.
  7. Add the spinach a little at a time, cooking until it’s all wilted down. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
  8. Pour the lentil mixture into a large cooking dish (I use a big round casserole dish) then spread the potatoes evenly over the top.
  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden and slightly crusty. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then serve with steamed greens. You can really pep these up with a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice—sounds odd, I know, but believe in the process. It elevates plain old steamed veg to another level!

Top Tips:

  • Mash the potatoes with the plant milk only, and use a non-stick pan to sauté the onion, adding a splash of low or no salt vegetable broth or bouillon, if needed, to prevent sticking.
  • Most soy sauce contains gluten. Look for a specially marked gluten-free version if you’re cooking for someone who’s gluten-sensitive and omit if soy is an issue. You can also use tamari – a type of soy sauce that is wheat-free. Another option is to use “Bragg’s Aminos”, I buy mine from my local wholefood store.
  • As much as I’m passionately in love with creamy, delicious Oatly oat milk, this is one recipe where it won’t really work as it is just a touch too sweet.

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