You Won’t Miss the Meat in This Vegan Take on Shepherd’s Pie

Last Update: September 29, 2022

What could be better than a warm slice of savory shepherd’s pie on a cold winter evening? We gave the traditional comfort food a vegan update by swapping in herb-infused lentils for meat and creamy parsnips for mashed potatoes.

Lentil-Parsnip Shepherd’s Pie

Yield: 6 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes


For the lentils
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 head celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon rosemary, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups green lentils
Scant 1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste

For the mashed parsnips
1 1/2 pounds parsnips
3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Make the lentils
Heat olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onions over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Lower heat to medium-low, and add in the carrots and celery. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and parsley and sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in lentils and pour in wine and stock. Let simmer 40 to 50 minutes until the lentils are soft. When the lentils have finished cooking, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste.

Make the mashed parsnips
Meanwhile, peel and chop the parsnips into 2-inch chunks. Place chopped parsnips into a large pot of cold, salted water over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat slightly to simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain, let excess water dry off, then return to the pot with the almond milk, olive oil, and a large pinch of salt and a dash of black pepper. Mash until smooth, check seasoning, and set aside.

Assemble the pie
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spoon the lentil mixture into an 8- or 9-inch pie dish. Top with parsnip mash. Bake 30 minutes or until the top is golden.

To make this dish ahead of time, assemble the pie, cover, and freeze for up to two months. When you’re ready to make it, defrost and bake as instructed.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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Merce Muse

Thrive Market Food Editor

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