This vegan, gluten-free shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food. Made with protein and fiber-rich lentils instead of ground beef, this can be served as a side dish at Thanksgiving, or as a filling meal on its own.
Cook Time: About 1 ½ hours
1 medium onion (diced)
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown lentils (rinsed and drained)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp fresh thyme (or sub 1 tsp dried thyme per 2 tsp fresh)
1 tsp tomato paste
Fresh or frozen veggies: either use 1 grated carrot, ½ cup of peas, and ½ cup of fresh green beans OR 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
1 whole head of garlic (roasted)
3 pounds yukon gold potatoes (washed and partially peeled)
3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
Salt and pepper (to taste)
First, roast your garlic for the mashed potatoes.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Peel most of the outer layers off of your head of garlic. Leave the garlic intact with all of the cloves still connected.
Slice off the top of the head of garlic, about ¼ inch.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Then, wrap in foil and bake for about 1 hour. Check at 40 minutes, and every ten minutes after that.
Garlic is done when the center cloves are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork.
For a more caramelized flavor, roast for a bit longer. Check every ten minutes.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees after you remove the garlic.
Then, when your garlic is almost finished, make your mashed potatoes.
Slice any large potatoes in halves or quarters.
Place in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered.
Add a generous amount of salt.
Bring to a boil on medium high.
Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until they can be easily cut through with a fork.
Drain and transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl.
Mash until smooth.
Add vegan butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once garlic is finished, squeeze into the potatoes and mix in thoroughly.
If you haven’t already, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13 pan.
While your potatoes are cooking, start your filling.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for about five minutes or until lightly caramelized.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Then add in your lentils, veggie stock, tomato paste, and thyme and stir.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes, until lentils are tender.
If you’re using fresh carrots, green beans, and peas - add these in the last 15 minutes of cooking. Stir in and cover.
If you’re using frozen veggies, add these in the last ten minutes of cooking. Stir in and cover.
OPTIONAL: If you’d like to thicken the mixture, scoop out 1/2 of the mixture and add in 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk. Return to pan and whisk to thicken.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Then transfer to your greased 9x13 pan and top with mashed potatoes. Carefully smooth down with a fork and season with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
Place on a baking sheet in case of overflow and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the mashed potatoes are lightly browned.
Let cool for a few minutes before serving. It will thicken more as it sits. Garnish with a sprig of thyme. Serve & enjoy!
Let cool completely before covering, and store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheats nicely in the microwave.