RED LENTIL SHEPHERD’S PIE (Healthy Vegan Dinner)

Delicious, hearty, filling, nutritious, AND healthy?!? Eeeerm… yes, please! This red lentil shepherd’s pie is an absolute banger – definitely one for the bookmarks.

Included below is the full step-by-step recipe, with bonus recipe ideas to keep things exciting. 

This is a 100% vegan recipe that’s also completely whole food plant-based… and kids love it too! Perfect for if you’re trying to sneak some veg into your little ones.

This recipe makes six portions so it’s great for batch cooking – ideal for popping some in the freezer or having on hand for those nights when cooking a nutritious meal just feels like a bit too much effort (we’ve all been there).

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two images of the vegan lentil pie, the top is a spoon full of the red lentil shepherds pie and the bottom is red lentil cottage pie with asparagus in a bowl. Text in the centre reads 'red lentil shepherds pie, easy, healthy, vegan'

What Equipment Do I Need to Make This Lentil Shepherd’s Pie?

If you’re doing a big ol’ batch like me then you’ll need to upsize your pots and pans, but hey, the time you save not having to cook every single night is worth the investment!

Because this is a fairly in-depth (but still simple!) red lentil shepherd’s pie recipe, you’ll need a few bits and pieces:

  • Measuring spoons and cups (or scales)
  • Sieve or colander for rinsing the lentils
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Kettle
  • Measuring jug
  • Large pan
  • Large pot
  • Masher
  • Baking dishes 
red lentil cottage pie with asparagus in a bowl

Recipe Ingredients and Easy Swaps

So this might look like a big list of ingredients, but it’s all pretty much kitchen staples. If you’re missing an ingredient or two don’t let that stop you! 

Check out this list for some easy recipe swaps!

  • Vegetable stock – homemade or cubes from the store (I’m a cube kinda’ girl because I like to keep it simple).
  • Red onion – use white or shallots instead, but maybe use a little less because these are stronger tasting varieties.
  • Garlic – fresh is always best when it comes to garlic, but squeezy garlic from a tube is so quick and easy… decisions, decisions.
  • Chopped tomatoes – Swap out for passata, fresh tomatoes or chopped plum tomatoes instead – all will be delicious!
  • Red lentils – for a red lentil shepherd’s pie these are pretty important… a trip to the shop might be needed.
  • Mixed spices – there’s a few in the list and if you’re missing one don’t worry too much, just taste test once everything is combined and see if you like it, if not try a little extra of the ones you already have. Or, popping in some mixed herbs will usually be a winner in my books for this kind of recipe.
  • Bell peppers – I use one red and one yellow. These are better than green as they have a sweeter taste but if you only have one colour then go with it.
  • Salt and pepper – because what recipe would be complete without them.
  • White potatoes – use sweet potatoes instead, or even other root veg like carrots, or cauliflower to really mix it up.
  • Plant-based milk – Oat milk is my go-to because it’s creamy and delicious. But if you’re a soy fiend or coconut milk crazy then use these instead!
  • Dried parsley – Parsley and potatoes are such a great team, but some rosemary or thyme would be great here too.
red lentil shepherds pie in the baking dish

How to Make Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Although there are a few steps to this recipe there’s nothing too complicated, but getting your timings right will make the process a whole lot smoother. Just make sure to follow the step-by-step instructions closely and you’ll find this recipe a piece of cake!

First time making shepherd’s pie with lentils? Well, it pretty much works in the same way as any other ingredient.

There are really only three steps to this recipe… full instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom.

  1. Make the lentil filling
  2. Make the mashed potato
  3. Combine the two and grill, for a beautiful crispy golden top layer
a spoon full of the red lentil shepherds pie

Serving Suggestions

So this recipe is for a lentil shepherd’s pie, BUT… there’s so much more you can do with it than just that!

If you’re feeling fancy and want to mix up the potato top then there are options.

  • Try adding in some carrots, cauliflower or other root vegetable for getting even more nutrition into this meal.
  • Use sweet potatoes mixed in with some nutritional yeast or vegan cheese for something more indulgent.
  • Or to go super EXTRA try a dauphinoise potato top

Alternatively, stick with the red lentil shepherd’s pie, but add in a side of delicious veggies. My personal favorites are:

a serving of the vegan lentil cottage pie close up

How To Store Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

This vegan shepherd’s pie stores really well in the fridge for three to four days in a sealed container. 

You can also batch cook this recipe and pop it in the freezer for another day. Whether you’re storing leftovers in the fridge or freezer, make sure you allow the recipe to cool completely before storing it away.

You can enjoy it cold, or warm it up in the microwave or the oven.

More Healthy Vegan Dinner Recipes

Did you Like This Vegan Red Lentil Shepherd’s Pie Recipe?

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red lentil shepherds pie in the baking dish
Yield: 6 Large Portions


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Hearty, warming, healthy shepherd's pie... the vegan way!


  • 3.5 cups (800ml) Vegetable stock
  • 1 Red onion
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tin (14oz) of Chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups (380g) Red lentils
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Paprika 
  • 1 tsp Ground cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper 
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • Large pinch Black pepper

Mashed Potato Topping

  • 8 medium/large (around 1.5Kg) Potatoes - white or sweet varieties.
  • ½ cup (120ml) Plant-based milk
  • 2 tsp Dried parsley
  • pinch Salt & pepper


  1. Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic.
  2. Make the stock according to the packet instructions (2 cubes were right for mine).
  3. Cook the onions on medium heat for around three minutes in a pan, along with a large dash of the stock, and then add in the garlic for a couple more minutes so it all starts to soften. If the stock dries up, just add in a dash more as needed.
  4. While this is cooking, rinse the lentils thoroughly until the water runs clear.
  5. Add the rest of the stock, the chopped tomatoes, lentils, and spices (cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, fenugreek, and paprika) to the pan with the onions and garlic and give it a good stir. Simmer for around 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Wash and roughly chop the potatoes into 1" cubes and add them to a pan of boiling water to simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. If you prefer skin-off potatoes then make sure you peel them first.
  7. Meanwhile, cut the peppers into small, bitesize chunks. Add these into the lentil mix ten minutes before the end of the total cooking time.
  8. Turn on the grill to allow it to heat up while the lentils and potatoes finish cooking.
  9. Once the lentils have finished, split the mix between however many portions you want to eat at once. (I split mine between three dishes which made two large portions in each dish).
  10. Once the potatoes are done, drain the hot water away, and add in the plant-based milk, the dried parsley, and the salt and pepper. Mash thoroughly, adding a dash more milk if needed to get your favorite consistency.
  11. Split the mashed potato between the lentil dishes, spreading it over the top of each one. If you leave the mash looking messy, you will get more golden crispy bits (yum!!).
  12. Put the dish you are planning to eat now under the grill and allow the top to go golden, this will take around ten minutes.
  13. Allow the other dishes to cool completely and put them in the fridge or freezer for eating another day.
  14. Serve up the lentil shepherd's pie either on its own or with a side of veg and enjoy! x red lentil cottage pie with asparagus in a bowl next to garlic


If you're splitting this recipe and saving some servings to eat another day, take the prepped dish straight from the fridge and heat in the oven for 30 minutes at 360°F/180°C.

It should be piping hot and the top of the potato should be golden brown.

If eating the lentil shepherds pie from the freezer, allow it to defrost completely first and then cook it exactly as above for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 825mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g

Nutritional information may not always be 100% accurate and will depend on the exact ingredients used.

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