Hearty Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

This recipe has all of the flavour of traditional Shepherd’s Pie, with hardy lentils in place of the meat.

Yield: Serves 8. 

Hearty Vegetarian Shepherds Pie


  • ​6 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 3 tbsp salted butter, divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen kernel corn
  • ½ tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs or panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • ¼ cup unsalted shelled pumpkin seeds


  1. ​Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring salted water to a simmer in a medium pot over medium heat. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 – 12 minutes. Drain. Add 1 cup cheese and 2 tbsp butter. Mash with a potato masher until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain canned tomatoes; reserving ½ cup tomato juice.
  4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté carrots and onions until softened, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, ½ cup reserved tomato juice, corn and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 5 – 7 minutes.
  5. To make bread crumb topping, combine bread crumbs, remaining butter, remaining cheese, and pumpkin seeds in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  6. Spread tomato mixture evenly into a 9x13 baking dish. Add potato mixture evenly on top. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping. Bake until mixture is bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 20 – 25 minutes.
Nutritional analysis per serving:

371 calories, 15.8 g fat, 48 g protein, 6.6 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fibre, 325 mg sodium

*Ingredient not included in nutritional analysis.