Shepherd’s pie is a traditional “meat and potatoes” dish, but you won’t miss the meat with my protein-rich lentil-based filling.
You can use mashed potatoes for the topping if you choose. I chose to substitute super-quick cheesy hash browns to reduce the prep time since you already have the lentil filling to make.
I used peas, carrots, and celery for the vegetable layer, but feel free to substitute the veggies. Mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, peppers, corn, lima beans or okra would all work well.
There are several steps to this recipe, but they are not difficult, and the recipe makes a large batch, so it is well worth the effort!
Cheesy Hash Brown and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
A nutritious version of this favorite comfort food using a lentil-based filling and topped with cheesy hash browns.
- 1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
- 1 package frozen hash brown potatoes
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 3-4 cloves minced garlic
- 10 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 cups mushroom gravy or vegan mushroom soup
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 Place the walnuts in a bowl of water and allow to soak at least 20 minutes.
- Step 3 Remove hash browns and peas from freezer and set aside.
- Step 4 Cook the lentils according to package directions, but add onions and garlic to the pot along with the lentils and water.
- Step 5 When the walnuts are finished soaking, drain and add to a food processor with mushrooms. Process until crumbly but not puréed. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender. You may need to process in batches, or you can chop manually.
- Step 6 When lentils are finished, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the walnut-mushroom mix, tomato paste, liquid smoke, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Mix well, then pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish. If your mixture is very wet, go ahead and put it in the oven for 15 minutes, uncovered, to dry out a bit of the moisture.
- Step 7 Mix the peas, carrots, and celery (or vegetables of your choosing) in the same mixing bowl with the mushroom gravy or soup. I used Imagine brand organic, vegan cream of mushroom soup.
- Step 8 Pour the vegetable mixture over the lentil-mushroom-walnut “meat.”
- Step 9 Rinse out your mixing bowl.
- Step 10 Add the hash browns to the mixing bowl, breaking up any clumps.
- Step 11 Add the nutritional yeast, plant-based milk, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Mix well.
- Step 12 Spread the hash browns over the vegetable layer.
- Step 13 Bake 1 hour, uncovered, until hash browns are cooked through and beginning to brown.