This vegan and gluten free lentil shepherd’s pie is full of flavor and surprisingly healthy. We topped protein-rich quinoa, lentils, and plenty of vegetables with creamy roasted garlic mashed potatoes and baked to perfection. It’s warming, satisfying and absolutely delicious!
Shepherd’s pie is one of those vegan dishes we always forget about. Yet every time we make it, we wonder why we don’t make it more often.
It’s really quite simple to throw together and satisfies the whole family. Even our meat-loving family members are fully satisfied by one of these cute individual pies!
We love these single serving pies made in mini cast iron cocottes, which you can find easily online. They’re obviously super cute for one thing. But also, the small size helps control portion size (otherwise I could easily eat half of the recipe myself!).
Of course, you can also use a large skillet or baking dish for this vegan shepherds pie. For another individual serving option, ramekins would also work.
How to make a flavor-packed vegan shepherd’s pie
This vegan shepherd’s pie filling is super flavorful. The filling starts with a base of aromatics and other vegetables simmered in vegetable broth.
This shepherds pie packs onions, leeks, mushrooms, carrots and peas. And that’s not to mention all the fresh aromatics like tarragon, roasted garlic, and parsley. It smells so good that even my husband – an extremely picky eater + carnivore – happily ate a full serving.
TBH, my mouth is kinda watering right now as I write this post, and it’s 6:20 AM. If that doesn’t convince you how good this is, not sure what will. Shepherd’s pie for breakfast, anyone?
Add body to your shepherd’s pie filling
After building a serious flavor base for this vegan shepherd’s pie with aromatics and tender fall veggies, it’s time to add some protein and heartiness to the filling. Enter lentils and quinoa.
Cooked lentils and quinoa are a great source of plant-based protein. They also beef up the filling for this vegan shepherd’s pie and make a great alternative for actual beef! If you’d prefer, you could actually use Beyond Meat vegan “beef” crumbles in the filling as well. I personally don’t love the taste, but to each their own!
Note that the lentils and quinoa will have to be cooked separately ahead of time. We use lentils and quinoa in many of our recipes, so we often make a double or triple batch at once. We keep the unseasoned leftovers in tupperware in the fridge to grab quickly and use in recipes. Meal prepping staples like rice, quinoa, lentils and other beans is a great way to get dinner on the table much faster!
Top your vegan shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes
We all know the mashed potatoes are the best part of this shepherd’s pie.
Instead of heavy cream or milk, we use vegetable broth in these mashed potatoes. Vegan butter and roasted garlic add plenty of extra flavor. The result is a lighter mashed potato that’s the perfect fluffy topping to our vegan shepherd’s pie!
You can even sub vegan butter with olive oil – totally up to you. Oh, and if you’d rather use your favorite vegan heavy cream alternative, that’s totally fine, too. Just make sure it’s unsweetened!
You’ll want to get going on your mashed potatoes before you get started on the filling. The first step involves roasting garlic, which is not completely essential, but it’s highly encouraged.
Roasting garlic removes the astringent bite that makes raw garlic so, well, garlicky. It also brings out the sweetness, and altogether tastes about 10x better than raw garlic (in my opinion). If you’re short on time, feel free to skip the roasted garlic. But next time you make this, we encourage you to plan for a bit of extra prep time. It’s worth the extra effort!
How to roast garlic
- Start with an entire head of garlic. Turn on its side and slice the top off, just enough to expose the cloves.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper (optional), wrap in aluminum foil and roast at 400F for 30-35 minutes, until the cloves are golden brown and tender.
- Let cool slightly (so you don’t burn yourself), then use your hands to easy remove the cloves from the skin.
Voilà! Perfectly roasted garlic in three steps.
While the garlic is roasting, you can get your potatoes boiling. Higher starch potatoes (like Russets or Yukon Golds) are a great choice for mashed potatoes. I typically use Yukon Golds – they have such a buttery taste!
Once the garlic is roasted and the potatoes are boiled, all you need to is mash everything together. I suggest using a potato ricer in lieu of a hand mixer. It produces perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes, and it’s pretty much impossible to mess up the texture.
When everything is ready, add the filling to your mini skillets (or one larger skillet/baking dish) and top liberally with mashed potatoes. After about 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven, your vegan and gluten free lentil shepherd’s pie(s) will be perfect!
More vegan comfort food favorites
- Vegan mushroom stew – featuring the same roasted garlic mashed potatoes! Can you tell they’re a favorite in our house?
- The perfect crispy cauliflower pizza crust. It’s vegan, gluten free, and a delicious base for your favorite pizza toppings!
- Vegan lentil “meatballs” – serve over your fave spaghetti for a delicious, comforting weeknight dinner.
- Creamy roasted red pepper pasta. Creamy, dreamy, vegan, delicious. Craving it as we speak!
- Vegan pulled mushroom bbq sandwich. These bbq pulled mushrooms are SO. GOOD.
Even though it’s only March, this would be the perfect dish for Thanksgiving mashed potato + vegetable leftovers! I’m making a mental note to remember that next year. Much better than eating cold mashed potatoes.
We still have a few weeks of chilly weather left, so before we move on to spring and summer produce, why not enjoy a little more comfort food? This vegan and gluten free lentil shepherd’s pie is the perfect choice! If you give it a try, we’d love for you to leave a comment and a rating below.Print
This vegan shepherd’s pie is full of flavor and surprisingly healthy (but delicious!) ingredients like quinoa, lentils, plenty of vegetables and roasted garlic mashed potatoes for topping.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups diced leeks or onion
- 2 cloves garlic garlic, minced
- 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 cup diced fresh or frozen carrots
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen peas
- 1 cup cooked lentils (cooked according to package directions)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooked according to package directions)
- 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp gluten free flour
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
- 4–5 cups peeled potatoes, cubed
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth (or milk)
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cloves roasted garlic (instructions below)
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- To roast garlic, cut the top off an entire head of garlic so cloves are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil and salt, wrap in aluminum foil and roast 35-40 minutes, until fork tender and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, peel potatoes, dice and boil in a large pot until fork tender – about 20 minutes. When done, drain and set aside.
- In a separate pot, cook lentils and quinoa according to package directions.
- In a large saucepan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add mushrooms, carrots and peas and sauté about 5 minutes, until tender. Add cooked lentils, quinoa, 1 1/4 cup of vegetable broth, parsley, salt, pepper and paprika.
- In a separate small pan, whisk together oil, gluten free flour and 1/4 cup vegetable broth until no clumps of flour remain. Let simmer for a minute or two, then pour into vegetable/lentil/quinoa mixture. Let simmer to absorb most of the broth, but if it starts to dry out completely, add more broth.
- Once garlic is roasted, add to potatoes and mash. Add vegan butter, broth, and salt and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust if needed.
- Assemble pot pie in a large baking dish, or 6 mini dishes (like the ones pictured here). Add an even layer of vegetable/lentil mix, then a layer of mashed potatoes. Spread evenly. Dust with paprika and bake at 400 F for 25 minutes, or until mashed potatoes are golden brown on top.