Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, Starring Lentils and Kale

Post image for Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, Starring Lentils and Kale

by JL Fields on October 3, 2013

Monday morning I made a big batch of lentils – meaning I dumped an entire bag of brown lentils in the rice cooker and added four cups of vegetable broth, a couple of bay leaves and half cup of water before cooking them on the brown rice setting for about 35 minutes.  The plan? Dave was going to make a pasta dinner – whole wheat spaghetti and sauce packed with lentils, mushrooms, onion and green pepper. He made us an awesome spaghetti dinner Monday night. He just forgot to add the lentils!

I bagged up half of the cooked lentils and stored them in the freezer. I spied a bowl of fingerling potatoes on the counter – nearing the use-it-or-lose-it phase – and decided I would come up with a simple vegan version of Shepherd’s Pie.

I have posted about making mashed potatoes in the pressure cooker a few times and even made a video on it. It’s my go-to for quick and easy mashed potatoes. This time, to add a bit of a twist to a traditional Shepherd’s Pie (well, there are a whole lot of twists, I suppose, because there’s no lamb in this dish!) I added carrots to the potatoes. I used just over four cups of cubed fingerling potatoes, 2 cups of baby carrots, 2 tablespoons of roughly diced garlic and about 1 and 1/2 cups of water and cooked at pressure for six minutes, followed by a quick release. I hand mashed the potatoes and carrots, added about a teaspoon of sea salt and a tablespoon of vegan butter, mashed again and set aside.

Having never made a Shepherd’s pie, vegan or other, I wasn’t entirely sure what kind of consistency the “meaty” bottom layer should have. It seemed like I’d want it to stick together a bit, but….?

So I just started sauteing things in the skillet. I started with olive oil and then added garlic, onion and celery (oh, my, that smells so good!).  Then I added about four cups of loosely packed kale, chopped.  I scooped in about 3 cups of cooked lentils.  I seasoned it with vegan Worcestershire sauce (yes, vegan, because traditional Worcestershire contains anchovies!), rosemary and thyme (both in seed form, I used my mortar and pestle to grind it). Then I decided I might want something creamy in the mix so I poured 1/4 cup of creamy mushroom soup into the skillet. I let this mix simmer for about five minutes before transferring to a casserole dish and spreading a yummy layer of mashed carrots and potatoes on top. I added fresh ground pepper

Vegan Shepherd's Pie | JL Fields | JL goes Vegan | In the Oven

and baked for 30 minutes on 350.

This happened:

Vegan Shepherd's Pie | JL Fields | JL goes Vegan | Out of the Oven

A huge hit with the omnivore husband! A huge hit with me!

Next time I might add cooked quinoa to the lentil mix for a bit more binding. And there will be a next time.

And now the plated result…

…and recipe!

Powered by Recipage

  • Caroline

    That looks amazing. Perfect for this time of year!

    • JL

      Thank you, @ae4cfc03377063b49ead8410443088f6:disqus !

  • This is the perfect recipe for fall!

    • JL

      Agreed, @StellaAdore:disqus! Warm comfort food!

  • Linda Lauder

    Can you tell me the size or ounces of the bag of lentils? Can’t wait to make them in my rice cooker.

    • JL

      Lentils are so good in the rice cooker, @lindalauder:disqus! I don’t recall the size of bag but I can tell you that my intention was too cook 2 cups of lentils. Once I poured out 2 cups I realized there was only another 1/4 cup or so of lentils in the bag so I just cooked the entire bag. Hope that helps!

  • Wendy Moniuk

    I’m assuming in the fourth last line of instructions for the recipe you mean filling, not killing. This is vegan cooking, I sure hope I won’t kill anything making this recipe!

    • JL

      Your assumption is correct, @wendymoniuk:disqus. Thanks for the head’s up. Edited!

Previous post:

Next post: