Hearty and satisfying plant-based comfort food. This vegan lentil shepherd’s pie with mashed cauliflower is so deliciously savory and perfect to enjoy on a cold winter’s night.
This winter in Boston has been bizarro so far. I mean two weekends ago it was 70 degrees and then a few days later it was in the teens and a couple days after that snow. Like WTAF. No wonder I came down with a cold last week!
But as soon as snow hits the ground, I’m ready for hearty comfort food, how about you? Which is why I decided to bring back this oldie but a goodie recipe – plant-based comfort food at its best.
Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an OG shepherd’s pie but if you’re vegan/vegetarian or maybe just experimenting with adding more plant-based meals to your week, you’re gonna want to add this one to your repertoire. Because this recipe is proof that vegetarian meals can be satisfying.
How to make vegan lentil shepherd’s pie
The mushrooms and lentils make the filling hearty, savory, and satisfying (thank you shroom umami bomb!). The parsnips and carrots make you say hello, winter and all your root vegetable glory, and then thyme and sage take savory and cozy to a whole other level.
And then there’s the mashed cauliflower topping. The creamy, buttery, salty, mashed cauliflower. Now I originally made this recipe when cauliflower was first having its moment and I like developing recipes based on fun new food trends sometimes. But let me be very clear. Cauliflower is not better than potato. And mashed potato would be equally delicious on this. So feel free to make this with mashed potato instead. You do you. But if you want to make this with mashed cauliflower, let me just say, it’s shockingly creamy and satisfying.
This dish is hearty and packed with nutrition – loaded with fiber, plant-based protein, B vitamins, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Plus, you’ll have leftovers for days as this makes at least eight servings. Cue hands in the air emojis.Print
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small-medium onion, diced (approx 1 cup)
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced (approx 1 cup)
- 2 small or 1 large parsnip, peeled and diced (approx 1 cup)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 bunch sage (about 5 leaves), chopped
- 1 bunch thyme (about 3–4 sprigs), chopped
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 3 lbs. cauliflower florets (approx 3 heads cauliflower)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and parsnip and cook until onions are translucent and veggies are slightly tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, lentils, thyme and sage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until lentils are tender, about 35-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- While lentils are cooking, steam cauliflower florets until fork tender and transfer to a food processor (you may need to do this in batches depending on size of food processor). Add almond milk, vegan buttery spread and pulse to a smooth and creamy puree. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Once lentils are done cooking, thicken the mixture. Add cornstarch or arrowroot to a heaping spoonful of the lentil mixture in a separate bowl. Whisk together. Add thickened mixture back to the pot and whisk in. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Transfer lentil mixture to a 9×13 baking dish or 2 qt baking dish. Carefully spread mashed cauliflower evenly over top.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and then transfer to under the broiler until mashed cauliflower begins to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool briefly before serving.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 65 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Vegan
Keywords: vegan, lentil, shepherds pie, cauliflower, gluten free
Tell me, are you a fan of shepherd’s pie? Have you ever tried mashed cauliflower?