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Neville's Favorite Recipes


Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Vegan. Serves 3 – 4

I love shepherd’s pie (also known as cottage pie), especially in winter. This is the best vegetarian version I’ve tried. A company called Sanitarium makes the canned lentils in sauce here in Australia; the sauce tastes like a mildly spiced brown gravy. You could use plain canned lentils, or cook dried lentils, then make up the extra sauce with some of the lentil cooking liquid and some extra flavouring agents such as yeast extract.

When I want firm mashed potato, I cook potatoes in the microwave, or bake them, so that the potato flesh stays fairly dry. To microwave the potatoes, prick the unpeeled potatoes a few times with a fork, place them on a plate, cover them with cling wrap, prick a few holes in the wrap and then microwave them on high. Cooking time varies from oven to oven; try cooking them for a minute at a time until you work out the right cooking time, checking that they are cooked all the way through. If you boil the potatoes then drain them well.

A mixture of potato and sweet potato, or potato and pumpkin also works well for the topping.

Ingredients - Topping

  • 4 - 5 medium cooked and peeled Desiree potatoes
  • ¼ cup of soy milk
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons of olive oil or vegan margarine (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil spray (optional)

Ingredients - Filling

  • 1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium brown onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced ½ cm thick
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced ½ cm thick
  • 425g can of lentils in savoury sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sundried tomato paste or ordinary tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast extract or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of red wine (optional)
  • ½ cup of water or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons of arrowroot or cornstarch dissolved in a little water
  • 1/3 cup of frozen peas


  1. Mash the potatoes with the soy milk and oil or margarine. The mixture should be soft enough to spread but still fairly firm. Mix in the salt and pepper, then set aside.
  2. Steam or microwave the carrot and zucchini until just tender
  3. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft
  4. Add the lentils, tomato paste, yeast extract, wine and water and bring almost to the boil
  5. Stir in the arrowroot and keep stirring until the mixture is very thick
  6. Add the carrot, zucchini and peas to the pot and stir until well combined
  7. Preheat oven to 180 C (350F)
  8. Spread the lentil mixture over the bottom of a fairly shallow oven proof dish
  9. Dollop the potato over the top of the lentils then smooth with the back of a spoon
  10. Spray the top of the potato with a light covering of olive oil spray if desired
  11. Bake the pie for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated through
  12. Place the pie under a griller (broiler) to brown the top of the potato

Last modified: 18-Jul-2021