Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

How about we start this week off with some comfort food?

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

I don’t know about you but I sure do need it after losing an hour yesterday. I didn’t get to bed until 3am because of a callback at the hospital and So comfort food is where it’s at today.

I know we’re on the verge of spring but there are still a few winter veggies hanging around, begging to be cooked. I mean, we can’t let those beauties go to waste…

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Okay, so maaaayyybe the one on the right isn’t exactly beautiful. But it’s cute, in it’s own rough, bumpy kind of way?

I have to confess, this was actually my first time cooking with celeriac {or celery root}. I made a recipe that called for it once a while back but because I’m not a fan of celery, I ended-up leaving it out. Then recently, Brandon took me out to a vegetarian wine bar in Oakland called Encuentro {which was amazing, by the way} and I ordered their Lentil Shepherd’s pie which was made with celeriac and I loved it.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

The flavor is kind of hard for me to describe; I guess it’s similar to celery but in this recipe it takes on the flavor of the red wine and vegetable broth which tastes amazing paired with lentils and mashed potatoes.

In honor of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, I used green lentils but you can use brown or even black, if you prefer.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Did you guys remember St. Patrick’s Day is next week? I like to use it as an excuse to eat green food but other than that, I don’t really celebrate. Especially when it’s on a Monday. That green beer doesn’t feel so good at 6:30 the next morning, you know what I mean? I know, I’m a granny.

So traditional Shepherd’s pie is much different from this recipe which, for the most part, is light and healthy. The potatoes are mashed with the parsnips which helps give them a nice, creamy texture that pairs perfectly with the savory lentils and vegetables.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Trust me, you won’t miss all of the beef, heavy cream and butter.

Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 large servings

Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie


2 tablespoon olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced (approx. 1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 large carrots, peeled and diced (approx. 1 cup)

8 ounces mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini)

2 cups peeled and diced celery root

1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon Worcestershire (Annie's Naturals is vegan)

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 cup vegetable broth

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Mashed Potato Parsnip Topping

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 large parsnips, peeled and diced

1/4 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup non dairy milk (use unsweetened plain)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt & pepper to taste

chives for topping


  1. Place the potatoes and parsnips in a large pot then fill with water so that they are covered by a few inches. Bring water to a boil and allow to cook for 30-35 minutes, until they are very tender and able to be mashed.
  2. Meanwhile, start the filling but warming the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes.
  3. Then add the carrots, mushrooms, celeriac, garlic, and seasonings {thyme, oregano and salt & pepper to taste} and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Pour in the red wine, tomato paste, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Next add the soaked and rinsed lentils along with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to low then cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°F and then drain the water from the potatoes and parsnips. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes and parsnips together. Add the vegan butter, milk, garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Using a pie dish or large casserole dish, fill the bottom with the lentils and veggies. Top with a layer of mashed potatoes, spreading them evenly so that they cover the lentils.
  7. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are a light golden color. Allow to cool for five to ten minutes then serve.


Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie