Niomi Smart’s Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

We’ve been on the look-out for a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for quite some time and Niomi Smart’s recipe is just the one! The recipe is actual a vegan one, but dairy milk can be used if required. A hearty dish like this is great to have on file .. perfect for family evening meal when you want something cozy, great to prepare in advance and pop in the oven if you have friends over and also makes a handy dinner for the freezer!

Recipe: Serves 4


100g [half cup] dried green lentils

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove [peeled and chopped]

2 carrots [peeled and chopped]

200g [2 cups] chestnut mushrooms [diced]

100g [1 cup] walnuts [finely chopped]

150g [1 cup] peas

125ml [1/2 cup] red wine [optional]

1/2 vegetable stock cube

1 tsp yeast extract

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp mixed herbs

Topping :

4 parsnips [peeled and chopped]

2 medium potatoes [peeled and chopped]

250ml [1 cup] almond milk

Couple of sprigs of fresh thyme [leaves picked]

Pink Himalayan salt and Black Pepper


Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius / Gas 6. Start by cooking the lentils according to the packet instructions. While the lentils are cooking, cook the parsnips and potatoes for the topping. Place both in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until soft.

Meanwhile, set a large saucepan over a medium – high heat and fry the onion in a little olive oil for 5 minutes until softened, stirring regularly. Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms to the pan. Fry for a couple more minutes, then remove from the heat and set aside. Once the lentils are cooked, drain and add them to the saucepan with the walnuts and peas.

Pour 125ml [1/2 cup] boiling water into a jug, add the red wine or replace with extra water [if not using], the stock cube and yeast extract and stir to dissolve. Pour into the pan along with tinned tomatoes and dried herbs and stir. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium – low and simmer for about 15 minutes.

When the parsnips and potatoes are cooked, drain and mash with the almond milk and salt and black pepper until smooth.

Transfer the cooked vegetables and lentils to a baking dish and evenly spoon over the parsnip and potato mash, right to the edges of the dish, using a fork to fluff up the mash.

Toss the thyme in olive oil, sprinkle over the mash and bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes or until golden.

Top Tip:

Really tasty dish as is, but if white potatoes aren’t popular in your house, sweet potatoes work great too!

*Recipe from Eat Smart by Niomi Smart

*Image our own