Feature Recipe | Lentil Lovers Shepherd’s Pie
Nothing beats classic comfort food like shepherd’s pie. This layered casserole dish contains a medley of lentils and vegetables wrapped in a creamy herb sauce and topped with mashed potatoes. A simple batch of cashew-based parmesan cheese is the hero ingredient in this dish…it lends a creamy, savoury dimension to the dish you just can’t get using store-bought vegan cheese or even nutritional yeast. A blend of vegan butter, almond milk and 5-ingredient vegan parmesan cheese is all that’s needed to transform ho-hum steamed potatoes into epic potato mash — so much so that when I asked my son what meal he wanted for dinner prior to his dental surgery (he couldn’t eat after midnight) he requested this dish. Who needs minced lamb or ground beef filling when lentil lovers shepherd’s pie tastes this good?
1/Prepare one batch of Savoury Parmesan Cheese
2/Preheat oven to 400F
- Olive oil (15g)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (90 g)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (20 g)
- Celery seeds (5 g) (optional)
- Pinch Himalayan pink salt
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 600g steamed vegetables, chopped (eg potato, carrot, zucchini, celery)
- 4 Tbsp vegan butter, softened or melted
- 1.5 cup vegetable broth or 1 cup water + 1.5 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup almond milk
- Half batch of Savoury Parmesan Cheese (recipe link above)
- ½ tsp Himalyan pink salt
Mashed Potato Topping
- 1-1.5 lbs potatoes, steamed
- 3 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- Half bath of Savoury Parmesan Cheese (recipe link above)
- Few pinches of Himalayan pink salt
1/Add a glug of olive oil to skillet on medium-low heat. Sauté onion, minced garlic and celery seeds (optional) until translucent. Add a few pinches of salt and combine well.
2/Transfer sautéed mixture to a large prep bowl. Fold in frozen peas, cooked lentils and cooked (steamed) vegetable medley; set aside.
1/Add butter, vegetable broth, flour, milk, savoury parmesan cheese and salt to a skillet on low-medium heat. Whisk vigorously for a few minutes until your cream sauce reaches the desired consistency.
2/Transfer cream sauce to your prep bowl with prepared vegetable-lentil filling. Fold in sauce until well combined; set aside.
Mashed Potato Topping
1/Blend the steamed potatoes until they reach a “mash-like” consistency. Fold in the butter, almond milk, savoury parmesan cheese and salt until well combined (adjust QTYs to suit your taste!)
1/Grease the bottom of your oven-safe ceramic dish with vegan butter (or similar). Spread creamy vegetable-lentil filling over the base of the dish. Top with mashed potato filling. Drizzle olive oil over potatoes.
2/Tent the prepared pie with aluminum foil tucked in around the edges. Cook at 400F for 20 minutes; remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 mins. Dish is ready when the filling starts to bubble and/or the mashed potato topping is golden brown.
Serve your deep-dish shepherd’s pie with a fresh salad. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese over golden potato mash to elevate the savoury dimension of this dish!
*I used green lentils during test of this recipe – this variety hold their shape better than the red variety
*I used a blend of red and white nugget potatoes in my test kitchen, but any high-starch potato (e.g. Russet or Yukon Gold) produce the best mash!