Hearty Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie with Parmesan-Herb Mashed Potatoes

By Jaymi Heimbuch
March 3, 2016, 3:59 p.m.
A warm and savory shepherd's pie is the perfect healthy comfort meal on a cold day.
A warm and savory shepherd's pie is the perfect healthy comfort meal on a cold day. (Photo: Jaymi Heimbuch)

About This Dish

A shepherd's pie is basically like a pot pie, only instead of a bread crust on top, you have a thick layer of creamy mashed potatoes. This recipes gives the mashed potatoes a little extra oomph with a crispy herbed bread crumb and Parmesan topping. The delicious topping covers a simple yet flavorful hearty stew packed with nutrition-dense and filling lentils, chickpeas and vegetables.

The recipe for the stew is very flexible. You can customize this further by adding in vegetables of your choice, such as squash, green beans, corn or whatever you prefer. You can also adjust the topping by using sweet potatoes, yams or other root vegetables. Make adjustments until you've created a shepherd's pie that perfectly suits your tastes.

This is a perfect recipe to make on a chilly night, and you'll be able to enjoy the left-overs for several days. Simply reheat the left-overs in the oven, uncovered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

Prep Time
Total Time
6-8 servings
  1. Blender or hand blender
  2. 2 large soup pots
  3. Casserole dish
  4. Measuring cups and spoons
  5. Cutting board and knife
  1. 6 large yellow potatoes, quartered
  2. 12 cup milk
  3. 3 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 cups bread crumbs
  5. 12 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  6. 2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary, oregano and thyme
  7. 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  8. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  10. 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  11. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  12. 2 large carrots, chopped
  13. 1-2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  14. 2 cups cooked lentils
  15. 1 14 oz. can chickpeas
  16. 2 cups vegetable broth
  17. 1-2 tablespoon flour
Cooking Directions
  1. Fill a large soup pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add in the potatoes and boil until they are easily stabbed with a fork, about 15 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the water. If using a hand blender, place them in a large bowl, otherwise place the potatoes in a blender. Add in the milk and butter, and blend until the potatoes are smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, pepper and freshly chopped herbs. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add in the chopped onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add in the carrots and celery. Stir to combine, and cook until the vegetables just begin to soften. Add in the mushrooms, lentils, chickpeas and broth. Stir to combine, and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Reduce heat to low. Add in the flour, sprinkling it across the top of the mixture. Stir to combine, and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes until the broth thickens to a gravy-like consistency.
  5. Pour the stew in a large casserole dish. Evenly spread the mashed potatoes on top of the stew. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the mashed potatoes. Place the dish uncovered on the center rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are a golden brown. Serve and enjoy!