Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
If you are a new vegetarian, or if you are cooking for vegetarians it can be useful to have meals that are familiar and a direct substitute for a meat based meal such as vegetarian sausages, vegetarian lasagne, or burgers. You can even make a meat based Shepherds’s Pie at the same time.
This vegetarian recipe for a popular meat dish is at least as good, if not better than the original! Low cost and nutritious too!
Lentils – Great Meat Substitute
Lentils make a very good substitute for beef or lamb mince because they can be used in a similar way. Unlike many other pulses, they need no pre-soaking. The main lentils available are red and green lentils. Red lentils have a more mushy texture when cooked, whereas green lentils hold their shape.
I used red lentils in this recipe because I liked the softer texture. The carrots and vegetable add plenty of flavour and different textures.
This dish is cooked in two large saucepans and is then transferred to a large casserole to be baked in the oven.
It can be frozen in portions for a ‘ready-meal’ for another day. It can be reheated in the oven or in the microwave. It is also one of those dishes where the meat eaters will hardly notice that they are not eating meat!
Low Cost Family Meal
Easy to make and very low cost. Red lentils cost around 60p for 250g and this whole recipe that serves 4-6 people costs around £3.50. In these times of stretched budgets that is good value in anyone’s book. And this is a really delicious and nutritious meal. You don’t feel you are eating on a budget
It contains enough vegetables to eat as a whole meal in itself, but if you prefer, serve with a further favourite, seasonal vegetable. It is also good serve with home made baked beans!
Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 sticks celery sliced
- Handful kale, cabbage or broccoli chopped small
- 1 x 400g / 14 oz chopped tomatoes
- 250g / 8oz red lentils
- 550ml vegetable stock
- 50g / 1.5oz frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- pinch chilli powder
- pinch salt
- 4-5 (about 750g / 1.5lb) medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- knob butter
- 150ml milk
- 50g / 1.5oz grated cheddar cheese
- Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with plenty of boiling water
- Bring to the boil and simmer until soft
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan
- Add the onion and cook for a few minutes
- Add the carrots, celery and garlic and stir
- Continue cooking on a gentle heat for a few minutes
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and stock
- Add the lentils
- Add the mixed herbs, cumin, paprika and chilli
- Bring to the boil and turn down to a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes
- Add the frozen peas and green vegetable and stir
- Cook for a few more minutes
- When the potatoes are cooked pour on the milk and add the butter
- Mash with a masher until smooth
- Place the lentil mixture in the bottom of a casserole
- Place the mashed potato on top
- Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese
- Bake in oven at 180 degrees C for about 40 minutes
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If you love lentils and low cost meals you may like a copy of Penny’s EBook 10 Easy And Low Cost Lentil Recipes