Lentil Shepherds Pie with Sweet Potato Mash

Here we have a classic, easy and full-of-flavour shepherds pie recipe. A cozy dish for all the brisk fall weather we’ve been having! The fact that there is no meat or dairy involved also makes it a lighter dinner option, and you won’t approach the end of this meal feeling horribly full and bloated, but perfectly satisfied.

Begin by sautéing your carrots, celery, and onions in a pot or skillet over medium heat. Cook these for about 8 minutes and add the garlic. After 10 minutes total you can add the chopped tinned mushrooms, lentils, and all the spices.

I like to add about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast to my mashed potatoes not only to give them a slight cheesy flavour, but also to spike the nutritional value! Nutritional yeast is a great way for vegetarians and vegans to get their vitamin B12, which plays a pivotal role in the production of red blood cells and DNA. Read more about why we need vitamin B12 here, and more about the benefits of nutritional yeast here.

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Bake for 15 minutes at 425 F and broil on high for 5 minutes at the end to crisp up the potatoes. Sweet potatoes tend not to crisp as well as white potatoes, but if you drizzle a bit of oil on top of the potatoes before broiling you will get a lovely crispy top!

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*serves 4

Filling Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

3 celery stalks, finely diced

3 carrots, peeled & finely diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups cooked red lentils (I used canned lentils which I drained and rinsed)

1/2 cup tinned mushrooms, finely diced

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tbsp dried thyme

1/2 tbsp italian seasoning

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/3 cup vegetable stock

Sweet Potato Mash Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato, peeled & cubed

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/3 cup cashew milk

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Potatoes

Cover sweet potatoes with salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft. Drain with a colander and transfer to a bowl.

Add the nutritional yeast, cashew milk, thyme, garlic powder, paprika, and salt & pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher or with a fork until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

Filling

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Sauté onions, carrot and celery for 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms, lentils, tomato paste, dried thyme, italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, vegetable stock and xanthan gum. Cook for 3-5 minutes until thickened and remove from heat.

Pour filling into a 9x9 glass baking dish and spread the sweet potato mash on top.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and increase to broil for 5 more minutes at the end.

Serve with fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Enjoy!