Technically, we should call this vegetarian cottage pie, as any pie without lamb isn’t shepherd’s pie! This was as much fun to make as a pie with meat, and just as tasty.  I have adapted this from a New York Times recipe. You can add other vegetables to your taste and adapt the recipe as well.

It looked so beautiful coming out of the oven.

So many of my recipes start with fresh herbs from the garden.  I used thyme, sage, oregano and rosemary, and, of course, plenty of garlic!

It actually looked really good going into the oven!


 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for seasoning

2 pounds new potatoes, quartered (I use skin on; if you use russet, peel the potatoes first – about three large)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup milk

½ cup sour cream

½ cup packed grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper


¾ cup green lentils

4 sprigs thyme (can use 1 teaspoon dried)

3 ½ cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces sliced mushrooms, such as button, cremini, and shitaake

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

1 red or green pepper, chopped

2-4 ribs of celery, chopped

2-4 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, etc.)

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons flour (I use gluten-free)

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

4-6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese

Chopped parsley for garnish


1 In a large pot, bring a gallon of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes to boiling water and boil for about 15 to 20 minutes, until soft; a knife should go in with almost no resistance.

2 Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat, bring the lentils, thyme and 2 cups of the broth to a simmer with 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat and continue to cook the lentils, partly covered, until they are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the lentils to a bowl.

3 Finish the topping: Drain potatoes well and return to pot. Using a masher or an electric mixer, mix in the butter, milk and sour cream with the potatoes until blended smooth. Stir in 1/2 of the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

4 Finish the filling: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter (2T)  in the 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until they are deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add leeks, carrots, celery, peppers, garlic, and herbs, continue to cook until tender, another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir, cooking until it is well combined, another 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mixture, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups broth, cooked lentils and peas, and cook until thickened. Remove thyme stems and stir in lemon juice to taste. Spread with half the cheddar cheese.

5 Top the mixture with dollops of the mashed potatoes, then spread them out over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and cheddar. Add parsley on top. Transfer to the oven, setting it on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet underneath the pan to catch any drips. Bake the pie until the potatoes have begun to brown and the edges are bubbling, about 35-45 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Was so tasty with plenty of leftovers that will heat up beautifully. Enjoy!