Spring Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie


Soooo I made this spring vegetable shepherd’s pie a few weeks ago, but juuuust got around to creating the post… and then I realized spring is almost over so I had to get it up asap! Where did the time go?? Wasn’t it just St. Patrick’s Day a few weeks ago? This year is seriously flying by.


Spring Vegetable Shepherd's Pie // pumpkin & peanut butter


I’ve been a Shepherd’s Pie lover for a long time now. I guess it started with my love of mashed potatoes. Or just potatoes in general. I LOVE them. French fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, potato soup, you name it! I swear, they made up at least 60% of my diet as a child. No joke. Shepherd’s Pie really got it right by topping a delicious bowl of comfort with creamy mashed potatoes.

But even when I ate meat years ago, I never really liked the ground beef part of the dish. So when I became a vegetarian, Shepherd’s Pie actually became an even better dish to me with all those yummy veggie substitutions. Hearty lentils, rustic carrots and onions, a warming stew— can’t get much better than that.


Spring Vegetable Shepherd's Pie // pumpkin & peanut butter

Spring Vegetable Shepherd's Pie // pumpkin & peanut butter


Here’s the thing— I’m weird and I still really crave these winter flavors in the spring. Yes, even when it’s beautiful and 75 degrees outside, I really like me a big bowl of comfort food. But I had to “spring” it up somehow….

So here is my take on a light, spring version of Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie. It’s still thick and rustic and comforting, yet it doesn’t leave you ready for a midday nap or in a food coma. Must be all that green in there 🙂

Here’s to our last month of spring! What’s your favorite spring dish to make? Or winter dish turned spring 😉


Spring Vegetable Shepherd's Pie // pumpkin & peanut butter

Spring Vegetable Shepherd's Pie // pumpkin & peanut butter

Spring Vegetable Shepherd's Pie // pumpkin & peanut butter

Spring Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 6-8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hours, 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish


for the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Large red onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine, dry
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 3 stalks of celery, thickly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari

for the pie

  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 large zucchini, thickly sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 10oz mushrooms, sliced (I used button mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cups dried green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cup water

for the mashed potatoes

  • 4 Large russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1-2 tablespoon butter (vegan or regular)
  • splashes of milk of choice (I used unsweetened soy)
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced (optional)
  • 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic (optional)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


heavily adapted from bon appetite's vegetable shepherd's pie


for the sauce
Step 1
Begin by drizzling 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Add in the diced red onion and leeks and cook for 12 minutes, or until caramelized. Once cooked, drop in the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute, then add in tomato paste. Cook for 2-3 minutes until tomato paste is caramelized, then pour in 1 cup of white wine. Bring the pot to a simmer and let it reduce for 10 minutes. Then, pour in the vegetable stock and chopped celery, bring to a simmer, and let that reduce by half for about 30-40 minutes. Now that the sauce has reduced, sprinkle in 1-2 tbsp of corn starch, soy sauce, and frozen peas, and let it simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
for the lentils
Step 2
As the sauce is cooking, you can prepare the lentil and vegetables. Cook the lentils by boiling 3/4 cup of lentils with 1 1/2 cups of water (and a pinch of salt). Turn it down to a simmer and let the lentils cook for 30-40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
for the vegetables
Step 3
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine chopped zucchini, carrots, and mushrooms. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, then spread on a large baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
for the mashed potatoes
Step 4
While the lentils, sauce, and vegetables are cooking, chop peeled potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Boil in a pot of salted water until tender, then strain and mash. I like to mash my potatoes with 1 tbsp of butter, lots of splashes of soy milk, salt, pepper, roasted garlic, and green onion.
for the shepherd
Step 5
Time to layer your pie! Start by layering your lentils at the bottom of a 3 quart baking dish. Then top the lentils with the roasted veggies, followed by the sauce. Finally, finish it off with a thick layer of mashed potatoes. Bake on a foil rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes, until bubbling! Let it cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.


Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!


  1. I’ve always wanted to try Shepherd’s Pie but its usually always meat base and this girl doesn’t eat any meat. This recipe is right up my alley, can’t wait to try it myself.

    • Who needs meat when they have lentils?! You’re not missing anything with these substitutions— I personally think it’s an upgrade! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • About 6-8 large servings, or 10 smaller sized servings.

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