• Liz Talley - Urban Graze

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

In this recipe, I've substituted lentils and mushrooms for meat. To prepare on a busy day, there's no guilt in using "store bought" mashed potatoes- available in most grocery dairy departments. I sometimes will make the stew the night before, and then simply warm it up while I get the mashed potatoes ready.

Serves 4-6

½ c. lentils

1 c. water or vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

¼ c. chopped onion

⅓ c. chopped celery

1 c. small-diced carrots

8 oz. sliced mushrooms (use pre-sliced, to save time)

½ tsp. dried, crushed rosemary

12 tsp. dried thyme

2-3 Tbsp. optional minced fresh parsley

½ c. red wine and 1¼ c. vegetable broth or 1¾ vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. tomato paste (or substitute part of wine/broth with pureed tomatoes)

2 Tbsp. flour

1½ c. fresh or frozen peas

Salt and pepper to taste

Mashed potatoes*

Preheat oven to 350.

Simmer lentils in water or broth on low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. You want the lentils to be firm-tender, not mushy. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium Dutch oven**, saute the garlic, onion, celery, and carrots, until carrots are beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and herbs, and cook a few more minutes. Add the peas and lentils, allow to warm.

Whisk tomato paste and flour into red wine and broth, then stir into vegetables. Simmer until the stew thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from stove top, cool slightly, and spread mashed potatoes over the top.

While still warm, bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until bubbly and beautiful!

*Mashed potatoes:

Peel and dice about 1½ lbs. potatoes. Steam until very soft. Cool a bit, then begin mashing with electric mixer or hand masher. Add ⅓ c. lukewarm milk or cream, (or plain yogurt), and a pat or two of butter, and continue mixing just until creamy; don't over-beat, or they'll get gummy. Add a little more milk if needed to bring to your desired consistency.

**If you don't have a Dutch oven (pot that will go from stove top to oven), make the stew in a soup pot, transfer to a greased casserole, and top with mashed potatoes.

Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze

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