A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life

Vegetarian shepherds pie and Brussels sprouts

I love shepherds pie, how could I not love a meal covered in mashed potatoes?  My friend Dave recently emailed me a recipe for a vegetarian shepherds pie that he had made to rave reviews.  You can find that recipe here (

As is often the case, I modified the recipe based on what I had on hand.  For example, I added a bag (16oz) of frozen stew vegetables and used frozen peas in place of corn.  We had mashed potatoes on hand from our mashed potatoes and parsnips, so while there was not enough to completely cover the pie, it covered most of it, so we were good to go.

Bay leaf wreath


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 12oz of mushrooms, sliced (I used white mushrooms that I use all week on Meg’s salads)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of lentils
  • salt (3/4 of a teaspoon to start)
  • pepper (1/2 of a teaspoon to start)
  • chipotle powder (1/4 of a teaspoon)
  • large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • 16oz of San Marzano tomatoes, chopped with some of the juice
  • 2-3 cups of water (I started with 2 cups but ended up adding another cup while cooking)
  • 2 bay leaves (my sister and brother-in-law gave us a bay wreath for Christmas so we are never without bay leaves)
  • 16oz bag of frozen stew vegetables (carrots, celery, onions, potatoes)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas

Heat a teapot of water to boiling and pour over the lentils.

Cooking the lentils.

Allow the lentils to cook in the warm water for about 15 minutes.  Drain the lentils.  Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onion, mushroom and garlic, seasoned with salt, pepper and chipotle powder, until slightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the lentils and stir until combined.  Add the tomatoes, parsley, Italian seasoning and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat to maintain a simmer, and add the bay leaves, peas and frozen vegetables.  Simmer for 45 minutes, until water is absorbed. About 30 minutes in I had to add another cup of water.

Allow to simmer for 45 minutes until water is absorbed.

Spoon the lentils into a baking dish.  Cover with mashed potatoes and bake for 30 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Let's eat!

Serve with sautéed Brussels sprouts.


  • 1 pounds of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, to shave over the Brussels sprouts

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron pan.  Season the Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper.  Add to the melted butter and cook until the Brussels sprouts are slightly browned.  Drizzle the Brussels sprouts with extra virgin olive oil and shave fresh Parmesan cheese over the sprouts.  Put the sprouts in the 375F oven and cook for 10 minutes.

OK, now we can eat!


One comment on “Vegetarian shepherds pie and Brussels sprouts

  1. Jenn
    January 2, 2012

    I’ve made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie a few times but it never occurred to me to use lentils — brilliant. I’m going to try this one 🙂 Nice use of bay leaves, by the way!

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