Friday, June 18, 2021
HomeRecipe ReviewsVegetablesNava's Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

I’m in the mood for comfort food, and shepherd’s pie is always a good choice. Ground beef or lamb, potatoes, and vegetables baked together into one of the most perfect cold-weather foods ever. It is, however, not the healthiest choice, so I don’t have it very often. That’s why I was really intrigued when I came across a vegan shepherd’s pie recipe. Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie has a lot of similarities to the dish I’m used to, but can it really be as good without meat? I need to find out!

There are no words to describe this recipe other than ‘a deep dish of absolute comfort.’

Recipe Author: Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Get the recipe

The Ingredients

This recipe has a long list of ingredients, and I had some shopping to do before I got started. I didn’t have a few things like the fresh produce or margarine, but most were all readily available at my usual grocery store.

One item I couldn’t find was canned lentils so I used dry. I boiled them alongside the potatoes, and they were ready at the same time. I also decided to make my own rice milk. It’s a simple recipe, and I made it the day before. The time was not included in the prep work (below).

One thing I noticed right away was there was no direction for the mushrooms either in the ingredients list or the instructions. Since putting in whole mushrooms seemed unlikely, I decided to buy them sliced.

I also had a few choices to make on some of the ingredients like whether to use spinach or arugula. Since I had arugula on hand, that’s what I went with, and that was pretty much how I made all of those decisions. I also used the optional margarine, olive oil, and red wine.

Nava's Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients
Lentils, potatoes, baby bella mushrooms, red wine, arugula, panko bread crumbs, olive oil, cornstarch, onion, seasoning salt, pepper, thyme, soy sauce, rice milk, and garlic

The Process

Making vegan lentil and mushroom vegan shepherd’s pie wasn’t difficult, but it did take a while. Most of that was in the prep work—everything I did up until the moment the pie went into the oven. Here’s how my time was spent:

  • 53 minutes of prep work
  • 35 minutes to cook
  • 10 minutes to stand
  • 1 hour 38 minutes total

I timed things differently than the recipe author, but the bottom line is mine took slightly longer than the 1 hour 15 minutes listed.

Since I couldn’t find canned lentils, I started by boiling dry green lentils in a small saucepan. Then I peeled and diced the potatoes and boiled them in a larger saucepan. I used 10 red potatoes to make sure I had plenty for the topping.

Peeling potatoes for the lentil and mushroom shepherd's pie
Peeling the potatoes

Next up was prepping and sauteeing the onions. I used my 5-quart sauté pan because I had to add pretty much all of the ingredients except the potatoes and breadcrumbs. It had just enough room to stir it all without spilling.

Assembly was pretty easy. Just layer the breadcrumbs, lentil mixture, and mashed potatoes in a 2-quart casserole dish. I think I used too many potatoes and ended up with them piled into a mound. They held together, though, and I popped the casserole dish into the oven for 35 minutes.

The finished lentil and mushroom shepherd's pie, ready to go into the oven
The finished shepherd’s pie, ready to go into the oven

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
So was a vegan lentil and mushroom shepherd's pie as good as the traditional version with meat? Yes! It was different, but not at all lacking in flavor. I have to say that I didn't miss the meat at all. This version was less greasy without it but still just as filling. The only difference was no guilt. I have to admit that I wasn't pleased with the crust. I don't think I added enough of the broth from the cooked lentils, and the liquids nearly all dried up by the time I was ready to assemble the pie. As a result, the breadcrumbs stayed quite dry even through cooking, and they crumbled away when I served it. But this recipe will be made again, and I'm certain this will be remembered as a minor hiccup.
I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Join me as I blog my way through those recipes to find out if they are worth trying yourself.


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