Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

by on November 14, 2011
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Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

When Nava Atlas asked me at the beginning of last year to take the photos for Vegan Holiday Kitchen, I thought about it for about a day and then gave her an emphatic “Yes!” She warned me that she would need more photos than I’d taken for her previous book, Vegan Express–about five times as many–but I’d learned so much from that experience that I was happy to get the chance to work with Nava again. In the spring of 2010, just as it was starting to heat up here in the Deep South, we got to work on Thanksgiving recipes while ingredients like butternut squash were still available. I may have been blogging about spring vegetables like asparagus, but it still seemed like autumn in my house as I prepared and photographed fall favorites from Coconut Butternut Squash Soup to Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Hint of Chocolate:

Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Hint of Chocolate

Nava spent much of 2010 writing the over 200 recipes in her book, pausing when she created a particularly photogenic one to send me the recipe so that I could cook it in my kitchen and take its photo on my dining room table. It was something of an art project for me, as I tried to recreate the feeling of the holiday associated with each recipe. It may have been a steamy Mississippi June outside, but, inside, my dining room table was set with silver candlesticks for Rosh Hashanah as Sweet Potato Tzimmes got its photo-op. It felt like a year-long celebration for my family, who were happy to feast on the food after each photo shoot.

Over the course of that year, I learned a lot about Nava’s style of cooking. She favors ingredients that can be found in almost any supermarket in the U.S.–beans, grains, tofu, and vegetables–and when she gets “fancy,” its through the use of readily-available ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and pine nuts. Though there are recipes that call for packaged vegan products like seitan and non-dairy cheese, the emphasis is on seasonal produce. In the Thanksgiving chapter, for instance, you won’t find recipes for faux turkey but will discover main dishes featuring the “Three Sisters” of Native American mythology–squash, corn, and beans–as well as grain-stuffed winter squash and a pot pie filled with veggies. Many of the recipes are very easy, and even the more complicated ones use time-savers like canned beans and packaged baked tofu, which you can choose to use or opt to make from scratch. Like most vegan cookbooks, Vegan Holiday Kitchen does use oil, though in most cases it can be eliminated, as in the shepherd’s pie below.

Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas; Photos by Susan Voisin

Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas; Photos by Susan Voisin

The book is divided into five chapters revolving around the most food-centric holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas and the Holiday Season, Jewish Holidays (Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Hanukkah), Easter, Independence Day and Summer Entertaining–as well as a sixth chapter on Brunches, Appetizers, and Potluck Dishes. Each chapter includes appetizers, salads, side dishes, and desserts as well as main dishes, and the recipes are beautifully laid-out, one to a page, and are labeled so that people looking for gluten-free, soy-free, or nut-free options can tell at a glance whether a recipe fits their needs. While the recipes are great, at least as important to me are the chapter introductions, which Nava fills with tips for creating stress-free holiday feasts and a wealth of information about holiday traditions, as well as extras such as an extensive guide to vegan grilling. (In addition to taking the photos, I contributed five recipes that have previously appeared on this blog, including my favorite fat-free cake.)

I’m definitely biased, but I think Vegan Holiday Kitchen is a beautiful book. When it comes to my own photography, I’m my harshest critic, but I’m happy with most of the photos as well as the fabulous job the designer did with the layout and cover. (The photos you see in this post are “rejects,” not the ones actually used in the book.) It would make a wonderful gift for anyone–vegan or not–who is interested in expanding their holiday menu options. Amazon’s current price of $14.93 is a bargain for a high-quality, hard-back book, but it’s also available as an iBook for $7.99. Your purchase helps provide children with healthy meals because Nava is donating a portion of her royalties to Share our Strength and NY Coalition for Healthy School Food.

This shepherd’s pie was a big hit with my family, and though it appears in the Christmas chapter of the book, it would be a delicious main dish for Thanksgiving, too. Like all of the recipes in the book, this hearty pie will appeal to omnivores as well as vegans. And it’s safe for those of you on gluten-free diets as long as you use gluten-free breadcrumbs. Happy Holidays!

Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

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{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy (Healthy Girl) November 14, 2011 at 9:07 am

Thanks for sharing this recipe Susan. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to riff off of it in my kitchen soon. Do you think there will ever come a time when vegan cookbooks lose the oil? What’s up with that unnecessary ingredient already?

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2 Veronica November 20, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I’m working on a vegan recipe book without oil! I too am sick of it, and having to modify recipes found online and in books for my family who are new to making vegan food themselves. There will be more and more oil free cook books to come.

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3 Cadry November 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

The cover of the book and the pictures that I’ve seen are just beautiful! You should be proud! The shepherd’s pie looks mouthwatering, and I like the idea of using lentils and mushrooms as the bulk of the stew portion.

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4 janet @ the taste space November 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

Gorgeous photos, Susan! I don’t feel compelled to photograph everything to perfection for my blog, but your photos have always impressed me. The ones for this cookbook look great!

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5 michele November 14, 2011 at 9:33 am

Susan the photo’s look scrumptious, you have done a beautiful job photographing her recipes. Off to the grocery store to buy ingredients to try the shepherds pie recipe today.Perfect day today to cook, rainy. It will be a trail run for my picky family for the holidays. @veganfork

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6 Tea Beyond November 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

looks delicious!! might try it shortly!!! Will let you know!
Thanks for sharing!

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7 Liliana Holtzman November 14, 2011 at 10:02 am

Too delicious for words! Perfect for a cold November day. Thank you, Susan.

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8 Suzie November 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

This is exactly what I need. I tried to make a veggie shepherd’s pie on Friday and it just wasn’t right. Now it seems obvious – wine and thyme and thickening the sauce. Thank you!

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9 Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance November 14, 2011 at 10:03 am

What an amazing idea!!! This looks so wonderful, I can’t even imagine how good it makes the house smell!

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10 Yadsia @ShopCookMake November 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

Ohhhhhhhhhh, so good! Since turning Vegetarian I’ve missing shepherd’s pie so much. I will be making this tonight!

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11 Sharon Burkhard November 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

Question:
In the list of ingredients it says to drain the lentils but not rinse them.
In the instructions it says to add the lentil with their liquid.
Not sure which to do.

This looks soooooo good, I’d like to do it right the first time!!

Thanks,
Sharon

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12 Susan Voisin November 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

Sharon, I will have to check with Nava to see what she meant, but I think I probably didn’t drain the lentils. When I use canned lentils, I tend to use them undrained, and I probably skipped that step when making the recipe.

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13 Lucy March 17, 2012 at 9:30 am

Please do try to clarify this. I would love to try this recipe but we have to eat low sodium due to heart disease. So, I will likely drain, rinse and soak the lentils. Could I replace the liquid with sodium and fat free vege stock?
Thanks!

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14 Susan Voisin March 17, 2012 at 9:41 am

Yes, using vegetable stock would be fine. I’m not sure how firm the lecture of your lentils will be after all of that, though. You could always use your own cooked lentils and use no salt at all.

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15 Lucy March 17, 2012 at 9:56 am

That’s a much better idea. Thanks

16 rose November 14, 2011 at 10:29 am

This looks like a great recipe but I’m confused about one thing. In the list of ingredients it calls for “Two 15-ounce cans lentils, drained but not rinsed” but in step 4 it instructs to “Add the lentils and their liquid “. Am I missing something?

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17 Paula November 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

I really want to get this new cookbook soon. Love Nava!

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18 Caroline November 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

I got the cookbook las week and your photos were outstanding. In fact, I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more photos. I have been a fan of yours and Nava’s for a number of years and have always enjoyed both of your recipes. In fact, I think I will ask my 16 year old daughter to make your chocolate orange cake for my birthday next month. The picture of it in the book was incredible!

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19 moonwatcher November 14, 2011 at 11:40 am

Hi Susan,

This looks marvelous, and I hope to make it sometime over the Thanksgiving festivities. I will use Food for Life Millet bread for my breadcrumbs. And I have lots of organic lentils that I got on sale. i will cook some of them up for this. Nava’s book looks great, too, and I bet the photos in it are wonderful. Congratulations again! I just might have to splurge on that one, too. :)

Thank you,

moonwatcher

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20 moonwatcher November 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

ps: I will await the word about the cooking liquid, since I will want to save some of mine from cooking my own lentils if needed. :)

Thanks,

moonwatcher

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21 Susan Voisin November 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

I asked Nava, and she said the lentils should be “very lightly drained” since she adds corn starch to thicken the liquid. Personally, I would just add a little cooking liquid until it looked right to me. :-)

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22 Lauren (Diary of a Vegan Girl) November 14, 2011 at 11:58 am

Oh my gosh, this looks like amazing comfort food!

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23 Louise Placek November 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Susan, I know you have been thanked uncounted times for your work, but I want you to know that your recipes have saved me from despair. I recently had a severe health scare which restricted my already gluten-free, vegan diet even more by restricting salt and fat. My life literally depends on these restrictions, despite the fact that I am only 125 lbs! It is difficult to be creative when it seems there are too many NO’s and not enough YESses to make food palatable. I am learning and with your wonderful blog and help to find my way out of a hole that threatened to swallow me. God bless you (and the internet!). Know that what you do makes a difference to some of us who’s life depends on that creative energy to put a little sunshine in our food. :-)

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24 Susan Voisin November 14, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Oh Louise, your kind words just put a little sunshine in my day! Thank you! I’m so happy to be able to help, and if there’s ever anything specific you need a recipe for, please just ask.

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25 Barbara November 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Thanks for mentioning the ibook option. I have been looking for this book to come out in Kindle format, but it is not available. Bingo, now I have it on my iPad.

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26 Melissa November 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

This sounds really good. I think I’ll be making this for dinner this week. I was debating getting this book and this recipe ended the debate. I just ordered “Vegan Holiday Kitchen” and I can’t wait to get it!

I’ll be making this without the fat and oil. Do you think sweet potatoes would work as a replacement for the potatoes? We’re working on cutting out all fats and high GI foods in order to reverse my husband’s diabetes and improve my overall health. I became a bit of a “junk food vegan.” I’m not sure if the flavors would blend as well with sweet potatoes since they have more flavor than a regular potato.

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27 Kathy November 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I can’t wait to try this! I fell off my vegan diet while pregnant, but now that baby’s here I’m getting back in the vegan saddle!

Just as a reminder, most brands of soy sauce are NOT safe for people who need to eat gluten free. Tamari is gluten free, and so are certain brands of soy sauce (I think La Choy is, but definitely check!)

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28 Lindsay@almostveganblog November 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

1. I AM MAKING THIS ON THANKSGIVING YUM YUM YUM

2. I am buying that book. I can’t remember….has it been released yet?

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29 Susan Voisin November 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Yes! It’s available at Amazon and in bookstores. Hope you enjoy both the recipe and the book!

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30 Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) November 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Woweeee thanks so much for this recipe Susan! Such a perfect comfort food dish for the holidays!

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31 Valorie November 14, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Hi Susan,
Wow… Thanks again for another recipe that turned out to be a big hit at our house! I always turn to your website first when making dinner. Just wanted to check with you on the baking temp… I couldn’t find it listed anywhere, so I winged it!

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32 Susan Voisin November 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

I’m so glad you liked it! The oven temp is at the end of step 2–400 degrees F.

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33 Chad Abruzzo November 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

hey there Susan thanks for this Recipe.. i cant weight to try this is look and sounds amazing!!!! but i have one question,… is it possible that can u scale down the recipe for me to make either 2 or 4 serving ???

all of your recipes are absolutely amazing!!!!

thanks again!!

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34 Susan Voisin November 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I believe when I made it, I cut it in half to suit my small family.

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35 amey November 14, 2011 at 8:10 pm

yay! I LOVE this book so much. It really is one of the most beautiful books I have. The pictures, the layout, the cover, the font even! Ha ha. Also, the recipes are amazing. I can’t wait to plan my thanksgiving feast!

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36 Heather November 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

oh my goodness!!! I tweeked it a little here and there…. but it came out soooo yummy!!! One tweek was the lentils. I used dry lentils cooked with some vegetable bullion. My kids don’t like lentils… so I pureed them, adding a little vegetable broth…. even my 20 year old Anti Vegan Diet daughter loved it, and facebooked about it! I also flavored the potatoes with garlic and onion powder.
Thanks for posting!!!

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37 Cherie November 14, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Looks delicious and perfect for feeding my bottomless pit of a child who loves lentils. The eight servings should last us exactly one dinner (and there are only 3 of us), which tells you how much he eats.

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38 Bill K. November 15, 2011 at 7:22 am

Susan,

I love your website and the great photos. I can see that you are trying to at least give the average person a healthier food choice by limiting most of the excess fat. But, (And I hate to add the “But”) I sometimes worry that in an effort to become “animal free” some vegans tend to think that if it is not from an animal it must be healthy. Unfortunetly, this is often not the case. My concern falls mainly with things like “Tofu” and “Vegan Cheese” as an example. These items are proving to be more health depleting than the foods they are meant to replace. I know that you are honestly trying to offer recipes that are healthier and this is why I like your website. I just hope, for your benefit, you will work toward using less processed foods and include mostly natural unprocessed ingredients. A simple rule of thumb is “If it comes in a Can, Box or Bottle, then don’t put it into your body!” In other words, if the food is dead it will not make you live.

Sorry for the crticism. I am just trying to keep you blogging longer!

Bill

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39 Susan Voisin November 15, 2011 at 7:39 am

Thanks for your input, Bill, but I’m not concerned with tofu–it’s a perfectly healthy food, despite the nonsense that some anti-veg advocates have written–and I never use vegan cheese. As for cans, boxes, and bottles, natural food has to be put in something or else it gets all over the pantry shelves! ;-) Most of my ingredients are natural and unprocessed. I think you mistook me for some other blogger!

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40 Bill K. November 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Susan,

Thank you for your kind reply. Your humor is greatly appreciated!!

While you have been honing your skills in the kitchen and through your camera lens, I have been deeply studying human physiology and its relationship to our health. And so, while I agree with you that Tofu is not the worst thing that you could consume it is still a highly processed food. I don’t think you can really classify it as “perfectly healthy” as its long term consumption will cause some health issues. With that being said there is kind of a divide in the road between optimal health and good health. For those wishing to be completely disease free (at least as much as is possible in the industrialized world) and able to be involved in vigorous exercise well into their senior years a cooked vegan diet is not going to get them there. But for those who enjoy preparing and eating cooked vegan meals you will still live a long life but you may encounter some health issues along the way. One clue is whether you are still suffering from allergies and yearly colds. These issues go away with a low fat raw vegan diet which is not to be confused with the gourmet raw or Hollywood raw diets. I am going on my 8th year without any allergies or a single cold of any kind. I hear the same thing from others on a low fat raw vegan diet. Please do not take what I am saying as a criticism of what you are doing. I often make your recipes for my family and have recommended your site to 100’s of people as a transitional tool. I like that I can trust that you are making the recipes as fat free as possible. My only point is that often we are led to believe that just being on a vegan diet brings perfect health but the dirty little secret is that from your body’s standpoint that is not necessarily true. An example is the additives that you need to use to give cooked foods flavor. Spices are mostly irritants to the body. This is why you sneeze from adding pepper. Onions and garlic are mild toxins. This is why you cry when cutting an onion. Fighter pilots are told not to use garlic as it affects the brains functioning and reaction times. This is one of the reasons that cooked foods can be harmful long term, cooking itself tends to derange the chemical makeup of the food and then the spices and flavors add a toxic load to your lymph system. Back when I was eating a cooked vegan diet I felt much better than I had on the SAD diet but when I went low fat raw it was like a turbo charger kicked in. So my own experience is that there is a definite difference. Also on cooked vegan I still got the occasional seasonal cold. I have noticed that the reverse is also true. On occasions when I eat some of your recipes I notice my energy levels drop and often I have light allergy symptoms the next day.

I know that you are very invested in your current path and honestly that is perfectly fine. I am just giving you some further information that may be helpful if you would like to further improve your health. I am not one of those diet nazi’s that thinks there is only one way to do things I know that many ways will get you to a satisfactory result. Each of us needs to decide where we wish to be at.

If you would ever like to look into this subject further please send me a note via my website and I would be more that happy to send you further info. I have a lot of good reading material.

Again, sorry if I am being a little pushy. It is not my intention.

Hope you have an excellent day!!!

Bill
Wildsexyhealth.com

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41 Kathleen February 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I have made this various times. I have made it with half sweet potatoes and my latest version is all sweet potato since my hubby prefers it and it is healthier. I have never included the breadcrumbs in my version either, seems like an odd addition in my opinion…I mash the sweet potatoes with a bit of soy milk, nothing else. I also find the whole recipe is too much for my small family and so I have halved it with no problems. It is definitely comfort food and completely delicious. Very very good for meat eaters and I have made this as the main course for Christmas dinner. Have another one in the oven now, yummy!

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42 Alexandria Lewis November 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

Wow and am looking forward to making this- perhaps with sweet potato, butternut squash, and red potato top :-) my husband has been wanting to do a shepards pie with a squash/potato topping so I think this will be a good recipe to try that on.

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43 Carole November 15, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I am enjoying Nava’s holiday cookbook and your beautiful pictures, I have a question about the Lentil Shepherd’s pie. The ingredient list says lentils, drained but not rinsed but the directions say to add the lentils and their liquid. Do you know which is correct? Thank you, my daughter Melissa (Vegenista) and I enjoyed meeting you in Portland!
Thanks again, Carole

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44 Natalie November 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm

This looks like a wonderful take on shepherds pie, I love the ingredients.

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45 Ingredients for Life November 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

This looks and sounds delish. I will for sure try this.

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46 Shirley November 16, 2011 at 10:11 am

I have never used tinned lentils but have a stack of dried on hand. what is the weight volume of the lentils used in the recipe?

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47 Susan Voisin November 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

I don’t know what it would be by weight, but it’s about 3 1/2 cups of cooked lentils.

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48 Brenda November 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Made this today and my husband said it is “Awesome”. Thanks for a great recipe. Did a couple things different- made my own lentils and subbed Sherry for the wine.
Quick and easy recipe.

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49 Lizzie November 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Just made this for dinner tonight! A big hit with both me and the omni husband, though mine didn’t separate itself from the pan nearly as nicely as yours did. Still fantastically delicious. I always felt before like my vegan shepherd’s pies were missing a certain savory flavor to the “meaty” layer, but this one was really spot on. Definitely going to put this cookbook on my christmas list! Thanks so much for posting this recipe.

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50 Leslie Paquette November 16, 2011 at 9:24 pm

This looks delicious! I almost made it for dinner tonight but was really craving your Meatless Meatloaf. Instead of making in a loaf shape I made it into about 25 meatless meatballs. I did it intentionally since I plan to bring the leftovers to a pre Thanksgiving get together and figured they would be easier to reheat and serve , plus they are already portioned out. It’s a group of traditional foodies so I’m not too sure how many people will even try them. They will certainly be missing out but at least I may have some leftovers to take home. I also made your mushroom gravy which is always delicious! Thanks, Leslie

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51 Shirley November 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

Made this last night it was superb and was enjoyed by both myself and my non vegan husband. I cooked my own lentil using 1 1/2 cups of dried lentils and it worked well. Will also be buying the book.

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52 Miriam November 17, 2011 at 10:00 am

I made this last night, however, I use collard greens instead of kale. It was still good. My husband who is normally a meat love had two servings!

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53 janell November 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Made the Shepherd’s Pie for our family of 3 by halving the recipe. I omitted the wine (we didn’t have any on hand) but included everything else. In future, will probably make this with less cornstarch and Dash, and a bit more lentil liquid. I’m imagining all sorts of variations by adding other greens and vegetables. We love onion, so may include some good size chunks or pearl onions to the mix, too. Do you think wild rice might work?
Yum! Thanks for sharing Nava’s recipe!

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54 Alyssa November 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm

This recipe is a vegan’s dream! I spent hours searching for the perfect lentil shepherd’s pie and finally have found it. I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely fabulous. I tweaked it slightly, used shallots instead of onions and topped it with sweet mashed potatoes. This would be a super yummy Thanksgiving side. Can’t wait to share this with the family. Even my meat loving boyfriend loved it. Awesome recipe! xo

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55 Jo November 18, 2011 at 4:50 am

Dear Susan,

I made it the other day and it was delish! You can absolutely use your own cooked lentils instead of canned. I used a mix of yellow and orange lentils (ready in 20 mins) + Indian pakora spice mix.
I just had a problem with the breadcrumbs. 1 cup seemed like a lot and some of it did not get baked properly, so the bottom of the pan was covered in “sand”. I actually used a polenta and milled flaxseed mix. Might have worked better if mixed with a tiny bit of broth maybe….not sure. Any suggestions?

Thanks again!

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56 Susan Voisin November 18, 2011 at 7:27 am

I’ve never heard of polenta and flax bread, but I’ll bet that was the problem. I just used regular whole wheat bread crumbs and it came out perfectly.

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57 Jo November 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

Thanks. Maybe I’ll try next time. How thick should be the layer on the bottom though? Just a sprinkle or completely covered? I think I might have used too much of the mix.

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58 Susan Voisin November 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

It should be just a light sprinkle, to keep the filling from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

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59 Suzanne November 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

I’m so excited. My copy is winging it’s way to me from Amazon! From what I’ve seen the book is beautiful, but it’s no surprise to me. The photos you use on your website and gorgeous as well! You’re such a talented cook and photographer! And food photography isn’t easy to do.

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60 Kara November 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I can’t wait to try this for Thanksgiving!! This is my favorite food blog by far. (Actually, I usually find food blogs annoying, but not this one.)

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61 Kristi Rimkus November 18, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I recently made a vegetarian shepherd’s pie for my daughter. We loved it, and learned that a vegetarian shepherd’s pie is sometimes called a “shepherdess pie.” That’s what I love about cooking. You always learn something new!

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62 Lori Fasciano November 19, 2011 at 11:33 pm

I just made this delicious meal. I halved the recipe and it came out perfect. I used prepared lentils purchased in the refrigerated section from Trader Joes. The potatoes were crusty just the way I like it. I am making this again for Thanksgiving.

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63 Alana November 20, 2011 at 12:30 am

I was scared when you said Bragg’s Amino Acid was not gluten free as I CANNOT have gluten and I’ve been using it for over a year. I checked it already but I ran to check my bottle again and it reads, GLUTEN FREE, a couple of times. Do you mean something else?

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64 Susan Voisin November 20, 2011 at 12:50 am

Oops, my mistake! I’ll change the wording of that.

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65 Linda November 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Lamb is one of the few things I miss being a vegan, so when I saw this recipe I jumped at the chance to make it. I LOVE Shepherds pie! This fit the bill. Made this Friday and could have fed an army! We loved it and glad there will be leftovers.

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66 Gina November 20, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Susan, I made this last night for dinner. My husband and I LOVED it!!! Thanks for sharing such a fabulous, hearty dish! I might make this again for Thanksgiving!

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67 Corinne November 20, 2011 at 4:49 pm

I have already written down the ingredients I need to buy to make this recipe. It looks amazing and I know my dear meat loving husband will also love it. Thanks so much for sharing!

$15 is a bargain, and I’m definitely putting Vegan Holiday Kitchen on my christmas buys!

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68 Corinne November 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm

update: I did make this the other night and it was delicious! As suspected my DH did love it :)

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69 Angie November 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Made it tonight. Excellent! Did not use the Mrs. Dash but used rosemary, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Will make again and maybe use sweet potatoes for topping. Thanks Susan! Love your blog!

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70 Roger November 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Wow! Can’t wait to try this on my British friend!

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71 susan November 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I love the recipes. I do appreciate that I can opt out of the soy ingredients. I am allergic to soy and dairy, so don’t want recipes with those. But your recipes I can easily sub them out.

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72 Lori November 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Hi! I love your website although I’m not vegan(or even vegetarian) but my husband and I are trying to move more in that direction. I have a 4 month old son and am going back to work in January. Do you think I can make this recipe and stick it in the freezer and cook it later? Alternatively, can I prepare the recipe a day or several ahead, then just do the final oven cooking later that week? Thanks(for your answer and for your recipes!).

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73 Susan Voisin November 22, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I think you could do either, but I think it would taste best if you made it a few days ahead and then baked it later. Freezing works, but it does tend to taste a little less fresh. Good luck!

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74 Catherine November 22, 2011 at 6:54 pm

This dish was FABULOUS!! I served it to non-vegan family members and it was a big hit. I love feeding skeptical omnivores delicious healthy meals!

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75 GetSkinnyGoVegan November 23, 2011 at 7:46 am

Geez…….beautiful photo. Will have to show to hubby who is a BIG fan of shepard’s pie, ya know, it’s a “manly” vegan dish!

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76 Cate November 23, 2011 at 8:33 am

Please can you tell me what a ‘spice blend’ is. I’ve never heard of that! I’m in the UK so maybe that’s why I have no idea.

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77 Susan Voisin November 23, 2011 at 9:03 am

It’s just a blend of herbs and spices– each brand is different. You can substitute an equal amount of any seasonings you like. I recommend thyme, sage, rosemary, and savory.

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78 lea November 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I made the shepherd’s pie and it was delicious! I had no lentils so I subbed some TVP and kidney beans. The mushroom and spinach combo is perfect. So good that I even had some for breakfast this morning!
Also, yesterday I received my copy of Vegan Holiday Kitchen and had just a moment to flip through. The pictures look amazing – way to go Susan! I really like the layout of the cookbook, simple, elegant and highly readable. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes. Happy Thanksgiving! (I will be bringing your homestyle green beans and pototoes to my family celebration, I think they will be a big hit. Nice to have some potatoes without milk, cream, or butter!)

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79 Pat Meadows November 25, 2011 at 9:24 am

We made it for dinner yesterday (Thanksgiving). It was excellent – a great vegan holiday or company entree, very hearty and warming.

Pat

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80 Maureen November 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm

This was the first recipe I’ve encounterd by Nava Atlas that fell flat—I have two of her cookbooks and look forward to the new one, but this was not a typical tasty Nava recipe. Usually I can count on anything in her cookbooks being pleasing to my vegan and non-vegan family members alike.

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81 Carol November 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm

This looks incredible! I always loved shepherds pie… and it will be even better with mushrooms and lentils! I will definitely be making this one soon!

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82 Beth Gough November 27, 2011 at 8:58 am

I made this twice already. I used collards instead of spinach because that is what I got from my organic veggie co-op last week. This “pie” is sooo yummy. I halved the recipe but my hubby and I ate it all in one sitting! I was sad there were no leftovers for lunch. I also made your green bean caserole for thanksgiving and it was a big hit!

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83 betty November 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm

wow- this looks awesome thank you so much for sharing i am evernoting it right now :)

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84 moonwatcher December 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

Dear Susan and Nava,

Just wanted to let you know how much I LOVE this shepherd’s pie! It was the main course for our veg Thanksgiving, along with some wild rice stuffing in delicata, green beans, and cranberry sauce. Our first course was Susan’s Ethiopian Spiced Pumpkin Bisque–served in little sugar pumpkins! And quinoa cornbread from straightupfood blog. All very yummy.

Anyway, I loved this so much I made a half sized version of it last night with leftover ingredients. And it was stellar again. For those who are curious, I did not use the oil or margarine, and, as Susan says, it is equally rich and wonderful with it. My sister, who is not veg or fat free, was with us for dinner, and she loved it. My subs were that we used unsweetened soy milk in the mashed potatoes, since I didn’t have rice milk, Food for Life Millet bread for fresh gluten free breadcrumbs, and either low sodium tamari or coconut aminos for the soy sauce. We used a misture of baby arugula and baby spinach. I cooked my own lentils since I had so many already, and then used the cooking broth accordingly. I also did not use any added salt, just a sprinkle of nooch in the mashed potatoes, along with a small bit of chopped fresh rosemary, from a plant that is miraculously still alive in my kitchen after I took it in to escape the frost (so far anyway).

Anyway, thank you to both of you for sharing this recipe with us. I will make it again and again, and know that others who don’t eat this way all the time will enjoy it. I hope both of you had a wonderful and festive holiday celebration.

xo

moonwatcher

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85 moonwatcher December 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

Oops, meant to say it is equally wonderful and delicious WITHOUT the oil and margarine. Oh, typos. . .

xo

moonwatcher

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86 Michele December 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

This recipe looks great–and I’m not even vegan!

When I ran this through my WW eTools, using the nutrition values given on your website, I get 8 points a serving for the full-fat version, and 7 points per serving for the reduced-fat version. Those values are slightly different than what you list, and I thought I would point that out. A point or two can make the difference between ice cream (vegan or not) that evening, or just fruit!

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87 Veggie V! @Veggie V's Vegan Adventure December 4, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I made this tonight :-) Well, kind of. I definitely used the idea behind this dish for my own. I added carrots and celery to the veggie mix, and I topped the dish with roasted butternut squash. I also skipped the wine (don’t do alcohol) and the thickener, but it was still great! Very hearty for not a lot of calories. Yum!

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88 Veggie V! @Veggie V's Vegan Adventure December 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Oh, and I just baked it in the cassarole dish I sauted the veggies in, so no bread crumbs on the bottom. I also upped the serving size so I only got 4, but they’re still under 300 cals each, and boy, are they filling!

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89 Lorraine Gahagan December 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

Great recipe ! Wonderful photography, the photography enhances the recipes. I love to see how the food should look after it’s complete and is often the reason I choose to make something. This recipe is also lovely with sweet potato mash on top. Thank you for a very interesting blog My husband has prostate cancer and all research points to a vegetarian diet helping to combat the disease.

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90 Hope December 11, 2011 at 1:44 am

this was great. I used a mixture of portobello and field mushrooms and forgot about the breadcrumbs (oops) and it was excellent anyway!

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91 Dalma December 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

This shepherd’s pie is fantastically wonderful!
I threw in some carrots, celery, peas, and a bit of jalapeno for a bit of extra veggie-ness, and it was soooo good.
Even my very picky, carnivorous brother, who rarely tries anything made by me, had a serving of it.

Thanks for another awesome recipe, Susan!

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92 Carole December 15, 2011 at 11:41 am

After trying this recipe, I’d say the lentils and mushrooms need more spice and it wouldn’t hurt to give the potatoes more flavor.

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93 Wendy Peffercorn December 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I am really looking forward to making this this weekend. Some of my guests don’t eat onions. I think that applies to anything onion-y, shallots, etc. Is there anything else I can replace the onions with, or just leave them out altogether? Do you think it will still be good? Thanks!

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94 srk December 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Can this recipe be made in advance and kept in the frig?

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95 Susan Voisin December 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Yes, though I think the potatoes are better when made fresh, but that’s a personal preference.

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96 Shreyas December 27, 2011 at 8:09 am

this came out pretty good, but one thing the lentil mixture tasted a bit like mold. I redid the recipe combining the meat loaf recipe as the base and the top from this recipe

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97 Marisa December 30, 2011 at 9:40 am

My boyfriend got me this cookbook for Christmas! A few pages already have food splattered all over them :) Funny I checked your blog on the day I plan to make the shepherd’s pie for dinner tonight!

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98 cch22 December 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

This came out wonderful!!! Yum!!! Thank you!!

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99 Urszula Humienik January 7, 2012 at 6:46 am

This has got to be one of the best recipes for a vegan comfort food. We made it for Christmas dinner and it was really great. One of my friends who came over (and isn’t vegan) said our dinners always inspire her to eat better. Isn’t that what vegan cooking should be all about?

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100 Susan Voisin January 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

Yes! :-)

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101 susan January 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Hello, Am I missing the oven temp? 350? Thanks! Susan

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102 Susan Voisin January 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

It’s 400F (see end of step 2).

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103 bonnie January 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

I bought the new Nava Atlas cookbook as soon as it came out but just got around to making this last night. It was delicious! I followed the recipe closely and left out the optional wine. Great leftovers for the week and perfect food for the weather we’re having in NYC! Thanks for sharing this, Susan. Your photos in the book are beautiful, by the way.

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104 Trish February 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

I made this last night and it was fantastic! I left out oil and butter. I roasted a whole head of garlic and added it to the potatoes and mashed them with veggie broth. I also increased the amount of mushrooms and used only one can of lentils. I think the wine is a must – it rounded out the flavours nicely. Great recipe, thank you!

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105 Tash February 11, 2012 at 1:55 am

Hi Susan,
Im new to the whole Vegan thing, my partner and i have just started it (been a week now and we have failed twice). My problem is, i have never cooked for a vegan before so i am completely new to what i can and can’t use for making my dishes and how to what to use in replacement of animal based products. Another problem i have is that my partner is allergic to nuts, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with almonds but that is all we know and he isn’t willing to try any others to test, and a lot of the replacements happen to be nuts.
Well it been good to come across your blog, i will be definitely saving it, Shepards Pie was always a favourite of mine so i can’t wait to try this out tonight :D
thanks for the great recipes and giving me ideas on how to substitute oils in cooking.
Tash.

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106 jessica March 23, 2012 at 10:47 am

I’m excited to make this!! Just recently had to go gluten free. But Where is the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecake with a hint of chocolate?

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107 Susan Voisin March 23, 2012 at 10:55 am

I don’t have it on my site, but it’s posted here: http://www.littlehouseofveggies.com/2011/11/vegan-holiday-kitchen-pumpkin.html

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108 Susan Voisin March 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

Oops, there’s an error in that version of the cheesecake recipe. It’s supposed to be 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the second step. This site has it right: http://www.relish.com/recipes/vegan-pumpkin-cheesecake-with-a-hint-of-chocolate/ If you want it to have the zig-zag of chocolate as in my photo, you just melt some extra chocolate chips and pipe them onto the pie after it’s cool.

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109 erica April 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

This looks great and I am planning to make it for Easter. One thing — the recipe says to use a 2 quart casserole dish, but that seems awfully small to me. Is that really the right size, or is that for the 1/2 recipe you mentioned? It seems like, if there are 8-10 potatoes in the top part, a larger casserole dish will be needed (I was thinking a 5-quart).
Thanks!

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110 Susan Voisin April 6, 2012 at 6:09 pm

2 quarts is what Nava calls for in the recipe. The dish I used was 2 quarts, but I’m pretty sure I cut the recipe in half, so I do suggest using a larger dish if you have one.

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111 Tara April 16, 2012 at 10:30 am

Dumb question but… I’ve seen milk substitutes on this site before, that aren’t rice milk.. Is that necessary for this one? Or will it work as well if I use something else?

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112 Susan Voisin April 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

I’m sure it would. Since this recipe comes from someone Nava Atlas, it uses her preferred milk, but I can’t think of any reason another milk wouldn’t work.

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113 Irina June 11, 2012 at 11:00 am
114 Louise June 27, 2012 at 12:04 am

i made this pie about an hour ago, im going to memorise it, it was incredible! <3

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115 Shannon August 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I am making this right now and then it says to bake, however, nowhere on your recipe does it give an oven temp!!! Help, I am about to put it in the oven. I just looked at your pic in your cookbook and it’s not there either. I will assume it is 350 at this point unless I hear from you asap! Wonderful recipe and I will be looking into your cookbook! Found you on Pinterest!
Thanks!

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116 Susan Voisin August 7, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Shannon, it’s 400F. It’s mentioned at the end of step 2.

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117 Sil August 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

Fantastic! My picky husband loved it and I loved it! Thanks for the recipe!

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118 Pam September 22, 2012 at 8:28 am

I found this recipe Thursday and made it Friday for dinner. It was AWESOME. I came across French Lentils in the grocery store and tried those. They had a great earthy flavor and remained firm, not getting mushing like red or green lentils tend to. The only thing I did different than the recipe was I added mixed dried mushrooms to the lentils while they cooked and it worked out great. I still used the baby bellas, but this just added more mushroomy flavor. Thanks for a great recipe. This ones a keeper.

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119 Gina October 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Just popped it in the oven. House smells yummy!!

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120 Cat November 22, 2012 at 12:35 am

I love this recipe! Just a few notes:

-This makes waaay more than 2 quarts, try about twice that much. If you use two 2-quart casserole dishes, this is a great way to feed an army of hungry dinner guests
-Try making the potato part first, then doing the filling, then put them together. Doing both parts at the same time is nearly impossible!
-If you want to make this and you’re out of cornstarch, don’t go buy more–it’s great without it. It was just too much of a hassle to actually get into my skillet at the time so my partner and I omitted it, and it turned out great!
-We put black pepper on the top of the mashed potatoes, before baking, and it was a really nice touch.

Love the recipe! Thank you for saving my Thanksgiving, lol!

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121 Aminako December 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

This recipe was added to my ‘to do list’ at least half a year ago. And yesterday I finally managed to cook a shephard’s pie. I used this recipe as far as I could (I am from Europe and I have no idea how much an ounce is, therefore I just assumed I used a proper dose of a given product) and it turned out really awesome. I didn’t really loved the potato layer, but I think mine was just too thick. But the lower layer of the lentils and the mushrooms (I used the ones available in the store, no idea were they) and the spinach with the soy sauce… There are no words to describe how great the taste was. Next time I’m doing the lower layer and instead of the potato layer I plan to make a broccoli-white sauce layer. Can’t wait to try it out!

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122 Erin March 4, 2013 at 10:59 pm

This recipe was amazing. I added celery cooked my own lentils. It reminded my daughter of tofurkey.

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123 Abs May 30, 2013 at 12:42 am

Hi Susan,

Just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m neither a vegan nor vegatarian but my husband and I love having meat free meals at least once a week (and this is great for our little one as well). Very delicious, thanks again!

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124 Robin June 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

This looks really good but I didn’t think you could have margarine or oil on ETL. Am I wrong?

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125 Susan Voisin June 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

You are absolutely right. That’s why the oil and margarine are listed as optional and a way of substituting them is given.

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126 Cheryl October 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

We made this last year and it was phenomenal! We’re making it again soon and I hope to blog it :)

Cheryl
http://thestylistquo.com

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127 Katerina November 14, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hello, this looks just amazing! But I am from France and so no idea what is
” 2 teaspoons seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)”
little bit more dicription of what herbes are in it?
Thank you;)

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128 Carolyn November 18, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Crikey this is so delicious. Looking forward to eating a proper lunch tomorrow! Thanks for the post. I’ll probably make this again in January as comfort food when it’s freezing outside!

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129 Deanna November 20, 2013 at 7:44 am

Can’t wait to try this! Is it best to chop or slice the mushrooms?

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130 Susan Voisin November 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

It doesn’t really matter, though if they’re large, I’d probably halve them and then slice them.

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131 Melissa November 29, 2013 at 4:54 am

I made this dish for my Vegan Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. One of my guests even asked for the recipe so I sent him the link. :)

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132 Katie November 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

Made this as the main dish for Thanksgiving. It was ok, but nothing amazing. Sort of bland and mushy. No one was interested in seconds or leftovers. Next time, I’ll go with a base more like a veggie stew/pot pie (maybe your celebration pot pie with pumpkin biscuits?) and try a different mashed potato recipe – something with more flavor.

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133 DanaeA January 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm

holy moly, this was delicious! i made it for New Year’s Day, and I think it’s going to be our new family tradition for New Year’s Day from now on. Thanks for posting!

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134 Zekili March 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm

What temperature should the oven be on for the baking part?

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135 Connie Fletcher April 23, 2014 at 1:14 pm

400… it tells you in the recipe! :)

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136 Connie Fletcher April 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm

This is hands down my favorite recipe for “Shepard’s Pie”. She’s right…there are no words….just lots of Mmmmmm’s going around the table.

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