Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes | @naturallyella

This recipe is in partnership with Frontier Co-op. See below for more details.

I’m always hesitant to share a recipe that has been done many times before. There are countless recipes for lentil Shepherd’s pie floating around but I’m really in love with my version. The major differences: no mushrooms (sorry to the mushroom lovers) and bulgur. I love bulgur as a meat-swap. Most notably, in this chili. Bulgur, combined with lentils, a mirepoix and Frontier Co-op’s garlic powder, make for a stellar and hearty filling. Perfect for a Shepherd’s pie!

Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes | @naturallyella

Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 70 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Main Course


A hearty vegetarian main dish, this lentil shepherd’s pie using French lentils cooked with bulgur to add texture and heft to the overall dish. 



  • 1/2 cup French (Le Puy) Lentils
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup bulgur

Sweet Potato Topping

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (peeled)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (minced)
  • 2 stalks celery (minced)
  • 2 medium carrots (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour (or unbleached all purpose flour)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced thyme
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Frontier Co-op Organic garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth


  1. In a medium pot, combine the lentils with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the bulgur, cover, and cook for another 10 to 15- until the lentils and bulgur are tender and water is gone. 
  2. While lentils are cooking, peel sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook sweet potatoes until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl. Add cream and salt then mash until smooth. Set aside. 
  3. Heat oven to 425˚ F and set aside a casserole dish. 
  4. Heat a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the minced onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are fragrant and soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute more then add the salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and lentil mixture. Stir until well combined then add the broth. Bring to a boil and let thicken for a couple minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the mashed sweet potatoes. 
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are browning and the filling is bubbling. Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and freshly cracked black pepper. 


Tips & Tricks: Look for vegan Worcestershire- my favorite brand is Annie’s.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: bulgur, lentils, sweet potatoes.

Nutrition: see the information.


  • Calories: 375
  • Sugar: 11
  • Sodium: 693
  • Fat: 9.6
  • Carbohydrates: 64.3
  • Fiber: 10.9
  • Protein: 11.1
  • Cholesterol: 20.4

Step by Step

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie


This is one of those recipes that I’m pretty staunch in how I make it. The bulgur/lentil combination is perfect for me and I’m not shy about using heavy cream. However, there are a few options for those wanting to go a vegan/gluten-free route.

Vegan/Gluten-free: To make vegan, simply replace the heavy cream with non-dairy butter or an almond creamer. I’d shy away from using coconut milk/cream as the flavor wouldn’t work well with the filling.

Gluten-Free: It’s hard to have a gluten-free comparison for the bulgur so you could leave it out completely for substitute millet or quinoa- just account for the increased cooking time. Then replace the flour with a gluten-free alternative.

Root Vegetables: The traditional topping for Shepherd’s pie is regular whipped potatoes. This is great but I love sneaking more vegetables into the topping. Try mashed rutabaga, parsnips, or even cauliflower.

Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes and Bulgur | @naturallyella

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Frontier Co-op. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.