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!

8 reviews

Vegetarian Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 50 mins Serves 4

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. 


    Recipe Notes

    Recipe Notes

    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.

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    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.