Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

There’s just something so comforting about Shepherd’s Pie. 

Hot, bubbly, nostalgically beige, and not remotely fancy- Shepherd’s Pie is everything I need on a cold day. 

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Particularly when it’s made with mushrooms, lentils, and tons of garlic. There are literally eight cloves of garlic in this recipe and I’m not remotely upset about it. In fact, I considered making it an even 10, but thought the good people of the internet would then find out how utterly obsessed with garlic I am, and I need to maintain some illusion of normalcy, you know? 

And yet, despite being a GARLICKY Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, this isn’t only for the garlic-obsessed. The garlic is balanced by the robust flavor of the mushrooms, the heavy handed use of fresh spices like rosemary, sage, and thyme, and the creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes. The garlic doesn’t overpower the dish, it just enhances it. 

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

To keep this meatless shepherd’s pie tasting every bit as savory and, well, meaty, as the ones I grew up eating, I used two secret ingredients: soy sauce and Dijon mustard. Just a tablespoon of each kicks this relatively average dish up several notches, without leaving a distinctly flavor of either in the final dish. It’s just savory, umami goodness.

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

To make this dish, you’re first going to need to cook some potatoes and lentils. While they boil, you’ll sautee the mushrooms, onion, carrots, herbs, and garlic. Broth and cornstarch get added to the veggies to make them thick and saucy, then the soy, mustard, and cooked lentils join the party, too. The potatoes get mashed with four of the eight cloves of garlic plus a handful of baby spinach and plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper, then everything gets piled into a casserole dish to take a quick trip under the broiler.

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

The end result is a thick, hearty, filling, hot, satisfying meal piled high with fluffy mashed potatoes and, yes, plenty of garlic. 

It would make the perfect entree for a holiday party or gathering this month, but is also worth the effort for a regular old weeknight dinner, too. Should you find yourself with leftovers, they reheat beautifully in the microwave for quick + easy meals all week! 

If you’re throwing a party and don’t think this bubbling goodness will be enough to feed everyone, try pairing it with sides like Roasted Kabocha Squash, Cabbage and Apple Slaw, and No-Knead Rosemary Dinner Rolls for a complete meal to feed a crowd! 

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

We’ve also played around with other mashed toppings like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and cauliflower, just to keep life interesting, so feel free to be creative with your Shepherd’s Pie!

If you make this Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, let me know how it turns out! Leave a comment below or take a picture and share it with me on Instagram! Stay warm, Friends! 

Garlicky Mushroom & Lentil Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4
A thick, bubbly, hearty Shepherd's Pie topped with fluffy mashed potatoes and broiled to bubbly perfection. This meatless meal is a great option for Holiday parties and weeknight dinners!
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 1 cup uncooked brown or green lentils
  2. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1lb Cremini mushrooms (or any combination of mushrooms you love)
  4. 1 large carrot
  5. 1 medium red onion
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  8. 1 Tablespoon each of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
  9. 4 cloves garlic
  10. 3 cups vegetable broth
  11. 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  12. 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos
  13. 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Mashed Potatoes
  1. 2lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 8 small)
  2. 4 cloves garlic
  3. 1 cup tightly packed baby spinach
  4. 1/2 cup milk of choice (cow's milk or unsweetened almond milk works best)
  5. 2 Tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. 1. Start by cooking the lentils, since they take the longest. Place lentils in a small pot, cover with at least 2-inches of water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let cook for 20-30 minutes, or until lentils are tender. When lentils are finished cooking, they will be drained and added to the filling mixture.
  2. 2. Next, Peel and dice the potatoes, and place them in a medium-sized pot. Cover with water, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
  3. 3. Peel and quarter the garlic cloves, and add them to the boiling water as soon as the potatoes are finished cooking. Drain the potatoes/garlic and place back in the pan (with the heat off). Roughly chop the spinach, and add it to the potatoes with all remaining ingredients, and mash to combine. Taste and add more salt/pepper as needed. Set aside while you make the filling.
  4. 4. Once potatoes are done (and lentils continue cooking), make the filling: thinly slice the mushrooms, and dice the carrot and onion into small pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add the mushrooms, carrots, onion, oil, salt, and pepper. Sautee for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned.
  5. 5. While mushrooms cook, finely dice the herbs and garlic. Measure out the vegetable broth, and stir the cornstarch into it, making sure there are no lumps.
  6. 6.Add herbs and garlic to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine, then immediately pour in broth/cornstarch mixture, soy sauce, and mustard. Increase heat to high, and stir until the mixture has thickened. Turn off the heat and add the drained lentils as soon as they're finished cooking.
  7. 7. Turn the oven on to BROIL. Pour filling into a large casserole dish and dollop with potatoes. Use a spoon to gently spread out the potatoes into an even layer. Top with an extra pinch of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Place the casserole dish onto a sheet pan (in case it bubbles over) and broil for 5-8 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly golden and filling is bubbling.
  8. 8. You can serve this immediately, though it will stay hot for a solid 25-30 minutes, since it's so thick. If you'd like to make it in advance, let the filling and potatoes cool completely before layering in your casserole dish. Then wrap with plastic and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbling.
  1. This dish serves 4-6 as a complete meal, but could serve 8-10 if you make it for a party where there are several other side dishes.
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