Vegetarian twist on a classic Shepherd’s Pie with lentil stew, swiss chard, topped with mashed cauliflower/potatoes and slow roasted tomatoes.

The #SundaySupper theme this week is Thanksgiving leftovers. What? We’re planning leftovers before we’ve even had the meal?? I can only say that we’re planners here at #SundaySupper Central, and we’ve got your back. The array of dishes this week offers up some really creative ways to use just about anything left over from your amazing Thanksgiving meal.

Shepherd’s Pie is a classic English dish from the 1800’s that combined leftover lamb or mutton with vegetables and gravy in a casserole, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked until browned and bubbly. Some countries call these savory pies Cottage Pies, from the peasants who commonly made these pies in their cottages; but the English, sticklers for details, typically reserve the name Cottage Pie for those pies specifically using beef since shepherd’s generally herd lambs, and rarely cows. Just to add to the confusion, over time here in this country, a Shepherd’s Pie has come to mean any savory meat pie topped with mashed potatoes, but since we consume far more beef than lamb, most Shepard’s Pies in the US use beef. Still with me?

Well I took it a step further and made it vegetarian with layers of a lentil stew and Swiss chard.

Truthfully, it’s a pretty un-soupy stew to allow me to serve it on a plate, but feel free to add more broth if you wish. Just remember to re-balance the seasoning.

To complete the heresy (to some) of redefining a classic dish, and at the risk of offending mashed potato fans (I’m thinking of you Kevin), I substituted whipped roasted cauliflower with only a little potato in lieu of the more traditional mashed potatoes. The roasted tomatoes are added on top instead of in the lentil stew (where I would normally put them), more for the presentation than anything else. But once you dig in, the tomatoes will find the stew and all will be well :-).

Shepherd's Pie : The Wimpy Vegetarian

For those who really want a less vegetarian dish (I’m thinking of my husband here), I recommend adding sausage to the lentil stew. And since it’s Thanksgiving and all, I guess I should recommend turkey sausage, but I personally think pork sausage would be much better….

In this season of thanksgiving, I have much to be thankful for in my life. I have warm, dry shelter over my head, a well laden table, family I love and who mostly loves me, and good health to enjoy all of this with. I’m also thankful for having this outlet to express myself, and thankful you all show up when I do. I wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and hope you also have much to be thankful for. Safe travels to you on the roads of life.

Lentil Stew Shepherd’s Pie

     by Susan Pridmore

     Serves 4


Roasted Tomatoes

  • 3 tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Lentil Stew Layer

  • 3 cups of vegetable broth or water, divided
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup celery
  • 1 cup yellow onion
  • 1 serrano chile, about 3/4 tablespoon minced (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/8 t dried thyme
  • 1/8 t dried oregano
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water

Swiss Chard Layer

  • 2 large bunches swiss chard
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots sliced, about 3 tablespoons
  • 1/4 salt, to taste
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoon crème fraiche

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower Layer

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 russet potato, sliced into 1/2″ thick slabs
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 1/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • salt, pepper to taste


Roasted Tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half across their width and place them on the lined baking sheet, with the cut side facing up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
  3. Roast for 90 minutes to 2 hours, or until puckered and slightly dry.

Lentil Stew Layer

  1. Bring 2 cups of broth to a simmer while you give the dried lentils a good rinse. Add the lentils to the broth, cover and reduce to a very low simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the celery, onion, pepper, carrots, dried herbs, and salt. Sauté until tender and very fragrant.
  3. Add 2 cups of the cooked beans, or more if desired, and reserve the rest for another use. Add the cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, wine, and water. Simmer for 10 minutes to mingle the flavors.
  4. Ladle onto the bottom of a casserole dish.

Swiss Chard Layer

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Remove the toughest part of the bottom stem and discard. Slice the swiss chard across its width in 1 1/2″ strips; slice again lengthwise. Add the chard to the boiling water, reduce to a simmer, and simmer until tender – about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain well, squeezing out most of the water if necessary.
  3. In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter and sauté the shallot until tender. Add the cooked chard, salt, nutmeg, and crème fraiche. Stir until well combined, and arrange in the casserole dish on top of the lentil stew.

Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower Layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the cauliflower into small pieces, toss in olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Simmer the potato slices in water until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Combine the cauliflower and potato in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade, and purée until as smooth as possible. Add the cream, crème fraiche, and cheese. Mix well in the food processor and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Spoon around the edges of the casserole, leaving a circular area open in the middle. Layer that area with the roasted tomatoes.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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Now go check out these amazing dishes from the rest of my #SundaySupper family for your Thanksgiving weekend! Because who can’t use more ideas for leftovers :-)

Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Wine Pairings for the Recipes Featured

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on November 18.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.

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46 Responses to “Lentil Stew Shepherd’s Pie: #SundaySupper” Subscribe

  1. Megan - I Run For Wine November 18, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    YUM! I love lentils but I never thought to put them in a pot pie!! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
    Megan – I Run For Wine recently posted..Individual Turkey Pot Pie for what to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers #SundaySupperMy Profile

  2. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts November 18, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    So pretty, what a great shepherds pie!
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts recently posted..Turkey Tamale Pie #SundaySupperMy Profile

  3. Jen @JuanitasCocina November 18, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Gorgeous! I don’t think I’d even need the sausage!
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted..Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls ~ Thanksgiving Leftovers #SundaySupper!My Profile

  4. veronica gantley November 18, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    I love this recipe. I am pinning it for lent. You have all the great recipes. Hubbies gona love this one. Lentils are very satisfying and are a wonderful way to replace the meat in a lot of meals.
    veronica gantley recently posted..Leftover Turkey and Sausage Gumbo for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  5. Amanda @ MarocMama November 18, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    This is a great healthy though suffice to say my family would be in rebellion if I gave it to them! May have to ease them into it with some added sausage first!
    Amanda @ MarocMama recently posted..Savory Sweet Potato Bread Pudding #SundaySupperMy Profile

  6. apuginthekitchen November 18, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    How wonderful, love shepherds pie and this meatless version is great. The cheesy cauliflower potato mash is fantastic. Will be making this!
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Classic Pecan Pie With A TwistMy Profile

  7. Susan 30A EATS November 18, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    What a great use for lentils and Thanksgiving leftovers!

  8. Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen November 18, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Great recipe!! I have some vegetarian friends I will be sharing this with immediately :)
    Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen recently posted..Leftover Turkey Soup for What to do with #Thanksgiving #Leftovers #SundaySupperMy Profile

  9. Patti November 18, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    What a great veggie dish! I love those roasted tomatoes on top!
    Patti recently posted..Thanksgiving Leftovers #SundaySupper – Turkey & Mushroom RisottoMy Profile

  10. Martin D. Redmond November 18, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    This recipe looks fabulous. One of my goals this year is to go meatless at LEAST once a week! And this looks like an amazing way to go meatless on a weekend (which I’ve yet to do)!
    Martin D. Redmond recently posted..Wines To Pair with Thanksgiving Leftovers #SundaySupperMy Profile

  11. Terra November 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Oh wow, what a great way to change up a wonderful comfy dish! Love the idea of adding mashed cauliflower, would be a fantastic flavor combo! Hugs, Terra
    Terra recently posted..Butternut Squash Scones with Amaretto Soaked RaisinsMy Profile

  12. Conni Smith November 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Oh! The cauliflower looks amazing in this! What a great alternative dish!
    Conni Smith recently posted..Kartoffelpuffer – German Potato Pancakes from your Thanksgiving Leftovers | #SundaySupperMy Profile

  13. Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) November 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    This is the best shepherds pie I’ve seen recently! Love lentils!
    Sarah Reid, RHNC (@jo_jo_ba) recently posted..Chocolate Peanut Butter Potato Frosting for a Leftover #SundaySupperMy Profile

  14. Dara November 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    This looks delicious! Lentils are such a healthy addition to any meal.
    Dara recently posted..Leftover Turkey and Vegetable Hash – #Sunday SupperMy Profile

  15. kale November 18, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    looks delicious (even without meat!) love the idea of topping it with roasted tomatoes. :)
    kale recently posted..“the ice cream AND CHERRY”My Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian November 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

      Thanks so much!! The tomatoes add a nice ‘umami’ flavor to the dish in lieu of the meat :-)

  16. Cass @foodmyfriend November 18, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

    I love that you’re doing this for the veggie! What a great mix of ingredients :) Will definately make this this week!
    Cass @foodmyfriend recently posted..Sprinkle Cake PopsMy Profile

  17. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) November 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    LOVE all the components! Sounds like my kind of dish!
    Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) recently posted..Curried (Leftover) Turkey Salad #SundaySupperMy Profile

  18. Sheila November 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    I love shepherd’s pie. This is a great way to use leftovers. Thanks for sharing.
    Sheila recently posted..#SundaySupper: Leftover Mashed Potatoes and Beef CroquettesMy Profile

  19. The Wimpy Vegetarian November 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    Thanks so much!! Me too. I do have some fish, but I’m mostly vegetarian and am finding so many dishes I love. Thanks for stopping by :-)
    The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..#SundaySupper: Lentil Stew Shepherd’s PieMy Profile

  20. Laura Hunter November 19, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I love lentils so much. Because of finances we only eat meat 3 times a week and I love finding new lentil recipes to add to the mix.
    Laura Hunter recently posted..Turkey and Stuffing Pasty #SundaySupperMy Profile

  21. diabeticFoodie November 19, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I love making turkey lentil soup with Thanksgiving leftovers, but I’ve never thought to put it in shepherd’s pie. Brilliant! (And I think we have the same towels, by the way!)
    diabeticFoodie recently posted..Spicy Coconut Turkey Soup for #SundaySupperMy Profile

  22. Lane @ Supper for a Steal November 19, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    This is the kind of shepards pie I could get behind. I’m not one for the traditional, but this vegetarian version sounds delicious!
    Lane @ Supper for a Steal recently posted..Weekly Menu Review for Thanksgiving WeekMy Profile

  23. CJ at Food Stories November 19, 2012 at 5:33 am #

    Love the lentils & mashed cauli .. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too :-)
    CJ at Food Stories recently posted..Top 3 Food Photos for NovemberMy Profile

  24. Sarah November 19, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    I don’t think I would miss the meat at all. It looks hearty and so good. Yumm.
    Sarah recently posted..Thanksgiving Hangover Sandwich #SundaySupperMy Profile

  25. Anne @ Webicurean November 19, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Boy does this sound good!
    Anne @ Webicurean recently posted..Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas #SundaySupperMy Profile

  26. Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips November 20, 2012 at 3:31 am #

    I have made mashed cauliflower before and loved it, so I think using it on any kind of shepherd’s pie is a wonderful idea.
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips recently posted..Mama Mondays 11-19-12 – New Mama Recharge with @FindUrBalanceMy Profile

  27. Faye Leong November 24, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    Awesome Shepard Pie! Love those roasted tomatoes on top, looks stunning and also all the ingredients. Perfect leftover recipe!
    Faye Leong recently posted..Moroccan Chicken Salad with Rice – Thanksgiving Leftovers #SundaySupperMy Profile

  28. Mary Ellen December 16, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Is there a good substitute for the white potatoes? I don’t eat white potatoes as they are not good for someone who has arthritis (they trigger the inflammatory process) so I stay away from them.

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