Food For Thought

RecipEASY: Shepherd's Pie with Lentils and Sweet Potatoes

RecipEASY: Shepherd's Pie with Lentils and Sweet Potatoes

Kayla Sheely, 09/18/2015

Whether you are looking to adopt a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet or are just trying to find healthier alternatives to some of your favorite dishes, we have great recipes on our site to suit your tastes! Some of our recipes can look a little intimidating, though. That’s why we created a weekly segment called RecipEASY — to make healthy eating easier. We (Kate and Kayla) make a recipe from our site and break it down to give you helpful tips and modifications. Since neither of us are professional chefs, we are always looking for ways to simplify healthy recipes! 

This week we made…

Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils and Sweet Potatoes


This recipe is filled with nutrient-dense goodness! We bought lentils, onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, peas, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegetable stock, tomato paste, soy milk, parsley, and thyme. Find the full measurements here.

We decided to start with the sweet potatoes because they needed to be in the oven the longest (recommended 1-1.5 hours). We didn’t realize until we had already started to peel and chop them, that we were actually supposed to cook the potatoes before peeling, slicing, and mashing them. Oops. 

Although we may not be the most professional in the kitchen, we have learned to improvise (you learn quickly when you try to cook in an office kitchen with limited supplies)! We arranged the sweet potato chunks in a glass pan, sprinkled a bit of water on them and covered them with foil so they wouldn’t dry out, and popped them in the oven. In the end, we kept them in the oven for about 45 minutes (until they were soft enough to mash).

After we figured out how to deal with our potato dilemma, we added 2.5 cups of no-salt vegetable stock to a cup of lentils to cook on the stove for 25 minutes. One cup of dried lentils equals roughly 2.5 cups cooked, so if you need a shortcut you could buy canned lentils.

While the sweet potatoes and lentils were cooking, we started chopping! Onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms were chopped first and  water sauteed for 5 minutes. Then we combined the lentils and saute mixture and added more vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, and corn).

Next, we added the tomato, tomato paste, thyme, and parsley. With so many ingredients, the stew was very thick. So in order to mix everything thoroughly, we added a half cup of water. We let this mixture simmer on low until the potatoes were done, and then transferred it into our casserole dish.

After the sweet potatoes were soft, we combined the potatoes with the soy milk and mashed. Kate spread the potatoes over our vegetable mixture and then put it in the oven.


 Thirty five minutes later…


It was done! This recipe made a lot of Shepherd’s Pie and would be great to make for lunches for the rest of the week. The many different kinds of vegetables helped mask any one flavor that we didn’t like (no strong mushroom or pea taste!). It’s a good way to sneak in some of those veggies!

Try it out for yourself, and let us know what you think!


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