Shepherd's pies are the epitome of winter comfort food. A lightly crisped shell of mashed potatoes over a bed of delicious and warm filling. Except, it's usually filled with chicken and cream sauce and there's not even a justifiable excuse for making that.  And bringing a frozen version in the house is out of the question-only happening if the husband is desperate and I'm not in the state boarders. As a pescatarian I was interested, nay, determined to create a healthy lentil shepherd's pie that the husband would agree to eat (Husband, with warm, caring sarcastic undertones "I don't think I'm being fed enough fiber and vegetables.") Filled with butternut squash, mushrooms and other goodies, this winter lentil shepherd's pie  is welcome back anytime.


The ingredients list looks overwhelimg. Seriously, there's a lot of veggies in here. But this dish still maintains the integredity of individual flavors of ingredients. Originally, I saw a similar recipe from the Cooking Light blogger connection...but that being said I didn't follow their recipe. I used what I had on hand and added extra veggies. I'm a dietitian. There are never too many veggies.

Winter Vegetable Lentil Shepherd's Pie

serves 4


  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 small yellow or white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3/4 C chopped mushrooms (I used button)
  • 3/4 C chopped cauliflower
  • 1 C dry dahl/lentils
  • 2 small carrots
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • fresh parsley (garnish)


  • 2 small baking potatoes
  • 1/3 C neufchatel cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper
 Directions: Cook the potatoes for the topping. Set aside and mash, then whip together with remaining topping ingredients. 
In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, carrots and butternut squash with oil. Cook until slightly softened and add remaining vegetables. Add remaining herbs and sauce. In a medium pot, cook dahl/lentils. Add to the large pot with winter veggies and allow flavors to combine. 

Add the lentil mix to  oven safe baking dish and spread evenly. Spoon mashed potato mixture over the lentils and cover evenly. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes, broiling towards the end of the time to make a crisp top. Chop fresh parsley to add over pie and serve.

This is probably one of the more labor intensive/multi step recipes I've made lately. And yet, it is the kind of dish I wish people would serve for vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving. As much as I love the holidays, being pescatarian, I'm pretty much eating side dishes from November to January at parties.

Would you serve a lentil shepherd's pie at your next holiday? What dishes do you make?