Vegetarian Cottage Pie made with lentils, butternut squash, cauliflower and spices in a rich savory tomato sauce and topped off with creamy carrot mashed potatoes. This is comfort food at it’s best, and it’s healthy too! Grab a spoon and dig in!
Cooler temps and and a sun that sets earlier and earlier every day calls for comfort food. I made this Vegetarian Cottage Pie last winter and remembering how much I loved it, I knew I had to make it again as soon as the weather started to change. It’s full of healthy vegetables baked in a savory sauce and topped with creamy mashed potatoes with a twist. Vegan and Gluten Free! Grab a spoon!
What is Cottage Pie?
Cottage Pie is typically made with ground beef, or ground lamb in the case of Shepherd’s Pie, with a crust of mashed potatoes. Generally, you’ll find onion, carrots and sometimes peas mixed in with the beef. Well, we don’t do meat around here, so I’ve used lentils in my version. I also switched up the veggies to make it more interesting, using butternut squash and cauliflower – two of my faves! I do love carrots though, so opted to put them in with the potatoes which gives them a slightly sweet element that’s so good!
Perfect for Leftovers
Cottage Pie was originally created to use up and reinvent leftovers. And it still works perfectly that way today. You could easily make the lentils ahead of time and even the squash and cauliflower. If you make the potatoes in advance, you may need to add some plant milk, heat them, and whip them up to get them fluffy again.
You could even make the entire casserole a day or two ahead and then pop it in the oven when you’re ready for dinner. You’ll need to bake it longer than the recommended 20 minutes if you are starting from cold.
And if you end up with leftovers of this Vegetarian Cottage Pie, consider yourself lucky because I think it’s even better the next day!
Lentil Vegetarian Cottage Pie
I hope you enjoy this Vegetarian Cottage Pie as much as we do. If you try it, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback and star rating. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @veggie_inspired and #veggieinspired so I’m sure to see it. Enjoy!
- 2 cups green or brown lentils (cooked) (*see note)
- 1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp gluten free tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- dash of pepper
- 2 cups broth (divided)
- 4 cups cubed potatoes (preferably Yukon Gold)
- 2 carrots (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- non-dairy milk to thin (if needed)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes and carrots in a pot of water (enough to cover). Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are very soft. Drain and return to the pot. Add the minced garlic, olive oil and salt. Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables until smooth (the carrots may not get as smooth as the potatoes and that's ok, just do your best to mash them as best as possible.
Place butternut squash and cauliflower in a pot and add enough water to cover the vegetables. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 15-20 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Drain. (You can do this step at the same time you are cooking the potatoes and carrots.
In a large pan on the stove, heat 1/4 cup of vegetable broth. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add more broth 1 tablespoon at a time if they start to stick.
Add the tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, tamari, thyme and salt & pepper. Stir to combine and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add the remaining vegetable broth, lentils and squash/cauliflower mixture and stir to combine. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is thick, but saucy.
Pour the lentil filling into a 2.5 quart casserole dish and spread flat. Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top and gently spread until even. Be careful not too press down to hard or the potatoes will end up in the filling instead of on top of it. (Alternately, you could let the filling cool first before adding the potatoes to the top, but I'm never that patient.)
Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
*To cook lentils - add 1 cup of dry lentils to 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender, but still a bit firm, not mushy. Leftover lentils work perfectly in this recipe, so make them ahead of time to save time (and pots) on the day you make this Cottage Pie.
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