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!
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!
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!
More vegan comfort food dinners
- Vegan Jambalaya
- Sloppy Joe Cornbread Casserole
- Vegan Mushroom Pepper Steak
- Easy Chili Mac
- Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
Be sure to sign up for my FREE Newsletter to be the first to get my NEW recipes! You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
Lentil Vegetarian Cottage Pie (dairy free, gluten free)
For the Filling:
- 2 cups green or brown lentils (cooked) (*see note)
- 1 ½ cups cubed butternut squash
- 1 ½ 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 ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- dash of pepper
- 2 cups broth (divided)
For the Potatoes:
- 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.
For the potatoes:
- 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.
For the filling:
- 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 ¼ 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 to press down too 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.