Vegetarian shepherd

Vegetarian shepherd's pie with polenta topping

Category: Main meal | Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: About 1 hour


1 large stick celery, diced

2 carrots (about 85g (3oz) diced

115g (4oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped

1 tsp vegetable oil

200ml (7fl oz) home-made or reduced salt stock

350g (12oz) passata with chilli and peppers (available in cartons from supermarkets, or use passata with a pinch of dried chilli flakes)

400g can cooked green lentils, drained and rinsed

For the polenta topping

200ml (7fl oz) homemade or reduced-salt stock

55g (2oz) polenta

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

25g (1oz) reduced-fat Greek-style salad cheese

4 tbsp skimmed milk


1. Put the celery, carrots and mushrooms in a medium saucepan with the oil and fry over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften and turn golden.

2. Stir in half the stock and bring to the boil. Bubble down until reduced by half then stir in the passata, lentils and remaining stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and the mixture quite thick. Leave to cool.

3. Meanwhile, make the topping, put the stock in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Slowly stir in the polenta and simmer gently until thickened. Beat in the basil, cheese and enough skimmed milk to give a soft dropping consistency.

4. Spoon the vegetable mixture into an ovenproof dish and top with the polenta.

5. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6. Reheat pies for 20 minutes until golden brown and piping hot.

Cook’s tips

  • The pie can be covered and chilled for two days before re-heating. Or freeze for up to one month. Thaw overnight in fridge before re-heating.
  • The lentil mixture can be used as a vegetarian bolognese-style sauce, served over wholemeal spaghetti or spooned into baked sweet potatoes.

Vegetarian shepherd's pie


Nutritional information

Vegetarian shepherd's pie