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Healthy Shepherd Pie

Shepherd pie, the classic British dish of savory ground meat and creamy mashed potatoes, is pure comfort food. However, traditional recipes can be on the heavier side. Here’s how to make a delicious and nutritious version that won’t leave you feeling weighed down.

The Base: Flavorful Veggie Power

Instead of ground beef or lamb, we’ll pack in the vegetables. Here’s what gives this healthy shepherd’s pie is delicious depth:

  • Lentils: These hearty legumes are a superb source of protein, fiber, and iron, keeping you full and satisfied. Choose brown or green lentils for the best texture.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms add a rich, slightly meaty flavor and satisfying texture.
  • The Classics: Onions, carrots, and celery create the aromatic foundation for the filling.
  • Flavor Boosters: Garlic, fresh herbs (thyme and rosemary are perfect), tomato paste, and a splash of red wine or broth create a complex, savory flavor profile.

The Topping for Shepherd Pie

Mashed potatoes are the star of the show, but let’s lighten them up:

  • Potato Power: Use a mix of starchy russet potatoes for fluffiness and sweet potatoes for a touch of natural sweetness and added vitamins.
  • Swap the Butter: Instead of heavy cream and butter, use olive oil for a heart-healthy touch, and a splash of unsweetened almond or soy milk for creaminess.
  • Flavor Enhancers: A pinch of garlic powder, salt, and pepper brings out the best in your mashed potato topping.

The Magic of Cast Iron (Optional)

While not essential, cooking your healthy shepherd pie in a cast-iron skillet offers some fantastic benefits:

  • Superior Crust: Cast iron delivers a beautifully golden crust on the potato topping.
  • Even Cooking: Cast iron retains heat like a champ, ensuring your filling is evenly cooked.

Tips for Success

  • Seasoning is Key: Don’t be afraid to layer those flavors throughout the cooking process. Taste and adjust seasonings as you go.
  • The Power of Leftovers: Healthy shepherd’s pie reheats beautifully, making it a fantastic meal-prep option.
  • Get Creative: Top with a sprinkle of cheese or nutritional yeast. Add other veggies like peas or parsnips for variety.

The Reward

This healthy shepherd’s pie delivers all the warmth and satisfying flavors of the traditional dish but leaves you energized rather than weighed down. It’s the perfect reminder that healthy food doesn’t have to sacrifice taste or comfort.

Healthy Shepherd Pie

Healthy Shepherd Pie

Even though getting used to cooking with a cast iron skillet can be tough, it does not mean that you can’t still enjoy recipes you love. With this recipe you will be able to enjoy a meatless version of a shepherd’s pie that still tastes great
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • Cast Iron Skillet


  • Dash of Salt and Pepper for Taste
  • 2 Cups of Vegetable Broth Divide Into 2, 1 Cup Servings
  • ½ Cup of Lentils Dry
  • 1 Carrot Large In Size and Diced Into Fine Pieces
  • ½ of an Onion Chopped Finely
  • ¼ Cup of Barley Pearl
  • 1 teaspoon of Yeast Extract
  • ½ teaspoons of Water
  • 3 Potatoes Chopped Into Small Pieces
  • ½ Cup of Walnuts Chopped Coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon of Flour All Purpose


  • Using a large sized cast iron skillet over low to medium heat add in your broth, lentils, barley and yeast extract and stir until mixed. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.
    ½ Cup of Lentils, 1 teaspoon of Yeast Extract, ¼ Cup of Barley
  • In a separate medium sized cast iron skillet, bring together your vegetable broth, walnuts, onions and carrots and allow to cook until the vegetables are still tender. This should take about 15 minutes.
    ½ of an Onion, ½ Cup of Walnuts, 1 Carrot
  • In another separate cast iron pot, bring some water and salt together and bring to a boil. Place your potatoes into this pot and allow them to cook over medium to high heat for 15 minutes or until they become tender. Once tender drain the potatoes and mashed them until they reach the consistency you want.
    Dash of Salt and Pepper for Taste, 3 Potatoes
  • Add in your flour and water to your carrot mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Combine your carrot mixture with your lentil mixture next and season with as much salt and pepper as you like. Place your cast iron skillet with your mixture into your oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is nice and brown. Remove from oven and serve while still piping hot.
    2 Cups of Vegetable Broth, 1 teaspoon of Flour, ½ teaspoons of Water
Keyword Cast Iron Skillet, pie, Shepherd’s Pie
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