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Post by: Sonja | A Couple Cooks


Since most of our recipes are designed to be approachable, a disclaimer is in order for this one. This is a dirty-every-pan type of recipe, where your kitchen looks like a tornado hit it when you’re finished. (At least, ours did.) While it could be called simple, it is definitely not quick. That said, it’s absolutely worth the mess to end up with this hearty, satisfying vegetarian main dish. And looking forward to the holidays, what says celebration more than a huge pile of dirty dishes?

It’s Thanksgiving month, which is one of our favorite holidays since it’s all about cooking! Alex and I work together each year to create a fresh vegetarian Thanksgiving menu.  Our goal is to show that Thanksgiving recipes can both delicious and healthy at the same time, and that you don’t have to leave the table with a stomach ache. Instead of rich and processed food-based recipes, fresh and seasonal foods can be used to create a beautiful table. And, we love getting creative and thinking outside the turkey for a vegetable centered main dish.

This year, we’ve got a great lineup for you, starting with this vegetarian shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s pie is typically a base of meat and vegetables, covered with mashed potatoes; here we’ve substituted French lentils for the meat, along with umami-like flavors like miso and soy. It’s the first time we’ve used miso in a recipe, and it’s worth finding since it adds a savory, meat-y flavor punch to the vegetables.


Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Rosemary & Lentils

Serves: 8 to 10


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 11/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus additional for topping
  • 1 pound French lentils (2¼ cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 medium or 2 large carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons miso
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel the potatoes, then dice them and place them in a bowl. Chop the rosemary very finely, making sure it is as small as possible; set aside an additional small amount (about ⅛ teaspoon) for the topping. Once the water is boiling, slide the potatoes into the water and boil 10 minutes until tender (test with a fork). Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash the potatoes, then add milk, butter, sour cream, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and fresh rosemary. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the French lentils into a large saucepan or pot with 6 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 25 minutes until tender. Drain any excess liquid.
  3. Mince 2 cups onion. Peel and dice the carrots. Dice the celery and mince the garlic.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and saute for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute until translucent. Add the lentils, broth, miso dissolved in ½ cup water, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, corn, peas, sage, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Cook until most of the liquid cooks down but the filling is still moist, 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. Place the lentil filling in a 9 x 13” pan, then using a spatula, spread the mashed potatoes over the lentils in a smooth layer. Top with a thin layer of Parmesan cheese and the reserved rosemary. Bake for 25 minutes. If desired, broil for a few minutes until browned on top. Serve warm from the oven.


Reference Article: http://www.acouplecooks.com/vegetarian-shepherds-pie-with-rosemary-lentils/

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