vegan fat free lentil shepherd's pie

Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Herbs, Sweet Potatoes, Frozen Vegetables

This 45 minute easy recipe features mashed white and sweet potatoes spread over a tasty filling made of mashed canned lentils, canned beans and tender frozen vegetables plus tomato paste.  

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The filling is nice because it is seasoned with herbs like: bay leaves, ground marjaram, ground thyme, poultry seasoning and salt and pepper.

Onion free, garlic free, dairy free, gluten free, meat free vegan shepherd’s pie

This vegan recipe has no onion, no garlic and no butter and is very gentle on the stomach.

With this whole foods healthy vegan dinner recipe, you can skip the oil, and make a delicious and healthy cholesterol free plant based lentil shepherd’s pie (also known as a cottage pie) from simple ingredients in about 45 minutes.  

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vegan lentil easy shepherd's pie

Beans are the thickener

The lentils and beans are mashed in water with the simmering seasonings, which makes the filling thick and flavourful, and not soupy. 

You can’t really see the beans.  No other thickener is required. 

Recipe for Fast and Healthy Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie (Vegan Cottage Pie) with Sweet Potato that Tastes:

  • simple
  • homey
  • filling
  • comforting

With a nice mix of textures

  • from mashed potatoes,
  • chunky vegetables, and
  • smooth (and hidden) canned lentils and beans.
orange sweet potato

What does Vegan Lentil and Vegetables Shepherd’s Pie look like?

  • A piece of this shepherd’s pie looks like a traditional shepherd’s pie.
  • It has a generous layer of hand whipped, dairy-free, mashed potatoes on top. Optionally including a small amount of orange sweet potatoes / yams.
  • A bottom layer of nicely seasoned bean mash and small frozen vegetables.
  • The lentils and beans are hidden, because you mash them when cooking them.  
  • This technique is fast, and allows the lentils to absorb the wonderful herbs.
Half eaten vegan shepherd's pie

How do you make quick vegan gluten free shepherd’s pie?

  • You can create this easy lentil shepherd’s pie on your stovetop, no baking required.
  • Ready to serve in approximately 45 min.
  • You’ll need simple ingredients: dried seasonings, potatoes, canned lentils, canned other beans of your choice (mixed beans like kidney, black, pinto beans work well) and frozen mixed vegetables.
  • Easy, right?

Lentils and beans

I used canned lentils and canned kidney beans here (both are rinsed and drained).  

I would also recommend black beans or pinto beans, because they seem to have milder flavours.  

lentils and kidney beans

Mash the lentils and beans into the simmering herbs

the filling colour looks similar to a traditional shepherd’s pie: 

mashed beans with seasonings

Steps to making an easy meat free lentil shepherd’s pie

  1. Peel and cube white and sweet potatoes and set them on the stove to boil.
  2. Add a generous amount of seasonings like marjaram, thyme, poultry seasoning and bay leaves to simmering water in a separate large wide pan.
  3. Mash canned lentils and beans into the simmering herbs and water, to make a bean mash that looks like a traditional shepard’s pie color.  Similar idea to re-fried beans in mexican food. 
  4. Add frozen veggies to the mash, and cook about 5 min, 
  5. stir in some tomato paste.
  6. Drain and mash the potatoes.
  7. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the beans and veggies.
  8. Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  9. Cut into pieces, triangles or squares, 
  10. Serve your lovely, healthy, comfort dinner pie.  We like it with Ketchup.

See recipe below for instructions with images. 

vegan shepherd's pie

Who would like this Low Calorie Vegan Shepherd’s Pie Recipe?

If you:

  • like traditional recipes veganized – this is based on a classic easy shepherd’s pie,
  • like mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes,
  • don’t mind a bit of muscle work – it takes some arm power to mash the potatoes, plus mashing the beans, 
  • like to lose weight, or stay slim, 
  • like seasonings like bay leaves, thyme, poultry seasoning, and marjoram, mmmmm,
  • like lentils and beans to be hidden in the background and not very noticeable,
  • like cooking with frozen vegetables,
  • need a meatless monday dinner idea,
  • like to reduce your cholesterol, with whole foods plant based meals,

Bonus, it is gluten free and is a dinner dish most kids and non-vegans enjoy as well!

Lentil cottage pie fat free

How many people are you feeding?

The recipe as written makes a lot of shepherd’s pie.  About 10 – 12 servings. Good for a party!  

But, if you are looking for less, half it and only use one can of beans. 

Can you freeze meat free shepherd’s pie?


Cut into pieces and freeze for later thawing in the microwave.

Lentil Shepherd's Pie Graphic
vegan lentil easy shepherd's pie

Easy Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato, Frozen Veggies, and Herbs, No-Garlic No-Onion No-Oil WFPB

Healthy simple herb seasoned vegan lentil shepherd's pie that can be made in 45 minutes on the stove. Comforting flavours. Fat free and healthy. Onion free and garlic free. Vegetarian cottage pie.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine healthy vegan, low fat vegan, meatless monday, no-oil vegan, on a budget, vegan family dinner, vegan family meals, vegan kids dinner, whole foods plant based
Servings 12 servings
Calories 359 kcal


  • stovetop
  • large pot for boiling cubed peeled potatoes
  • deep wide skillet, at least 10 inches wide and 3. 5 inches deep. for cooking lentil and bean mix and assembling the pie in
  • potato masher for mashing potatoes, and mashing beans in the pan

Instructions and Ingredients

Prep mashed potatoes for top of pie.

Put a large pot of water on high heat to boil. Peel the white and sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add all potatoes to the pot, with enough water to cover them. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium.

  • 7 cups gold potatoes Or white potatoes. Peeled and cubed. About 6 medium potatoes.
  • 2 cups sweet potato The orange coloured one. Peeled and cubed. 2 small sweet potatoes, or 1 medium/large.

While the potatoes boil, in a wide deep skillet / pot that is at least 10 inches wide, and 3.5 inches or more deep.

On medium-low heat, add the following in this order:

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp ground marjoram or 1 tsp oregano (marjoram is similar to oregano, but milder, and personally I much prefer marjoram)
  • 0.5 tsp ground thyme
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning adds such a comforting flavour
  • 1 tsp salt or seasoning salt
  • 0.25 tsp pepper

Use a whisk to stir the spices into the water. If the water is simmering, turn to low while you open the canned beans so it doesn't evaporate.

Add rinsed and drained beans, to the simmering seasonings, and mash them up with a potato masher, until they are no longer recognizable as beans.

  • 19 oz lentils 1 large 540 ml can, drained and rinsed
  • 19 oz mixed beans 1 large 540 ml can, drained and rinsed. A can with a mix of beans such as: pinto beans, romano beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas, chickpeas, black beans works really well. Or, a can of just one of those bean types would work fine too.

Once beans are mashed, stir in the frozen vegetables, and cook for 5 minutes on medium, stir frequently to prevent burning. Add 1/4 cup potato cooking water if needed to keep from sticking.

  • 3 cups mixed frozen vegetables small sizes, such as peas, corn, carrots, green beans mix.

Remove the 2 bay leaves.

Once potatoes are soft to a fork, drain them into a colander, rinse briefly with hot water (gets rid of excess starch).

Place potatoes back in their cooking pot, and mash vigorously with a potato masher or electric tool, until the mix of white and sweet potatoes are a smooth and whipped consistency.

Stir tomato paste into bean mixture.

  • 4 oz tomato paste 3/4 of small 156 ml can

Once the frozen vegetables are cooked, spread the bean mixture flat in the pan.

  • Spread mashed potatoes over top of the bean and vegetable mix.

Optionally, sprinkle with paprika, or even better smoked paprika if you can get some of that, or nutritional yeast.

    Cut into triangle shaped pieces and serve, we like to eat ours with ketchup.

    • Example amounts of white and orange sweet potatoes
      gold and sweet potatoes
    • Image of cubed potatoes and sweet potato boiling.
      boiling potatoes
    • Example of the dried herbs / seasonings in water, with bay leaves.
      simmering seasonings


    Potatoes take longer than sweet potatoes to boil, so chop and add the sweet potatoes to the water last. 
    Mashing the beans into the seasoned water adds moisture and masks the bean flavour. 
    Don't add the tomato paste until the mashed potatoes are ready, because it makes the bean mixture quite thick, and it starts to blurp in the pan. 
    If the bean and vegetable mixture gets too soupy (say you added water) then let it simmer until it becomes more firm before spreading the potatoes over top.
    Leftovers will taste even better than freshly cooked. 
    Lasts well in the fridge for days. 


    Nutrition Facts
    Easy Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato, Frozen Veggies, and Herbs, No-Garlic No-Onion No-Oil WFPB
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 359 Calories from Fat 9
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 1g2%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Sodium 435mg19%
    Potassium 1404mg40%
    Carbohydrates 71g24%
    Fiber 22g92%
    Sugar 5g6%
    Protein 19g38%
    Vitamin A 5633IU113%
    Vitamin C 37mg45%
    Calcium 90mg9%
    Iron 6mg33%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword canned lentils, casserole, cottage pie, easy, fat free, lentil pie, mashed potatoes, no-garlic, no-onion, sweet potato, vegan shepherd's pie, vegan sweet potato shepherd's pie
    Tried this recipe?Mention @veganenvy or tag #veganenvy!
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