Beef & Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Serves: About 6-8

Prep Time: 15-minutes; Cook Time: 40 mintues

Total Time: 55-minutes

Recipe developed by: Shannon Costello, RDN, LD with CFW


Potato Topping:

  • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (optional to peel), halved
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil (or unsalted butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Beef & Lentil Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup uncooked red lentils
  • 2- 2 ½ cups low-sodium beef or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, green beans, peas, carrots, etc.)

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  2. Place potatoes in a large stock pot and fill with water until covered by 1 inch. Heat stock pot over medium-high heat and bring to a low boil. Once boiling, add ½ teaspoon of salt and continue to boil for about 15-20 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potatoes.
  3. Once potatoes are cooked, drain the water from the stock pot leaving the potatoes in the pot. Add olive oil, remaining salt, and black pepper. Use a potato masher or large fork to mash the potatoes until smooth.
  4. While potatoes are boiling, make the filling. Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil. Add onions and saute for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds. Add ground beef and break up any large chunks into smaller grounds. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until completely browned and no longer pink.
  5. Add optional tomato paste, dried thyme, black pepper, and salt and stir to incorporate. Add uncooked lentils and 2 cups broth, and stir. Allow broth to come to a low boil, then cover the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low or until liquid is just simmering. Let lentils cook for about 12-15 minutes or until tender, but not mushy. Add additional broth if liquid evaporates before lentils are softened. Once lentils are tender, remove lid.
  6. While mixture simmers, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  7. Reduce heat to low if not already adjusted. Add frozen vegetable mixture to the skillet and stir to incorporate. Cover skillet allowing the mixture to thaw for about 4-6 minutes. If the filling is still too thick, add a splash of broth. If too thin, add 3-4 tablespoons of mashed potatoes and stir to thicken. Filling should have a gravy-like consistency and shouldn't bee "soupy".
  8. Transfer filling to prepared baking sheet. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the filling and evenly spread the potatoes with the back of a fork until the filling is completely covered.
  9. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned. Let slightly cool before serving.
  10. Allow leftovers to completely cool before storing in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.