Vegetarian Curry Shepherd’s Pie

This dish was created for the subreddit, /r/52weeksofcooking, where the theme was “Made Healthy.” I have always loved Shepherd’s Pie because it is an amazing comfort food but like most comfort foods, not the healthiest. In order to make this healthy, I decided to go with a vegetarian option and not use butter in the my mashed potatoes (the recipe says butter because I plan to make this again). I am really glad that I decided to go with a lot of spices in this because mashed potatoes without butter did not taste quite right. Other than that, this was absolutely delicious and I have been eating it all week.

Originally, this came out a bit liquidy but the mashed potatoes did a good job soaking it up. If you want it less liquidy, I suggest sweating the mushrooms prior to adding them. Also, if you plan to eat left overs, the mashed potatoes almost completely soaked up the liquid.

Also, I accidentally used a too much cheese which probably took away any health benefits this may have had. I could not help my self.

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • Course: Entree
  • Cuisine: Fusion
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 105 minutes

Filling Ingredients

1/2 Cup Dried Lentils
1 Bay Leaf
5 Cloves Garlic
3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Yellow Onion
1/4 inch Ginger
2 Hot Chilis (I used a serranos)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Star Anise
3 Carrots
3 Stalks Celery
8 oz Mushrooms
2 – 4 Tablespoons Curry Powder
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
2/3 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon Sugar

Garlic Mashed Potato Ingredients

5 – 6 Potatoes
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Cloves Garlic
2/3 Cup Milk
Kosher Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese


  1. Pour the Lentils on on a plate or baking sheet to pick out any bad lentils, rocks, or debris.
  2. Place the Lentils in a strainer and rinse them. Mince 1 Clove of Garlic, and in a medium pot, combine the Lentils, 1 Cup of water, Bay Leaf, and, minced Garlic.
  3. Bring the Lentils to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer.
  4. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes uncovered, adding water as needed to keep the Lentils barely covered with water, until tender.
  5. While the Lentils are cooking, start boiling water for the Potatoes.
  6. Peel or do not peel the potatoes, it is up to you but I usually do not. Cut up the Potatoes and add to the boiling water. Cook until tender (about 20 – 30 minutes).
  7. Strain the Lentils, remove the bay leaf, and return the Lentils back to the pot. Add about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher Salt. Start with 1/8 teaspoon, taste, and add more if needed. Set aside.
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Mince the other 4 Cloves of Garlic, dice the Yellow Onion, peel and mince the Ginger, and chop the Hot Chilis.
  10. In a large skillet, heat up the Olive Oil over medium heat. Add the minced Garlic, diced Yellow Onion, minced Ginger, chopped Hot Chilis, and Star Anise. Cook until fragrant (about 3 – 5 minutes).
  11. While cooking, peel and chop the Carrots, chop the Celery, and slice the Mushrooms.
  12. Add the chopped Carrots and Celery and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).
  13. Add the cooked Lentils, sliced Mushrooms, frozen Peas, and Curry Powder and cook for 1 more minute.
  14. Add the Yogurt and Milk; allow to come to a boil.
  15. Stir in the Sugar and Kosher Salt to taste.
  16. Add the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Set aside.
  17. By now the Potatoes should be done. Drain the Potatoes in a colander.
  18. Either add the potatoes back to the pot and mash or pass the Potatoes through a potato ricer back into the pot.
  19. Mince the Garlic.
  20. Add the Butter, Garlic, Milk, Kosher Salt, and Pepper. Milk together and add additional Milk and Kosher Salt to taste.
  21. Place the Mashed Potatoes on top of the filling.
  22. Shred the Cheddar Cheese and place on top of everything.
  23. Cook in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until everything is heated through and the Cheddar Cheese is melted.

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