French vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with lentils


This recipe is inspired from the French version of the British “Shepherd’s pie”, which is called Hachis Parmentier (as Parmentier made French people eat potatoes, in a nutshell). Usually, it is made with one layer of mash potato and one layer of ground beef.

Here I propose a meat-less version. I replace the ground beef with lentils, mushrooms, carrots and soy proteins (optional).

Easy to prepare and healthy, it’s a nice comforting meal for cold winter days!

French vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with lentils

Servings 4
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins


  • 950 g potatoes suitable for making mash
  • 200 g beluga lentils or otherwise French green lentils
  • 2 carrots
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 60 g textured soy proteins optional
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 vegetable broth cube
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cl red wine
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil or butter


  • Rince the carrots, cut them into sticks and then finely chop the sticks into small cubes.
  • Fry the carrots in a frying pan with a high rim (or in a large pot otherwise) in a drizzle of olive oil, stir for 1 to 2 minutes and then cook over medium heat with a lid.
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the carrots. Cook for another 5 minutes, still with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
  • Clean the mushrooms and slice them.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 additional minutes.
  • Heat 1 liter of water.
  • Rinse the lentils in a fine strainer with cold water and incorporate them in the pan. Pour hot (but not boiling) water over the lentils to cover them.
  • Add the vegetable stock cube and bay leaves, and cook for about 25-30 minutes over medium heat with a lid on. Stir from time to time and check if more water is needed.
  • In the meantime, wash and peel the potatoes.
  • Cut the potatoes into pieces and steam or boil them until they are just cooked. They need to remain a little firm.
  • In a bowl, pour the soy protein and cover with boiling water. Let the soybeans swell for 15 minutes. If you don’t have any, you can skip this step.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, remove any excess water with a strainer.
  • Add the soy protein, tomato purée and soy sauce to the preparation and heat for 2 minutes.
  • Then add the wine, thyme and rosemary and simmer for a good 5 minutes over low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • While the preparation is simmering, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork and then make a coarse mashed potato. Add a little oil or butter and if you wish a little milk (cow’s milk or oats). Do not make it too runny.
  • Once you have the right consistency for the mash, season with grated nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • In a gratin dish with fairly high edges (I use a 18 x 25 cm and 6 cm high dish), place the lentil mixture at the bottom of the dish.
  • Then, using a spatula, spread the mash to make a second layer.
  • With a fork, make vertical streaks on your mash (or other pattern…).
  • Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs, place small knobs of butter or pour a little oil on the breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C.
  • Enjoy hot!


You can add carrots or sweet potatoes to the puree, for example.
For more delicacy, replace the breadcrumbs by a flour/nut/parmesan crumble, or simply grated cheese!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Lentils, Potato

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