Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Roasted Pumpkin Mash

In preparation for the cold months, I wanted to share this vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe. The pie is packed with energy boosting vitamins and minerals as well as plant-based proteins from the lentils. The pumpkin topping is a very good source of alpha and beta carotenes, which the body converts into cell-protective vitamin A. Your skin and immune system will be rather grateful for being fed such a boosting vegetable pie. A side of antioxidant-rich, dark green, leafy vegetables will be welcomed by your friendly gut bacteria too, and turn this dish into an autumn super supper.  Serves 3 – 4


600g Hokkaido pumpkin (cut into small chunks)
3-4 tbsp of olive oil
2-3 shallots (finely chopped)
1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
300g carrots (cut into 1cm cubes)
400g canned tomatoes 
400ml vegetable stock
200ml red wine
1-2 tbsp tomato puree
1 bunch of fresh thyme (2-3 tbsp)
1 twig of fresh rosemary
400g puy or green lentils (soaked over night)
60g organic mature cheddar (grated)
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste

Side suggestion:
200g Kale sautéed in olive oil ghee and garlic
(40-50g per person)


  1. Preheat the oven at 200C. Wash the Hokkaido pumpkin, cut in quarters and remove the seeds. Then chop the pumpkin into small 1-2cm chunks, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle with olive oil and a little sea salt, making sure each piece is coated with a little oil. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until soft. Check now and then, as the cooking time may vary. 

  2. Bring 400ml of water to the boil and dissolve the stock cube or powder. Peel shallots, garlic and carrots. Finely chop the shallots and garlic and cut the carrots into 1cm cubes. Finley grate the cheddar.

  3. Next, heat the 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot, add the chopped shallots and sauter at medium heat until golden, then add the garlic, carrots, 1-2 tbsp of tomato puree and sauter for another couple mins and deglaze with the red wine.  Next add the lentils, vegetable stock, 1 tbsp of fresh thyme and rosemary and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and set aside. 

  4. Once the pumpkin is roasted and nice and soft, place in a bowl, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and mash until smooth. Then carefully fold half the cheddar and 1/2 tbsp of fresh thyme into the mash, season to taste. Careful with the salt as the cheddar is quite salty already. Next pour the lentil mix into a casserole dish, leaving 2 cm to the top. Next spread the pumpkin mash on top of the lentils until well covered. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake at 180C for about 25-30 minutes.

  5. Shortly before serving, sauter the kale in some olive oil and garlic and serve together with the shepherd’s pie.


Diana Warrings is a Health & nutrition content producer, recipe developer & well-being cook.

Photo courtesy of and © Diana Warrings