Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Herbed Tamari Gravy

Photography By: Darren Kemper

This Thanksgiving recipe is a classic crowd-pleaser. A lentil shepherd’s pie with herbed tamari gravy, it is a big hit during the holidays and at other family gatherings. Creamy mashed potatoes atop a savoury vegetable and lentil filling — this comfort food is easy to make and sure to please.


Recipe by Forward Food chef Amy Symington.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: 6


  • 5 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 tsp puréed garlic
  • 1 3/4 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 stalks diced celery
  • 1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup cooked brown lentils
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups halved cremini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)

For the Topping

  • 4 white potatoes, skin on, quartered, boiled or steamed until fork tender
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 5 cloves peeled roasted garlic
  • 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 bunch chopped fresh parsley

For the Gravy

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cremini mushrooms
  • 8 tsp flour (brown rice, whole wheat or spelt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp tamari
  • 1 clove puréed garlic
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (205˚C) and grease on 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
2. Heat a third of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add carrots and celery. Sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Add tomato paste, basil, coriander, paprika, rosemary, thyme, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add the lentils, quinoa, salt, and pepper and thoroughly combine. Divide mixture into prepared baking dish(es) and evenly pat down to form the bottom layer of the shepherd’s pie(s). Set aside.
7. Using the same sauté pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the
mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and evenly distribute over the bottom layer(s), followed by the peas.
8. For the topping, quarter the potatoes and boil or steam until fork tender. Allow to cool slightly.
9. Combine potatoes, milk, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using masher, mash until relatively smooth. Using a rubber spatula,
10. Spread the potato mixture over the pea and mushroom layer. Bake in the oven, uncovered for 40 minutes, until the edges are golden and crispy.
11. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
12. In the meantime, make the gravy. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, then add oil. Once heated, add mushrooms and sauté until slightly brown, about 4 minutes.
13. Stir in flour and herbs. Sauté for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Switch to a whisk, and slowly whisk in the water, making sure there are no flour clumps. Continue whisking, allowing gravy to gently simmer and thicken, for about 3 to 4 minutes.
14. Whisk in the tamari, garlic, salt, and pepper and simmer until gravy reaches desired consistency. Whisk in more water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, if needed. Remove from heat and serve 2 tbsp (30 mL) with each serving of shepherd’s pie.

A lentil shepherd's pie on a harvest table, with a slice taken out of it.

A lentil shepherd’s pie on a harvest table, with a slice taken out of it.



  • If freezing, do not bake the pie and freeze after assembly. Lay parchment paper on the
    top and cover tightly with plastic wrap. When ready to eat, remove from freezer, allow
    to thaw in fridge overnight and bake, covered for 50 minutes.
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