Healthy shepherds pie

Warming meals neednt be fattening. Try food writer Liz OKeefes healthier version of shepherds pie
By Liz O'Keefe
Healthy shepherds pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 150 g split red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried red chilli flakes, optional
  • 500 g minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 250 g carrots, grated
  • 2 fluffy potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled and chopped
  • 800 g parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp curly parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 beetroot, peeled and grated

Tips and Suggestions

To make a lump free mash, make sure you chop the potato and parsnips to the same size before boiling. This way they will cook evenly and its less likely to have bits.


1. Place the lentils in a saucepan and fill with three times as much cold water as the lentils. Bring to the boil and then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until fluffy. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a separate large pan, heat half of the oil and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Stir in the onions and sugar and fry, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle in the chilli flakes (if using) and then add the mince, stirring to break up the clumps of meat constantly until the mince is browned all over. This should take 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée, and then pour in the white wine. Bring the heat to high and hold on a high simmer for 2 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the Worcestershire sauce, carrots and 100ml water and mix to combine, then season.

3. Simmer the lamb mixture on a low heat, covered, for 15-20 minutes, checking throughout the cooking time and adding more water if the mixture becomes dry. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

4. Place the parsnips and potatoes in a separate pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain the parsnip mixture and mash with the remaining tablespoon of oil and the butter. Stir in the nutmeg and parsley and season well. Roughly mix in the grated beetroot and set aside.

5. Add the drained lentils from step 1 to the mince mixture then pour it into a large ovenproof casserole dish and top with the mash. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the topping is golden and the pie is piping hot. Sprinkle a little more parsley over the top and serve.

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