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Build a better-for-you shepherd’s pie with this lentil-mushroom filling and cauliflower mash

Lentil-Mushroom Farmer's Pie
Active time:45 mins
Total time:1 hour 45 mins
Active time:45 mins
Total time:1 hour 45 mins
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Shepherd’s pie was originally named for the inclusion of ground lamb, but this one — with all the comforts of the classic intact — uses lentils, so a farmer’s pie it is.

Read the story: Beans are good for the planet, for you and for your dinner table. Here’s how to cook them right.

Make Ahead: You can make the two components — the lentil-mushroom mixture and the cauliflower-potato topping — up to 1 week ahead of time, refrigerate them separately, and assemble and bake the night you’re ready to eat. Bring to room temperature before baking, or add an extra 10 to 15 minutes of baking time.

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.


  • 1 cup (7 ounces) dried brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • One (1-pound) head cauliflower
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup unsalted vegan or dairy butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Step 1

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

Step 2

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.

Step 3

While the lentils are cooking, cut the cauliflower into florets and remove the core and large stem. Set up a steamer basket over medium-high heat, add the potatoes and cauliflower and steam until very tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add the butter, turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and mash with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy.

Step 4

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Stir in the onion and carrots and cook, stirring, until they start to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms soften and exude their liquid and it mostly evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Step 5

Whisk the tomato paste into the broth and stir it into the mushroom mixture, along with the cooked lentils. Stir in the vinegar and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then turn off the heat and stir in the corn. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Step 6

Spread the cauliflower mixture on top of the lentil-mushroom mixture in the dish and bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping starts to brown on the edges. Serve hot.

Adapted from “Cool Beans” by Joe Yonan (Ten Speed Press, 2020).

Tested by Joe Yonan; email questions to

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

More Weeknight Vegetarian bean recipes from Voraciously:

Orecchiette With Borlotti Beans, Bitter Greens and Lemony Bread Crumbs

Chocolate, Red Bean and Rose Brownies


Calories: 360; Total Fat: 13 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 460 mg; Carbohydrates: 51 g; Dietary Fiber: 10 g; Sugars: 7 g; Protein: 13 g.