This hearty Instant Pot Shepherd’s pie is vegan and gluten-free and is made with nutritious lentils, mushrooms and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
When it comes to classic comfort dishes, a shepherd’s pie (also known as a cottage pie) always comes to mind. While the traditional recipe uses minced lamb or beef cooked in gravy and baked with a layer of mashed potato on top (and sometimes cheese), I wanted to try making a vegan and vegetarian-friendly version using my Instant Pot for our #MeatlessMonday dinner.
The variation without meat or dairy is often referred to as a Shepherdess pie, and our recipe uses lentils, mushrooms, vegetables and tomatoes as the key filling ingredients. I love adding sun-dried tomatoes to the filling for that extra rich sweet and umami flavor.
WHICH LENTILS TO USE?
I cooked with dried green lentils, but you can also use canned lentils here. I would say about 2-3 cans of pre-cooked lentils would be similar to what you would yield from the dried ingredients. Simply rinse and use (I’ve provided cooking time adjustments in the instructions below in the recipe card).
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT SHEPHERD’S PIE
Making this lentil Shepherd’s pie with the Instant Pot is simple and easy, and you can make both the filling and the potatoes in the pressure cooker (not at the same time though!). It turned out delicious and was great as leftovers the next day.
Before you start cooking
Please note, you will need an oven or a grill to get that lovely crust top, but you can easily layer the lentil filling in a casserole dish and top it with the mashed potatoes without any further baking. This would be a good method for students or people with limited kitchen facilities. For this recipe, you will need a large (deep) round or rectangular casserole dish or a deep oven tray.
Find the full recipe ingredients, instructions and nutrition breakdown in the recipe card below and here are some handy step-by-step photos.
Part 1. Pre-soak the lentils and dice the ingredients. Saute onions, carrots and celery, then add the lentils and other items and stir through. Cook on HIGH pressure for 10 minutes with 10-15 minute natural release.
Part 2. Transfer the pre-cooked lentils to a baking dish. Please note, the lentils will continue to cook in the oven. Cook the potatoes: on the stovetop while the lentils are in the Instant Pot or in the Instant Pot once you remove the lentils. Mash it and spread over the lentils. Pop in the hot oven (close to the grill) for 10-15 minutes.
Serve this delicious lentil Shepherdess pie with a side salad. It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, make sure to reheat well.
MORE INSTANT POT VEGAN RECIPESPrint
This hearty Instant Pot Shepherd’s pie is vegan and gluten-free friendly, and is made with nutritious lentils, mushrooms and vegetables, topped with creamy mashed potatoes.
For the lentil filling
- 1 + 2/3 cups of green dried lentils (soaked for 15 minutes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (you can used some oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
- 1/2 large onion, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced into small cubes
- 2 celery sticks, diced into small cubes
- 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 3.5 oz / 100 g of cremini white mushrooms (Swiss brown)
- 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (about 7 tomato halves)
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 can (400 g) tinned tomatoes (with juice, chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1.25 cup (310 ml) vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or wheat-free Tamari
- 1/4 cup (60ml) red wine
- 1–2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder or flakes (caynne is fine)
For the potato crust
- 2.5 lb / 1kg white potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) almond milk or regular milk (rice milk is also okay)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (ghee or butter for non-vegan version)
- Extra salt to taste
- Soak the lentils in a pot/bowl of cold water for 15 minutes, while you’re preparing all the ingredients. If using canned lentils, skip this process. Then strain the lentils before using.
- Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté function key. Add the olive oil, onions, carrots and celery and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Press Cancel, to stop the Sauté function, then press the Manual/Pressure Cook setting, HIGH pressure and set to 10 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up the pressure and the cooking process will begin.
- If using canned lentils, rinse the legumes under cold water and add to the mixture and set the IP to 4 minutes instead of 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, peel and dice the potatoes. You can either cook the potatoes on the stove while the lentils are cooking in the pressure cooker or you can cook the potatoes in the IP in the second stage. See both methods below.
- At this stage, preheat the oven to 200 C / 400 F.
- Once the Instant Pot timer goes off on the lentils, allow 10 minutes for natural pressure release and then use the quick release method (turn the sealing lever to ‘Venting’ to let off the rest of the steam/pressure).
- Open the lid, mix through and transfer the lentil mixture to a large casserole dish or a baking tray.
- Cook potatoes on the stove. Cover potatoes in a pot with cold water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Leave 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid in the pot with the potatoes and strain the rest. Add the almond milk (or other milk of choice), onion and garlic powders, pepper, and olive oil (or butter, if using that) to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes really well into a puree and taste for salt. Add extra, if needed.
- Cook potatoes in the Instant Pot. Rinse the inner pot with water after cooking the lentils.
- Add the potatoes with 2 cups of water and salt. Set to Manual, HIGH pressure, for 5 minutes. Once the timer goes off, use the quick release to let off the pressure/steam. Leave 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid in the pot and strain the rest. Add the almond milk (or other milk of choice), onion and garlic powders, pepper, and olive oil (or butter, if using that) to the potatoes. Mash the potatoes really well into a puree and taste for salt. Add extra, if needed.
- Finish the pie. Spread the mashed potato puree over the lentil mixture in the casserole dish. The easiest way to do this is to scoop a few batches of the puree and pop them in the different spots over the top. Then use a spoon or a spatula to flatten and smooth the puree. Make small indents, or waves in the crust with a spoon. Pop in the oven (close to the grill) and bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a green salad or vegetables.
- Serving Size: 1 big scoop
- Calories: 462
- Sugar: 7 g
- Sodium: 1314.5 mg
- Fat: 10.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 75.1 g
- Fiber: 12.3 g
- Protein: 19.7 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Lentils, Vegan,