So it’s National Vegetarian Week here in the UK so it’s a great opportunity to be inventive in the kitchen. It’s also a brilliant time of the year to reduce your meat intake and to introduce more veggie meals into your diet as summer is just around the corner. I can smell sunshine waiting to peak out of those rainy clouds and I can’t wait.
In the past last couple of days, the weather has been like monsoon season. Never ending rain and the slight chilly air has made me want to cosy up at home with a hearty, comforting meal and re-watch That’s 70 Show. A go to dish that I love to make when the weather is grey is shepherd’s pie. It’s cheap, easy and wonderfully British.
To celebrate National Vegetarian Week I have come up with a meatless alternative to the classic dish, Vegan Sausage & Lentil shepherd’s pie. There are a many great lentil shepherd’s pie recipes out there however what makes mine the one to beat is that it includes the super flavoursome, Linda McCartney Rosemary & Onion sausages. I was introduced to these great veggie sausages from my vegan friend and honestly, I think I prefer them to pork ones. They are incredibly tasty and they don’t me feel icky like some sausages do. Plus, they give a great meaty texture to the filling that marries well with the lentils. Vegan or not, everyone will love this Shepherd’s pie recipe.
To bulk up this meatless shepherd’s pie, I added leeks, carrots and mushrooms. They add mellow flavours to the lentils and liven up the consistency of filling. The hearty vegetables and lentils are soaked in a spiced, rosemary & thyme infused tomato sauce and are topped with a fluffy, garlicky, herby, parsnip & potato mash. To make it even more special, I scattered ripped pieces of Violife cheese on top. Admittedly, it doesn’t melt like regular cheese, however, with each bite, the cheese explodes in your mouth making it even more lip smacking.
This simple shepherd’s pie recipe might take just above an hour to make however with it serving about 4-6 people, it’s will save you time in the long run as it’s perfect for left overs. I’ve had it for 2 of my dinners and lunches. Pretty awesome huh?
This recipe is a twist on the traditional style vegan shepherd’s pie and it’s the ultimate feel good dish. It’s:
- Light yet Filling
- Perfectly Flavoured
- Easy To Make
- Gloriously Rich
- Full Of Protein
- Heart Warming
Whenever the summer brings the grey clouds and drizzling rain, this Vegan Sausage & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie will be a become a family favourite to warm up the kids. Or if you’re like me, a 28 year old big kid, it will be a reoccurring dish to curl up to whilst watching your favourite television series.
This Vegan sausage and red lentil shepherd’s pie recipe serves about 4-6 people. This heart warming vegan casserole is perfect to snuggle up with, whilst watching the repeats of your childhood shows in your cosy pajamas. You can have the leftovers for lunch or save it for another evening.
If you do make my ‘Vegan Sausage & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie’ or my other vegan dishes like, ‘Vegan Miso Sweetcorn Soup‘, ‘Vegan Supergreen Pho‘ & ‘Vegan Curried Pumpkin & Parsnip Soup’, then leave a comment or tag a photo on my Instagram or Twitter, Facebook.
- 6 Linda McCartney Rosemary & Onion Sausages, Cut into 2cm Chunks
- 200g Red Lentils
- 1 Leek, Sliced Horizontally
- 1 Red Onion, Finely Chopped
- 1 Carrot, Finely Chopped
- 100g Chestnut Mushrooms, Thinly Sliced
- 5 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Finely Chopped
- 150ml Vegetable Stock
- 400g Tinned Tomatoes
- 3 Sprigs of Rosemary, Leaves picked off & stem disposed
- 2 Sprigs of Thyme,Leaves picked off & stem disposed
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
- 2 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon English Mustard
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 4 Parsnips, Peeled and Roughly Chopped
- 3 Large Potatoes, Peeled & Chopped
- 125ml Soya Cream
- 1 Tablespoon Soya Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Parsley, Finely Chopped
- 3 Violife Cheese Slices, Roughy Ripped
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper, To Taste
- First of, preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
- In a large sauce on a high heat, sauté your onion and 3 garlic cloves until golden brown. Add the chopped leek, mushrooms and carrot into the pan and stir well. Let the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes or until they begin to sweat.
- Add your lentils to the pot and follow with pouring the vegetable stock in. Stir in the sausage chunks, rosemary, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, mustard, vinegar and tomato puree to the filling. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils & sausages have become soft. If the filling becomes too dry, add a bit of water to loosen up the mixture.
- Meanwhile the filling cooks, make your mash. Place the potatoes and parsnips into a large pan of cold salted water over a medium heat. Let them cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.
- Drain and leave to steam dry, then return to the pan with the vegan butter, garlic, chopped parsley and soya cream. Season with salt and pepper and mash until fluffy. Set aside until later.
- Scoop the filling into an oven proofed dish and spread the mash on top. Scatter the Violife cheese on top and place in the oven 20 minutes or until the mash becomes golden brown.
- Let it cool slightly as it will be very hot. It also lets the filling and mash become firmer which is beneficial whilst serving.