Not Your Mama’s Shepherd’s Pie

I’m kind of excited to share this recipe with you.  I sort of made it up.  I borrowed from several other variations on the theme to come up with my twist.  It’s super healthy, very tasty, family friendly, and I think you will love it.

I really can’t call it Shepherd’s Pie.  It doesn’t contain meat or potatoes.  My version has a base of steamed lentils. Followed by a layer of diced onions, corn, carrots, and peas; followed by a generous helping of shredded cheese, then some sautéed kale. Instead of potatoes, I topped the pie off with steamed cauliflower that I “mashed” with more shredded cheese.  I created this recipe for The Cabot Creamery “It’s New to You” recipe contest.  The idea was to incorporate Cabot reduced fat cheese into a recipe using a vegetable or grain that I had not tried before.  Well, I’ve tried and generally love all veggies…but my husband and daughter…not so much.  Neither of them are too fond of kale or peas.  For my daughter, they are green and that’s a big no-no.  For my husband, he just didn’t grow up eating these foods.

Enter….cheese.  The “glue” that held my veggies together.  The flavor that made this dish super tasty.  The secret ingredient that had them asking for more!

Did it work? I think it did.  They finished their plates.  So that says something, right?

Here’s how I made it:

First, I layered the bottom of a pie pan with steamed lentils.  I buy them pre-steamed in the vacuum sealed boxes, but you can certainly steam yourself.

Then, I added some chopped sauteed onions plus diced carrots, corn, and peas (all frozen).

The next layer was the shredded Cabot cheese.  I used the 50% reduced fat version.

Followed by the sauteed kale.

The final layer was the mashed cheesy cauliflower.  My cauli was a bit on the smaller side…I recommend buying the biggest one you can or two small ones. I sprinkled a little nutmeg on top for color.

I baked at 350 for about 25 minutes.

 The final product.  Not the most photogenic of dishes, but still delicious!

My daughter really enjoyed this dish, despite the plethora of green on her plate.  The cheese definitely helped (and the fact that she loves lentils and cauliflower!).  I hope you will try this recipe…it really is a quick and delicious way to get dinner on the table fast.  

Here’s the actual recipe (see share bar for print-friendly option):

Lentil Vegetable Pie


  • 1 box steamed lentils (or about 2 cups)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots (frozen)
  • 1 cup corn (frozen)
  • 1 cup peas (frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups Cabot 50% reduced fat cheese, shredded
  • 1 head kale, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft
  • Sprinkle nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350°.  Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute onion and frozen veggies for a few minutes until slightly softened. Remove from pan. Add kale to pan and sauté until just wilted. Season veggies with salt and pepper. Place steamed cauliflower in food processor or blender and puree with dash milk or olive oil until smooth; remove and place in small bowl. Add ½ cup shredded cheese to the cauliflower, stir to combine, allowing cheese to melt. Season with salt, if needed.  Layer a 9×9 pie plate in this order: lentils, vegetables, 1 cup shredded cheese, kale, cauliflower. Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Disclosure:  I received free samples from Cabot Creamery of the cheese and giveaway items mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Cabot Creamery Cooperative and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

11 replies
  1. EA-The Spicy RD
    EA-The Spicy RD says:

    I love “cheesy cauliflower” and your recipe sounds fantastic Danielle! I’m a little doubtful my kids would eat it, but I know my hubby and I would devour it. This is going to the top of my “cheesy” dishes to make!

  2. Shannon Cherry
    Shannon Cherry says:

    All I can say is yum. My hubby is British, and we have had shepherds and cottage pies in the past. But this is so much healthier. I can’t wait to get cracking on this. (I’ve added lentils to the meat before, but not all lentils….great idea!) And no mash potatoes – but cheese. He’s gonna be in heaven!

  3. Margo DeGange, M.Ed.
    Margo DeGange, M.Ed. says:

    Fabulous Danielle! I have been looking for a reduced fat cheese and then here comes your article! Thanks!

    I really like this recipe. I wonder if I could switch the Kale with spinach. for variety, I also wonder how it would taste to switch the cauliflower with rutabagas (those orange turnip-type veggies) which I LOVE. Do you think either of these ideas would work well with this dish?

    I love the idea of the steamed lentils. Your recipes are great because they get me thinking of foods I usually don’t combine, and it makes me want to experiment, which is always so fun.

    Thanks for continuing to keep us healthy.



  4. Danielle Omar
    Danielle Omar says:

    Of course! You can add spinach, change the topping…do whatever you want. I think both of your ideas are great. Let me know how it turns out!

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