There’s something ultra-comforting about a wintery shepherd’s pie. But this vegan version turns the concept of the classic comfort food on its head. Protein-packed lentils and vegetables are smothered in an easy pan gravy and topped with lean puréed cauliflower.

This veganized shepherd’s pie is not only nutritious, delicious and satisfying, it’s also really easy to make. All your guests — meat-eaters and vegans alike — are sure to enjoy a scoop of this cozy meal.

vegan-shepherds-pie-recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Filling
3/4 cup uncooked brown lentils
1 Tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter
2 cups finely chopped savoy cabbage
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Crispy Cauliflower Crust
1/2 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
2. For the filling, add lentils to a medium saucepan, cover with 3 inches water, bring to a boil, reduce to medium and cook, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain. Reserve.
3. For the crust, steam cauliflower until very tender. Add to a food processor along with olive oil, salt and pepper, and purée until smooth. Reserve.
4. In a large high-sided skillet, heat coconut oil or vegan butter over medium heat. Add cabbage, celery, carrot and garlic. Sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until vegetables are almost tender. Thoroughly stir in reserved cooked lentils, water, vinegar, Worcestershire, tomato paste, salt, pepper and cloves.
5. To assemble, pour filling mixture into an 8×8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish; smooth surface. Add dollops of cauliflower crust over top and smooth to cover filling. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and beginning to brown on top. Serve.

Be sure to check out these 40 comforting recipes you won’t believe are vegan.