Vegetarian Mains

Sweet Potato and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Break out your cast-iron skillet for this healthier take on Shepherd’s pie! Mashed sweet potatoes get whipped with soy creamer and a pinch of nutmeg and then are placed on top of a savory lentil and carrots mixture. Such a filling meal all made in just one skillet – hello less time washing dishes 😉

Anyone else get bored with your usual dinner routine? Sure, it makes grocery shopping easy if you know to buy the same things week after week, but I’m always so much happier when I take just a few extra minutes to look up a recipe of something I haven’t tried before or eaten in a while. Lentils are a food I rarely have, yet every time I do I wonder why I don’t eat them more often. After all, it doesn’t take that much longer to cook with certain varieties of lentil than it does to prepare chicken plus lentils are loaded with filling fiber and are a good source of iron and folate.

But what to make with the lentils? Yes, there is always soup, but Bry and I have been gotten a bit souped-out lately. Then, as I was browsing through my Pinterest, I found a bookmarked recipe for lentil shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes instead of traditional white potatoes. I was sold.

Not only is this a filling, one-pan meal, but it also uses minimal ingredients. Because my stomach and onions don’t get along, I used onion powder instead, but feel free to add in a chopped white onion when you sauté the carrots. I also used soy creamer instead of milk creamer as it’s lighter and, again, my stomach isn’t a fan of lactose (the joys of IBS 😉 ). I also changed up the recipe so you can make it all in one pan, but if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can just transfer the lentil and vegetable filling into a baking pan before topping with the mashed sweet potatoes.

While not a traditional Easter food, I think this sweet potato and lentil shepherd’s pie would be a great vegetarian option at Easter brunch!

So here’s a toast to switching up the dinner routine!

Sweet Potato and Lentil Shepherd's Pie

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup green lentils, uncooked
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup barley, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup soy creamer (can sub in regular soy, almond, or cow's milk for a less creamy topping)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth



Rinse sweet potatoes and pierce tops with fork a few times. Place sweet potatoes in microwave and cook about 10 minutes or until soft. If you have more time, you can bake the potatoes in a 425F oven for 1 hour instead. Once soft, set sweet potatoes aside to cool enough to handle.


While sweet potatoes are cooking, place lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook 15 minutes. Stir in buckwheat, return to a boil and boil at medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until water is evaporated.


Preheat oven to 425F.


Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Once oil is hot, add in onions and carrots. Cook 8 minutes, or until carrots are soft. Stir in flour and let cook another minute.


Stir in tomato paste, dried thyme, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, vegetable broth, and lentil mixture. Bring to a boil and let thicken, about 3 minutes. Set aside.


Slice sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Add soy creamer, salt, and nutmeg to the sweet potatoes and mix on high until well-combined and creamy.


Spread sweet potato topping over the lentil and vegetable mixture. Place in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, or until sweet potatoes begin to lightly brown.


Remove from oven and enjoy!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure at the right side of this website.

Don’t have a cast-iron skillet? I recommend the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Skillet. 


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