Lentil and vegetarian cottage pie

In keeping with the warm Fall colors, this delicious and aromatic cottage pie came to be.  Can you imagine my excitement when I saw this orange cauliflower just waiting to be picked at Trader Joe’s? Trader Joe’s is a neighborhood grocery store with amazing food and produce from around the globe and around the corner. The quality is second to none and the prices, very reasonable.  The flowers used in this presentation are also from Trader Joe’s – my one stop shop 🙂

img_8521I happened on these two different lentils from the pantry, so added them to the cottage pie for extra protein.


Some of the prep work included chopping up the celery stalks, onions, garlic and peppers from the garden.


A colorful vegetable medley and a rich gravy makes this Vegetarian Cottage Pie just as tasty as its beef counterpart.


Lentil and vegetarian cottage pie

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a sprig of parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup cooked yellow lentils
  • 1/2  cup cooked green lentils
  • 4 large potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F . In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion for 1-2 minutes. Add celery, carrot and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, thyme, cauliflower florets, chipotle chili powder, Worcestershire sauce and stock.

  2. Simmer gently for 15 minutes until vegetables are cooked. Stir in cooked lentils and season, then transfer to a baking dish. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender.

  3. Drain and mash. Stir in butter, milk, breadcrumbs and cheese. Spread over lentil and vegetable mixture and roughen top with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden.  Place under the broiler for a further 2 to 3 minutes to give it a that crunch and extra glow.

img_8526A warm, hearty and comforting dish topped with fluffy potato mash and crispy breadcrumbs. 

34 thoughts on “Lentil and vegetarian cottage pie

  1. I love your vegetarian cottage pie as the recipes I have all have some kind of meat. I don’t see the cauliflower listed in your ingredients or did you find it too pretty to use 🙂 Great recipe and one I will certainly enjoy making. Thanks for sharing Loretta…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judi. I did use a portion of the cauliflower, although you’re right it looked too pretty to cut up. Thanks for catching that, I did edit the post. I do hope you enjoy making it, you could even use part of the cauliflower as a mashed topping, but I did have potatoes that weren’t going to last, so incorporated those in the recipe.


  2. Do you find the green “Puy” lentils cook in 15 minutes in the oven with the vegetables? I am interested merely because I cook them a lot and find they take about 25 minutes in quite a bit of stock, but perhaps the ones you used are a different variety?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right Patti. The green and yellow lentils take much longer to cook than the red lentils one uses for dahls. The recipe should have read “cooked” lentils. I cooked them ahead of time then used a portion of it in this cottage pie and other soups I made later in the week.


      1. Ah, thanks for clarifying Loretta. Can you get the cooked green lentils in tins over there? I keep 2 or 3 tins in the store cupboard and they are excellent for a quick and easy “fix” to any dish. I got some minced lamb out of the fridge a week or so back and did not like the smell or colour. So I ditched it and used a couple of tins of Lentils to make the Moussaka I had intended to make.


    1. Thanks Johanne. I have used both cauliflower and parsnips in a mash for pies, but I did need to use up some potatoes so went with the potato mash instead…..besides Mr. Bert loves his potatoes in any form 🙂


  3. This is a beautiful dish Loretta and coming out of your kitchen I’m sure it’s delicious. I do have the same question a Patti above about the lentils cooking in 15 minutes? If that’s the case I’ll be putting them in all kinds of baked dishes like this! I love Trader Joes too. It’s great for a quick cheese tray and other snacks when entertaining. I also love to get their flowers when mine are long gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Julie. My error, I’ve been racing through these posts lately. The next time I need to write things down and check and re-check before hitting that publish button 🙂 The green and yellow lentils take a while to cook – the recipe should have read “cooked lentils”. I cooked them at the same time that I was making the cottage pie. It probably took about half an hour, but I did cook a bit as I used a portion of it for the pie and the rest for other soups and stews I made later that week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel inspired to have a meat free Monday tomorrow, I don’t eat enough lentils and this is a brilliant way to cook them! 🙂 Have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

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