A meatless version of a timeless classic, this Vegetarian Cottage Pie has so much to offer in the flavor and texture departments, you’ll probably like it better than the real thing! A perfect solution for your meatless Friday dinners that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

A meatless version of a timeless classic, this Vegetarian Cottage Pie has so much to offer in the flavor and texture departments, you'll probably like it better than the real thing! A perfect solution for your meatless Friday dinners that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

I recently attended a 3-day meditation workshop, at which they were serving a strict vegetarian menu, out of respect for our friends the animals. Although I was a bit apprehensive at first, I can’t say that I disliked the experience. In fact, it even inspired me to maybe start eating less meat. I know, this probably sounds weird coming from a girl who swore by the Paleo diet just about a year ago, but hey, people change, seasons change, everything changes. Life is ALL about changes!

On the second day we were served a very tasty vegetarian cottage pie, which I enjoyed so much, I decided to replicate it when I got back home… In fact, I think I’m enjoying this vegetarian version so much, I might go as far as to say that I prefer it to “the real thing”. For one, it has so much more flavor! The combination of French lentils, kasha (which has a very distinct but agreeable half nutty, half smokey flavor) and roasted sunflower seeds works INCREDIBLY WELL! It’s so much tastier than beef, seriously. And those 3 same ingredients, they have the coolest textures when mixed together, ranging from creamy to chewy to crunchy… it’s quite the pleasant experience for the mouth and taste buds, let me tell you that much!

If you’re looking for a solid contender for your meatless Friday dinners, I think this one might very well fit the bill!

So much so, you might very well want to have it every Friday night…  

Potatoes cooked until they practically fall apart when poked with a fork

Peel your potatoes and then preheat your oven to 375°F.

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water (start them in cold water though, and make sure that your water is “salted like the sea”) until they become really soft and practically fall apart when you poke them with a fork.

Onions, celery and carrots cooking in a saute pan

While the potatoes are cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a saute pan set over medium heat and then throw in a diced onion, carrot and celery rib, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a dash of salt and pepper; cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 3 minutes.

Water is being poured out of a measuring sup and into a saute pan containing lentils, kasha, onions, celery and carrots

Add the French lentils and kasha and stir well, then pour the water in, bring to a slow simmer…

Be sure to use French lentils, also known as Puy lentils, as they cook faster than their brown counterparts. Not only that, but they also have a very agreeable peppery flavor and retain a crunchy texture even after they’ve been cooked. They are much better suited than the brown ones for this purpose, trust me!

Likewise, be sure to use kasha as opposed to buckwheat groats, as the distinct flavor of kasha really adds a lot of depth and plays a major role in the overall flavor of the dish.

A saute pan with a clear glass lid on it

Cover your pan and simmer until the kasha and lentils are tender and practically all the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

If you find that your kasha and lentils are still not tender enough after all the water has gone, feel free to add a little more and to continue the cooking for a few more minutes…

Corn kernels getting rinsed in a fine meshed sieve

While your lentils and kasha are simmering away, rinse the frozen corn kernels under running water until they are completely thawed and then let them drain to rid them of excess water.

Spices are getting mixed into cooked lentils and kasha in a saute pan

Next, when the lentils and kasha are cooked to your liking, add the roasted sunflower seeds, a few tablespoons of ketchup (or use tomato paste if you prefer), a few tablespoons of soy sauce, some dried oregano and sweet paprika, and stir well.

Again here, don’t go using raw sunflower seeds, as they are pretty bland and won’t do much to the overall flavor of the dish. Definitely go for the roasted variety!

Cooked lentils and kasha are getting poured into a white ceramic baking dish

Transfer the mixture to a large oven safe baking dish…

Corn is being poured out of a fined meshed sieve and onto a white ceramic baking dish containing a mixture of cooked lentils and kasha

…and then top it with the corn kernels and set aside.

Cooked potatoes in a stainless steel saucepan

Hopefully your potatoes will be good and cooked by now, so we can get busy turning them into a luscious and fluffy puree. To do that, you’ll want to first drain them really well and return them to the saucepan.

Milk is being poured out of a glass measuring cup and into a saucepan containing cooked potatoes

Whisk the milk and sour cream together in a small measuring cup and pour about half of this mixture over the potatoes.

Cooked potatoes getting mashed with a hand mixer

Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the potatoes break down and the puree starts to come together, then increase the speed to medium. Add the rest of the milk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition, until the puree becomes nice and fluffy. Adjust seasoning as needed by adding salt and white pepper, to taste.

Mashed potatoes being dropped by large spoonfuls over cottage pie

Drop the mashed potatoes by large spoonfuls over the corn and then spread delicately all the way to the edge.

Cottage Pie Sprinkled with paprika just before it hits the oven

Create all kinds of pretty little swirls in your mash if you are so inclined, and then sprinkle the whole top with a little bit of sweet paprika for a bit of added color, if you feel like it!

Vegetarian Cottage Pie in a white ceramic dish sprinkled with paprika and chopped parsley

Bake your vegetarian cottage pie for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes slightly golden (you can drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the potatoes to help them brown better).

A meatless version of a timeless classic, this Vegetarian Cottage Pie has so much to offer in the flavor and texture departments, you'll probably like it better than the real thing! A perfect solution for your meatless Friday dinners that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

Finally, remove your cottage pie from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with a little bit of chopped fresh parsley, again, for a little bit of added color, if desired.

A meatless version of a timeless classic, this Vegetarian Cottage Pie has so much to offer in the flavor and texture departments, you'll probably like it better than the real thing! A perfect solution for your meatless Friday dinners that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
A meatless version of a timeless classic, this Vegetarian Cottage Pie has so much to offer in the flavor and texture departments, you'll probably like it better than the real thing! A perfect solution for your meatless Friday dinners that even the hardcore meat lovers will totally fall for.
Servings: 6

Ingredients

For the Mashed Potatoes

  • 8-10 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks (about 1kg | 2.2lb)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Salt and ground white pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F
  • Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water (start in cold water and make sure that it is "salted like the sea") until they become really soft and practically fall apart when you poke them with a fork.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a saute pan set over medium heat and then throw in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant and slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the French lentils and kasha and stir well, then pour the water in, bring to a low simmer, cover and simmer until the kasha and lentils are tender and practically all the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
  • While this is happening, rinse the corn kernels under running water until completely thawed and then let them drain to rid them of excess water.
  • When the lentils are cooked to your liking, add the roasted sunflower seeds, ketchup (or tomato paste), soy sauce, dried oregano and sweet paprika and stir well.
  • Transfer this mixture to an oven safe baking dish and top with the corn kernels; set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cooked, drain them well and return them to the saucepan. Whisk the milk and sour cream together in a small measuring cup and pour about half of this mixture over the potatoes.
  • Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the potatoes break down and the puree starts to come together, then increase the speed to medium. Add the rest of the milk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well between each addition, until the puree becomes nice and fluffy. Adjust seasoning as needed by adding salt and white pepper, to taste.
  • Drop the mashed potatoes by large spoonfuls over the corn and then spread delicately all the way to the edge. Sprinkle with a little bit of sweet paprika, if desired
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top becomes slightly golden (you can drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the potatoes to help them brown better).
  • Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with a little bit of chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 628kcal, Carbohydrates: 103g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 1059mg, Potassium: 2013mg, Fiber: 23g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 2150IU, Vitamin C: 38.6mg, Calcium: 197mg, Iron: 13.8mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sonia! The Healthy Foodie

If you’ve tried this recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and let me know how things went for you in the comments below. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from you!

You can also FOLLOW ME on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and TWITTER for more delicious, healthy recipes!