Plant-based Shepherd’s Pie with and Rainbow Chard

Delight in a plant-based recipe, a twist on the classic comfort food with hearty Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Butternut Squash. This recipe serves 6 to 8 and offers a nutritious alternative by replacing the meat with protein-rich lentils. A medley of vegetables, including onions, carrots, and garlic, cooked in savory spices, creates a flavorful filling.

To prepare the recipe, first roast the butternut squash until tender and blend it into a creamy mash for the topping. The lentil filling is seasoned with a blend of herbs and spices, providing a hearty and satisfying meal. Serve the Shepherd’s Pie alongside sautéed rainbow chard, tossed with garlic and a touch of Champagne vinegar, for a vibrant and nutritious side.

Ideal for those seeking a wholesome meal, this dish caters to both plant-based and vegan diets without compromising on taste. Garnish the Shepherd’s Pie with fresh parsley to add a burst of color and freshness to each serving. Perfect for any occasion, this lentil shepherd’s pie promises to be a comforting and delicious addition to any table.

Hearty Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Butternut Squash and Sautéed Rainbow Chard.

Plant-based Hearty Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Butternut Squash and Sautéed Rainbow Chard

Recipe by Nina Curtis.
Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon nondairy butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

For the sautéed rainbow chard:

  • 2 bunches rainbow chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar, or any other mild vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Place halves on baking sheet, cut side down, and roast for 20 minutes or until tender when pierced with fork. Once cooked, remove from oven and set aside to cool. While butternut squash is roasting, cook peeled and chopped potatoes in large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain potatoes then mash using potato masher or fork and add nondairy butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  • In separate large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add diced carrots and minced garlic, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cooked lentils, frozen peas, vegetable broth, tomato paste, soy sauce or tamari, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes, allowing flavors to meld. Once filling is ready, spoon into baking dish. Smooth out into even layer. Scoop mashed potatoes on top of lentil filling, spreading evenly to cover entire dish. Slice roasted butternut squash halves into ¼-inch slices and arrange on top of mashed potatoes. Place shepherd’s pie in preheated oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden and filling is bubbling.
  • While the shepherd’s pie bakes, prepare rainbow chard greens. Rinse rainbow chard thoroughly under cold water. Trim tough stems at base of leaves. Separate stems from leaves and chop into small pieces. Set aside. Roll rainbow chard leaves together and slice crosswise into thin strips. Keep stems and leaves separate for now. Heat olive oil in large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add minced garlic to pan and sauté about 1 minute until fragrant. Be careful not to burn garlic. Add chopped chard stems to pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until they soften. Add sliced chard leaves to pan and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes more until they wilt.
  • Drizzle Champagne vinegar over sautéed chard, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together to evenly distribute flavors. Continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes, just until chard is tender but still vibrant and retains some texture. Remove from heat. Once shepherd’s pie is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve warm with sautéed rainbow chard and garnished with fresh parsley.